Aston receives Business Charter Gold Award


June 2014

Aston Business School is celebrating after attaining the Small Business Charter Gold Award in recognition of the role it has played in helping to kick-start British enterprise. 

The Small Business Charter Award scheme has already helped 4,700 students to find work placements in Britain’s exciting micro-business and start-up sectors. Small Business Charter business schools have directly helped over 8000 small businesses – with workshops, mentoring and other business support provided. More than 800 new businesses have already been started as a result of Small Business Charter schools.

Aston Business School is one of only three business schools in the UK to receive the Gold level.

By receiving the award, Aston Business School has demonstrated exceptional dedication to helping improve links with and support the small business community. 

Aston initiatives highlighted by the Small Business Charter include:

Stephanie Chamberlain, CEO of Magic Milestones, a consultancy firm specialising in the field of Digital Product Management, is a small business owner who has been on the 10,000 Small Businesses programme. She has become involved with Aston University in many ways, including acting as a mentor to student and graduate entrepreneurs for the BSEEN programme. 

Stephanie said: "I congratulate Aston Business School on the Small Business Charter award which reflects the many opportunities Aston presents to support enterprise and small business growth. I have valued the support and opportunities I have had to engage with both Aston Business School and the wider University community, in particular the opportunity to feed into the development of the changing business support landscape as the owner of a growing business within the region and to support budding entrepreneurs”.    

Professor George Feiger, Executive Dean of Aston Business School, said: “Small businesses are at the heart of Aston Business School’s community and are integral to our business engagement and support, our research and student and graduate enterprise and employment. This Award, developed by the Association of Business Schools, acknowledges the strong links we have with regional businesses and our role in bringing about a new era of growth and enterprise for the region.” 

The Award brings significant benefits – it means that Aston Business School will have the ability to play an active role in schemes such as Growth Vouchers, Growth Accelerators and Start-Up Loans provided by the Government – meaning it can directly invest in new start-ups and entrepreneurs. 

The Small Business Charter Award ceremony took place today (5th June 2014) at 10 Downing Street. The awards were presented by Lord Young, an adviser to the Prime Minister on small business and enterprise and Sir Peter Bonfield, chair of The Small Business Charter Management Board and former chairman of BT. 

The Small Business Charter originated following Lord Young’s report ‘Growing Your Business’, which was aimed at bringing business schools, business and entrepreneurs closer together to deliver real change. Supported by the Association of Business Schools, Lord Young and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills the Small Business Charter Awards offers a springboard to unlocking support and investment for students, start-ups and small businesses. The Charter also follows the Association of Business Schools’ Innovation Taskforce report. 

Congratulating the Small Business Charter award-winners for their trail-blazing work, which Lord Young recommended to the Prime Minister in his report on enterprise last year, he said: “The recipients of today’s award have all demonstrated exceptional dedication to improving links with and supporting small businesses in their local area, already creating over 800 jobs. Our world-class universities and business schools are a key part of the UK economy – even more so as a result of this initiative. I hope that these awards will be the first of many and build on the outstanding work our business schools do to boost enterprise locally.” 

Sir Peter Bonfield CBE FReng, Chair of the Small Business Charter Management Board, said: “I am delighted to be involved with the Small Business Charter. This is an exciting initiative which recognises the value of small businesses. We have a tremendous opportunity to nurture innovation and enterprise and support the next generation of great British entrepreneurs.” 


Notes to editors 

For more information about the SBC: 

For more information about Lord Young’s report: 

For more information about the Association of Business Schools’ Innovation Taskforce: