Posted Friday 10 July 2015
Kingston University's Business School is celebrating after achieving a silver Small Business Charter award in recognition of the role it has played in helping to kick-start British enterprise. The Small Business Charter Award scheme - of which Kingston Business School is a trailblazing member - acknowledges institutions which have, between them, already helped 4,700 students to find work placements in Britain's important micro-business and start-up sector.
Small Business Charter business schools in the United Kingdom have also directly helped more than 8,000 small businesses through a range of support including; on-site incubators with dedicated space for students and start-up businesses, growth and leadership programmes and full-time networks of alumni and local business experts supporting both students and small businesses. More than 800 new businesses have already been started as a result of business schools like Kingston.
The Small Business Charter awards were established by the Chartered Association of Business Schools, Lord Young and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills following the release of Lord Young's report 'Growing Your Business'. The report recommended that business and industry, business schools and entrepreneurs worked closer together to deliver real change. The main aim of the Small Business Charter was to connect small and medium-sized enterprises with world class business school knowledge, facilities and networks. There are now 27 Charter-awarded business schools across the UK.
Kingston University's head of entrepreneurship education, Dr Martha Mador, said that the award verified the extensive work carried out both within the Business School and across the wider University to support small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. "The silver award identifies Kingston as one of very few institutions in London which focus on these issues as a strategic priority," she explained. "This means we influence the Government's economic growth agenda, and prepare students for their entrepreneurial lives."
Professor Robert Blackburn, director of Kingston University's Small Business Research Centre and member of the Small Business Charter Management Board added that receiving a Small Business Charter Award allowed business schools such as Kingston to play an active role in national support initiatives. "The University is proud to have been upgraded from a bronze award to a silver award in just over a year," he said. "The award demonstrates the excellent commitment of our staff, students and stakeholders to promote engagement with small businesses and stimulate entrepreneurship activities, through research, learning and practice."
Ian McNaught, executive director of the Small Business Charter, stressed that each business school had gone through a rigorous assessment to achieve their award. "They continue to positively influence regional economic growth through engaging small businesses and supporting start-ups," he said. "These business schools are key players in their local economies and they are rightly being recognised for that commitment."