Business school receives Downing Street award

Coventry University’s business school has been awarded a prestigious accolade in recognition of the role it has played in helping to kick-start British enterprise.

The school has won a Small Business Charter award for its part in a country-wide initiative – the Small Business Charter Award Scheme – which has helped 4,700 students to find work placements in the UK’s exciting micro-business and start-up sector.

Small Business Charter business schools have directly helped over 8,000 small businesses – engaging with them through workshops, mentoring and other business support. Over 800 new businesses have already been started as a result of Small Business Charter schools.

The award – which was presented during a ceremony at 10 Downing Street by Lord Young, an advisor to the Prime Minister on small business and enterprise, and Sir Peter Bonfield, chair of the Small Business Charter Management Board and former chairman of BT – acknowledges Coventry Business School’s dedication to helping to improve links with and support the small business community in the local area.

Last year Coventry University was highlighted in Sir Andrew Witty’s influential review of universities and growth as being the UK’s top university for the number of interactions with SMEs between 2008 and 2012 – with over 36,000 interactions.

Today’s award brings significant benefits – it means that Coventry Business School will have the ability to play an active role in schemes such as Growth Vouchers, Growth Accelerators and Start-Up Loans provided by the government, enabling it to invest directly in new start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Jeff Clowes, acting dean of Coventry Business School, collected the award from Downing Street today. He said: “It’s a privilege to be accepting this award on behalf of Coventry Business School today. 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.”

Lord Young, the Prime Minister’s advisor on enterprise, added: “The recipients of today’s 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.”