The University of Derby’s Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter in recognition of its support for SMEs and the local economy.
The award from Chartered Association of Business Schools is also recognition of the work Derby Business School does in developing entrepreneurial skills in students.
The Small Business Charter (SBC) award is a national kitemark awarded by small businesses to recognise business schools which demonstrate excellence in supporting student enterprise, small businesses and the local economy. There are 34 business schools across the UK that hold the award.
Among the key features which earned Derby Business School its accreditation was its offer of internships and placements as part of its career and employability service.
The Derby Internship Programme, funded by the ERDF, engaged more than 1,400 students between 2016-2019, with over half of the small businesses involved giving students a part time or full-time role after the internship.
The association noted Derby’s superb teaching facilities and its community business links. Banks Mill innovation and digital studios are fully occupied by students, graduates and creative entrepreneurs, while the business school’s base at the University’s Kedleston Road site provides “a visual presence at the heart of the city.”
The University’s Careers and Employability Service was hailed as an “excellent hub of activity” which creates a fantastic environment for networking opportunities for both students and SMEs.
The business school’s connections with stakeholders in Derby, have resulted in high quality events and workshops in the local area, supporting small businesses and entrepreneurship in the region, some of which include FSB, East Midland Chamber of Commerce, CBI, Princess Trust, D2N2 LEP, Erewash Partnership, and Destination Chesterfield.
Professor Kamil Omoteso, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at the University of Derby, said: “The confirmation of our Small Business Charter accreditation is fantastic news. There are more than 25,000 small businesses in Derby and Derbyshire, which is 88 per cent of all businesses in the city and county.
“To show that our business school, with the full support of the whole University, has Small Business Charter status sends a clear message to the SME community that we are here to support them in their growth, to promote their activity as a vital part of our local and national economy, and to drive their sustainability. We recognise that at the heart of our University we have a body of students that are their future talent.“
Anne Kiem, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said: “We congratulate Derby Business School on achieving the Small Business Charter award. Their commitment to offering a diversity of services to local businesses is impressive, and their team does excellent work to bring together business, enterprising students and other stakeholders across the East Midlands region. Their work in supporting student employability locally further speaks to this business-orientated mindset.”