Enterprise Adviser Lord Young presented 20 pioneering business schools with the first ever awards for playing a vital role in helping to boost their local economy.
The business schools were recognised at the Small Business Charter (SBC) awards ceremony in Downing Street, where Lord Young awarded them a rating of gold, silver or bronze for their role in advising local firms on everything from growing their services to hiring staff. He also congratulated them for encouraging more graduates to take on roles in innovative and exciting start-ups.
Congratulating the SBC award-winners for their trail-blazing work, which Lord Young recommended to the Prime Minister in his report on enterprise last year, he said:
The recipients of today’s award have all demonstrated exceptional dedication to improving links with and supporting small businesses in their local area, already creating over 800 jobs.
Our world-class universities and business schools are a key part of the UK economy – even more so as a result of this initiative.
I hope that these awards will be the first of many and build on the outstanding work our business schools do to boost enterprise locally.
SBC schools have directly helped over 8,000 small businesses – working with them through workshops, mentoring and other business support.
The charter recognises business schools with exceptional levels of engagement with small business. There are 30 criteria against which schools are measured including: growth in small business support, stakeholder engagement and student start-up activity.
Gold-winning schools have achieved more than 85% of the criteria, as well as hosting their own growth and leadership programmes for small businesses. Silver schools achieved between 63 to 83%, bronze schools have achieved at least 40% of these.
Gold rated schools will be allowed to issue start-up loans and growth vouchers – devolving even more power to deliver enterprise locally.
The scheme has already helped 4,700 students to find work placements in Britain’s innovative micro-business and start-up sector.
Award-winning schools offer facilities such as:
- on-site incubators with dedicated space for students and small businesses to start up and grow
- a strong full time support network of alumni and local business experts to support both students and small businesses
Lord Young’s second report to the Prime Minister, ‘Growing Your Business’, highlighted the increasing importance that micro-businesses have on the success of the economy and outlined recommendations to help them develop their confidence and capability to grow.
His third report, covering enterprise and education, is expected shortly.