Aston Business School is set to increase its focus on small businesses and graduate employability with one of its leading Professors involved in the UK’s Supporting Small Business Charter.
Professor Mark Hart from Aston Business School has been appointed to Chair of the Executive Group of the government’s Charter scheme. It is set to help incentivise small businesses across the UK and the region through stronger academic and business partnerships and increase the flow of highly qualified students and graduates into small businesses.
The Executive Group of the Charter Scheme - made up of deans of business schools, business representatives and leading academics has been developed in response to Lord Young’s report to government on small businesses. The key recommendation of the report is to create a greater role for business schools within the local economy with the establishment of the new national “Supporting Small Business Charter”.
The Charter will help to incentivise business schools to help small businesses including providing academic guidance and management advice to small firms and increasing student and graduate involvement in SMEs. The report also highlights the increasing importance that micro businesses – those which have less than 10 employees – have on the success of the economy - making up 95% of all businesses.
The health and vitality of small businesses and employability of high quality, employable graduates are key goals for Aston University. Over 200 national and international organisations target Aston for their graduate recruitment each year and the University is the second largest provider of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) in the West Midlands, and 12th largest in the UK. Aston Business School leads on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, a UK initiative designed to accelerate the growth of high potential small businesses. Aston and Warwick Universities are also the joint hosts of the new Enterprise Research Centre that will help develop understanding of the factors affecting business investment, performance and growth. The £2.9 million centre is a national and international focal point for research, knowledge and expertise on small and medium-sized businesses.
Mark Hart, Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston and Deputy Director of the Enterprise Research Centre, said; “Aston Business School is committed to encouraging entrepreneurship at all levels and engaging with business is a key part of its mission. This new Charter will highlight to small businesses the best way to access university help and guidance and the best options for accessing strong graduate talent.”
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts added; "I want to see business schools providing small firm growth programmes and advice clinics for small business because it will enable them to grow and strengthen our economy. The Small Business Charter will help turn this vision into a reality and help our young graduates gain the skills they need to launch successful careers for themselves.”
For further media information please contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or A.EARNSHAW@aston.ac.uk