Bournemouth University Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award.
The award recognises the Business School's outstanding contribution to supporting small businesses, student entrepreneurship, and the local economy.
The Small Business Charter (SBC) 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.
The Business School's engagement with local businesses is demonstrated by the BU Social Entrepreneurs Forum. The Forum offers free, specialist business support workshops to local, socially-focused SMEs and also provides student placement and project opportunities. Participating businesses have received assistance towards the BCORP certification, which certifies positive social and environmental performance.
The award also recognises the support given to students and staff looking to develop their own businesses. This support goes beyond specific courses and includes ad-hoc enterprise support for students who are at any stage of considering starting a business or driving the growth of an established business.
The assessment panel were particularly impressed with the work of the Disaster Management Centre (DMC), which informs governments and drives change in policies and has so far undertaken work in 23 countries, providing education and training in disaster management for SMEs. The DMC also offers postgraduate students consultancy opportunities.
Bournemouth University will hold the Small Business Charter Award for five years. There are now 35 business schools that hold the SBC Award in the UK and Ireland.
Dr Lois Farquharson, Executive Dean of Bournemouth Business School said: “We are delighted to achieve the Small Business Charter (SBC) Award which recognises our strong commitment to supporting our students, small businesses, entrepreneurs and positively contributing to the local, national and international economies. We are particularly proud to showcase our work in helping small business communities to grow in a responsible and empathetic way.
"The Award is a clear signal of our strategic focus and facilitates our engagement in a range of business support activities and encouragement of student entrepreneurship. We have exciting plans to further extend our offer and look forward to launching new opportunities which will benefit our students and the local small business community. We are proud to be part of the SBC family!”
Anne Kiem OBE, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said: “We congratulate the team at Bournemouth Business School for achieving the Small Business Charter Award. They are clearly a vital part of the small business support structure and the university’s five year strategy will only increase the prominence of this role. Their engagement with local businesses has had a positive impact and has been recognised as extremely valuable.”