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University’s mark of excellence to provide more support for startups, students and businesses across the North East

Northumbria University’s re-accreditation with the prestigious Small Business Charter Award means more startups, students and businesses across the North East can now benefit from expert support, advice and guidance to grow their business.

Having first secured the accreditation in 2015, Northumbria University remains the only university in the North East to hold the Small Business Charter mark of excellence, which will remain in place for a further five years.

It will allow the university to access additional funding and support for a range of training programmes, including the government-backed Help to Grow: Management initiative, aimed at helping 30,000 SMEs across the UK respond more effectively to the pandemic. 

Lucy Winskell OBE, Chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Employability and Partnerships at Northumbria University, 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.”

In addition to its Small Business Charter Award status, Northumbria University has 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 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. 

For more information about the business support on offer from Northumbria University, visit: www.northumbria.ac.uk/business.

Universities have a vital role to play in helping the North East economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The work being delivered by North East universities is supporting new and existing businesses to innovate and grow, and shaping and supporting a more sustainable and inclusive economy.

Durham UniversityNewcastle UniversityNorthumbria UniversityUniversity of Sunderland and Teesside University are all members of the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group, which was established by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to provide business resilience and ensure a collective response to the economic impact of COVID-19 on the North East economy.