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Mark of Excellence for Northumbria

1st June 2021

Northumbria University, Newcastle, has achieved re-accreditation with the prestigious Small Business Charter Award in recognition of its support for start-ups, students and small businesses.

In 2015 Northumbria became the first university in the North East to receive the Award. Re-accreditation for a further five years means Northumbria remains the only university in the region to hold the Award.  And following its latest submission, Northumbria also secured exemplar status for its student-led consultancy service The Business Clinic and for its on-campus Incubator hub set up to support entrepreneurial graduates and start-ups.

The Small Business Charter is a mark of excellence that recognises the role UK business schools play in supporting small businesses, student entrepreneurship and regional economic growth. Northumbria’s re-accreditation will also create opportunities for the University to access additional funding and support for a range of training programmes it is helping to deliver with the Small BusinessCharter. These include the Government-backed Help to Grow Management, aimed at helping 30,000 SMEs across the UK respond more effectively to the pandemic.  

Lucy Winskell OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Employability and Partnerships at Northumbria, said: “Having become the first university in the North East to achieve Small Business Charter accreditation, we are immensely proud to have regained the Award for a further five years.  Gaining the maximum score in our reassessment and securing exemplar status for our Business Clinic and Incubator Hub are also stand-out achievements that reflect the quality of support Northumbria provides to the North East business community. It highlights the significant contribution we are making to the regional economy and employment, as we build back stronger from Covid-19.

“The Small Business Charter is also a badge of excellence which opens additional funding opportunities to support our transformational knowledge exchange and leadership training programmes aimed at helping our businesses grow and thrive.”

The Business Clinic at Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School was established as an innovative educational programme for final-year business students. Since its inception in 2013, the value of the students’ free consultancy advice and reports – given to more than 500 clients – has been estimated to exceed £2.7m. The programme both enhances the learning experience and employability of our students and delivers considerable benefits for clients.

Opened in December 2019, Innovation Northumbria: Incubator hub is a pre-accelerator for aspiring entrepreneurs. Located next to the University’s main campus, the state-of the-art facility provides high quality support for students and graduate entrepreneurs looking to establish new and innovative businesses and enterprises.  

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