Gloucestershire Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter award, in recognition of its commitment to supporting the small business community, student entrepreneurship, and the local economy.
The assessor panel were particularly impressed with several of the business school’s student led initiatives, including the Legal Advice Clinic, in which final year students provide free legal advice to members of the local community. Since its inception, the clinic has served approximately 100 clients.
The school’s Growth Hub was also commendable and sample SME Impact was impressive. The operation of the Hub brings SMEs, micro businesses, and would-be entrepreneurs into the university, bringing substantial positive impacts on the local community.
Students at the business school are offered a wide range of opportunities to engage with local SMEs throughout their courses, via consultancy projects and placements. The current development of the ‘ThreeSixty student consultancy service’ will offer a multi-disciplinary service allowing students to engage with a wider range of SMEs, both deepening their education and providing a more complete service for business need in the area.
The business school offers excellent opportunities for SMEs in the area; over 80% of suppliers to the university are SMEs. Businesses also have the opportunity to provide input into the school curriculum – most recently, local SMEs were consulted on the revalidation of the Business and Management course.
The Small Business Charter Award is a national accreditation, assessed by small business leaders, to recognise business schools which demonstrate excellence in supporting small businesses, student enterprise, and the local economy. Gloucestershire Business School will hold the award for three years. There are now 41 business schools that hold the SBC Award in the UK and Ireland.
Anne Kiem OBE, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said
We are delighted to award Gloucestershire Business School the Small Business Charter in recognition of their commitment to supporting SMEs and student entrepreneurship within the regional economy. It is clear that they are dedicated to providing a strong, enriching experience for both students and SMEs alike, and we look forward to working closely with them in the future.
Dr Dominic Page, Head of School, Gloucestershire Business School, said
We are hugely excited and proud to have been awarded the Small Business Charter. Working in partnership with SMEs in the Gloucestershire region is a vital part of the University of Gloucestershire’s strategic vision; this enhances the experiences of our learners as we prepare them for the challenges of the contemporary world of work.
This award also recognises the vital role the Growth Hub has played in supporting businesses of different sizes to flourish. We are committed to further embedding engagement with SMEs in all that we do.