Small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the region are set to benefit from even greater support in developing their businesses, following the University of East Anglia’s (UEA) Norwich Business School (NBS) being accredited with the prestigious Small Business Charter (SBC).
The accolade is in recognition of its expertise in supporting small businesses, student entrepreneurship, and the local economy, with NBS the only institution in East Anglia to have achieved the award.
The accreditation means Norwich Business School will build on its existing offering to provide growth, enterprise, and entrepreneurship support to help SMEs maximise their productivity and their contribution to the local and wider economy.
The School already delivers several initiatives to develop local enterprise, including monthly masterclasses on campus, where academics, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs participate in a growing network that currently supports 34 SMEs and provides 72 mentors.
UEA collaborates with organisations across the region to further develop support to businesses – including Archant, Norfolk Network, Sync the City, Norwich BID, Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, Financial Industry Group (FIG) Norwich and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership – and share latest research insights.
Professor Olga Tregaskis, Head of Norwich Business School at UEA, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the Small Business Charter, which acknowledges the dedication and strength of commitment Norwich Business School and UEA have in serving the regional business community.
“This accreditation highlights the excellent relationships and partnerships we have built and continue to grow. Most importantly it demonstrates the significant impact this work is having within the local business community, including our own UEA alumni, many of whom have taken forward ideas generated during their time at UEA and are now successful and influential business leaders in their own right.
“We will continue to forge ahead with this agenda and look forward to providing even greater support through the opportunities we will develop working with the Small Business Charter and its network.”
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 Norwich Business School 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 the business school as they expand their offer to small businesses by becoming a delivery partner.”
For its own student and graduate entrepreneurs, UEA’s Student Enterprise team delivers four different start-up programmes: ‘Try It’, ‘Do It’, ‘Grow it’, and ‘Scale It’. These offer a combination of mentoring, coaching, small grants, and events to support students on the journey from business idea to growth and can culminate in an investment of up to £50,000 in the students’ businesses.
More information on the resources, knowledge and support available at NBS, including help on access to funding, facilities and knowledge sharing, can be found on the UEA for Business website.