The Business School at Coventry University is one of the leading institutions driving SME success to secure Britain’s economic recovery, and this month it has been recognised for its commitment to the cause. At a Small Business Charter ceremony hosted at 10 Downing Street, the school was celebrated for its role in establishing over 36,000 interactions between students and SMEs between 2008 and 2012.
David Cameron’s small business advisor Lord Young presented the award and praised the university’s support of the country-wide Small Business Charter Award Scheme. Schools in the network actively help micro-businesses to get off the ground, as the Small Business Charter’s interim managing director Rekha Mehr explained at the award ceremony:
“Our accredited schools have made real impact in the last 18 months, directly supporting over 8,000 businesses, placing over 4,700 students on real business projects and helping students to start over 800 new businesses.”
“Micro-businesses make up 95 per cent of UK businesses and play a crucial role in the structure of our economy,” Mehr added. “We need to further their growth and the Small Business Charter recognises UK business schools which are doing just that.”
Because Coventry University is now a Small Business Charter School, it can partake in government schemes such as Growth Vouchers, Growth Accelerators and Start-Up Loans. It is hoped that by rewarding SME-friendly institutions, more schools will invest directly in local entrepreneurs and start-ups.
“It’s a privilege to be accepting this award on behalf of Coventry Business School,” said Jeff Clowes, acting dean of the institution. “Staff in the school can be proud of the work they’ve done not only supporting students in their academic work, but also engaging with and helping student and graduate start-ups and small businesses in the area.”
Government small business advisor Lord Young further emphasised the significance of the Small Business Charter awards:
“The recipients of the 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.”