In recognition of its wide-ranging support for small businesses, outstanding student entrepreneurship provision and dedicated work with small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to support growth in the local community, Cranfield School of Management has achieved the Small Business Charter Award.

The Small Business Charter Award is a national accreditation, assessed by small business leaders, and Cranfield School of Management now joins 63 other business schools who hold the award across the UK and Ireland.

“Simply extraordinary” work

Assessors praised Cranfield’s crucial role in the local business infrastructure, and its dedicated entrepreneurial support. The University’s programmes such as the Business Growth Programme and Ready for Scale are well attended by small business leaders.

The assessment summary noted: “The breadth and impact of Cranfield on SMEs, the community and its students are a credit to the school and broader university.  It’s evident that the School of Management and dedicated Bettany Centre play an important and holistic role in supporting the SME infrastructure within the Bedfordshire area. The impact from this work is simply extraordinary and wide ranging.”

“This activity is based on a solid foundation of academic research, which provides fertile ground for creating impact and growing industrial relations. This DNA provides an excellent platform to build an SBC accreditation.”

The assessment team also noted Cranfield’s close relationships with businesses, partners and networks, and highlighted the University’s “thorough range of enterprise support for students.”

Recognises leading position in entrepreneurship

Professor David Oglethorpe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Cranfield School of Management said: “I’m extremely proud of all the initiatives and valuable support that Cranfield provides to small businesses and our entrepreneurial students. To have this recognised by the Small Business Charter is a real achievement for everyone at the School of Management.

“It also endorses our leading position in entrepreneurship, for which we were ranked second in the UK and seventh in Europe for in the 2022 Bloomberg B-School rankings. We look forward to continuing our excellent work with entrepreneurs and SMEs through all our programmes.”

Barney Roe, Interim Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools said: “We’d like to congratulate Cranfield School of Management on its Small Business Charter Award. The breadth and impact of Cranfield on SMEs, the local economy and its students are a credit to the school and its innovative programmes. It is evident that the School of Management, and the dedicated Bettany Centre, play an important and holistic role in the SME ecosystem in the Bedfordshire region, and we look forward to working closely with the school in the future as it continues to extend its impact.”

Cranfield School of Management will hold the accreditation for five years.