Published on 31 October 2023
Sunderland Business School (SBS) has been accredited with the Small Business Charter in recognition of its work to support small businesses, student entrepreneurship, and the local economy.
SBS has a strong commitment to supporting small business in the local area, through its diverse range of collaborative initiatives. For example, its collaboration on “Creative Fuse” supports the creative industries and SMEs alongside four other North East universities and business schools.
SBS’s employer engagement board is made up of 17 leading experts holding senior positions within business, the public or voluntary sectors, with 59% of this group representing the SME community.
The panel were particularly impressed by SBS’s influence across its network of stakeholders. On a regional level, SBS has strong relationships with the Northeast Enterprise Partnership and with the Northeast Chamber of Commerce. On a local level, SBS engages with the Northeast Employers Network, consisting of around 50 members (majority SMEs), to discuss developments in employment law and HR matters. Senior university staff are active members of regional boards and committees driving economic and societal policy. There is sound and solid evidence to show how SBS specifically informs regional and national government policy to support small businesses.
The Small Business Charter 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. Sunderland Business School will hold the award for 3 years. There are 66 business schools that hold the Small Business Charter in the UK and Ireland.
Professor Lawrence Bellamy, Academic Dean, Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism at the University of Sunderland, said: “The Small Business Charter award is recognition of our exemplary work with the business community and in the preparation of our students for a range of future career options.
“Sunderland Business School is a beacon of support for small businesses through the range of services and projects it continues to deliver, driving start-up and growth ambitions. We have an amazing team behind this and they are there to really make a difference to Sunderland, the region and beyond."
Flora Hamilton, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and CEO of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said: "We'd like to congratulate Sunderland Business School on achieving the Small Business Charter accreditation. The business school plays an important role in supporting the SME businesses within the Sunderland area and the impact of their work is tangible.
“It is fantastic to see their excellent engagement with key stakeholders in shaping regional and national policy. We look forward to the contribution that they will bring to our Small Business Charter business school community."