Cranfield School of Management has been recognised at the Small Business Charter Excellence Awards 2024, winning the Outstanding Support for Small Business Category, with an initiative to help SMEs combat climate change.

Cranfield’s close ties to industry and extensive expertise in technology underpinned the winning initiative, Empowering SMEs to Combat Global Climate Change. Delivering this in collaboration with Green Future Investments, Research and Innovation office and School of Water, Energy and Environment, the School of Management developed a three-stage process to support businesses to positively impact the global climate through technological innovation.

Three funds were created to support SMEs: The Future Frontiers Fund, the Technology Accelerator Fund, and The Cranfield University Seed Fund. These environmentally focused funds enable entrepreneurs to work on innovative ideas and technologies, addressing challenges related to climate change and the pursuit of a net-zero future.

Professor Stephanie Hussels, Group Head: Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, and Director of the Business Growth Programme at Cranfield University commented: “Climate change is a crucial challenge that impacts us all. It’s vital to give small businesses the support and resources they need to create technologies and initiatives to build sustainability. I’m very proud of the work we do at Cranfield to help entrepreneurs and small businesses move forward and it is wonderful to have this recognition from the Small Business Charter awards.”

Professor David Oglethorpe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Cranfield School of Management, said: “This is a fantastic accolade and a testament to the university-wide efforts led by the Bettany Centre. It is a wonderful recognition of their hard work, dedication, and sharp focus on SMEs, particularly through our initiatives to empower SMEs to combat global climate change.”

Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL, Patron of the Small Business Charter, said: "These awards are a fitting way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Small Business Charter in demonstrating how our network of expert business schools are empowering small business success. The award winners have shown their unparalleled connections with local businesses in their local economies. Their outstanding ability to support small businesses and entrepreneurs is key to driving local and national economic growth.”

Launched in 2014, the Small Business Charter accredits world-class business schools for their expertise as centres for excellence supporting small businesses, student entrepreneurship, and local economic development.

Cranfield School of Management was one of three to recognised at the Small Business Charter Excellence Awards 2024 and is one of 67 accredited business schools within reach of SMEs in every region and nation across the UK and Ireland.