The University of Winchester Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award in recognition of its support for small businesses, student entrepreneurship, and its commitment to the local economy.
The accreditation means that the School can help deliver a UK-wide government programme supporting SMEs (small or medium-sized enterprises) in their post Covid-19 recovery, accessing a £220 million fund available for three years announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The School offers a number of innovative schemes to support SMEs and students. Its Women in Digital Enterprise (WIDE) programme – which aims to provide 100 women-led businesses with training, workshops and mentorship to assist them to grow their businesses – is highly regarded by the business owners who have already been involved.
The Small Business Charter assessors were especially impressed by the School's approach to supporting SMEs through their 'triaging' system. This allows the School to assist businesses with tailored, up-to-date support for their needs.
Further support can be accessed through the Digital Innovation Lab, a dedicated space for start-ups on the university campus. The School also offers support to students aiming to start up their own businesses. The Inspiring Enterprise programme gives students access to entrepreneurs who provide advice and guidance.
Professor Martin Broad, dean of the faculty of business, law and digital technologies, University of Winchester Business School, said: "The Small Business Charter accreditation is a major accolade for the University of Winchester Business School and I am delighted that we have been recognised as meeting the stringent criteria that the Chartered Association of Business Schools set for business schools in the UK.
"This accreditation demonstrates the huge value of the University of Winchester Business School to our regional economy, our support for student entrepreneurialism and engagement with SMEs."
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 University of Winchester Business School will hold the award for three years. There are now 35 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 congratulate the team at Winchester Business School for achieving the Small Business Charter Award. Their commitment to supporting SMEs, particularly through the WIDE programme, is outstanding and their support for student entrepreneurship is also excellent. Winchester's expertise is clearly benefiting the regional economy."