The Lancashire School for Business and Enterprise (LSBE), at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), has been awarded the Small Business Charter (SBC) in recognition of its commitment to supporting student entrepreneurship, small businesses, and the local economy.
The SBC is an award for the UK’s world-class business schools. LSBE was found to have a demonstrable focus on small business engagement and the promotion of enterprise skills to students through inter and co-curricular activities.
LSBE is proficient at responding to SME needs and nurturing the enterprising nature of students, evidenced through dedicated units including the Centre for SMEs and Enterprise Development, the Executive Education Leadership Hub, and the Propeller Student Enterprise Service, which boasts the highest number of student start-ups in the North.
The SBC assessment report verified that the funded business support projects across the Business School and wider University have assisted 1,744 SMEs, created 236 jobs and generated £15,000,000 to the local economy.
The Centre for SMEs and Enterprise Development works across the University and the region, demonstrating significant and wide-reaching impacts and outcomes. The focus is on both external SME engagement with a network of 1,400 members and internal enterprise development of students and graduates, accumulating in supporting 851 start-ups in the past six years, making UCLan the top university in the North, and 5th in the UK, for student start-ups.
The Centre provides a physical and virtual front door to the SME and student community, through the Propeller Incubation Hub and a strong membership base.
LSBE has recently appointed its first Entrepreneurs-in-Residence; these seven business leaders will bring real-world expertise and entrepreneurial practice to students, academics, and the SMEs who work with the school.
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.
The LSBE will hold the award for three years, with the Centre for SME and Enterprise Development achieving exemplar status. There are now 54 business schools that hold the SBC Award in the UK and Ireland.
Professor Chris Pyke, Executive Dean of the Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise, said: “Achieving the Small Business Charter reflects our commitment to have a positive economic and social impact within the region and beyond, by being an innovative and enterprising business school, positively changing lives through business and enterprise.
As a civic and anchor institution, we will continue our commitment to enterprise and SMEs supporting the regional development agenda which places Lancashire at the heart of opportunities arising from the National Industrial Strategy and as part of the Northern PowerHouse.”
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 welcome Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise into the Small Business Charter’s network of nationally accredited business schools. This award demonstrates their excellent range of support for small businesses and student entrepreneurs, and its impact which permeates through the region’s economy. We look forward to working with them in the coming years.”