Birkbeck wins Small Business Charter award

Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics (BEI) was recently awarded the Small Business Charter. The Small Business Charter is an award for the UK’s world-class business schools and celebrates business schools that play an effective role in supporting small businesses, local economies and student entrepreneurship.

In October 2021, the BEI team led by Dr Pamela Yeow, Assistant Dean External Engagement underwent a rigorous two-day assessment which involved academic colleagues, mentors, guest speakers and alumni who are engaged with entrepreneurship and innovation modules at BEI. We were asked to elaborate on the nature of business support, entrepreneurship education and engagement with our local communities.

The award is a result of years of effort made by BEI to develop Entrepreneurship Education and Research. The awarding letter states:

 “The value Birkbeck add to their student business owners and the impact on their businesses is an order of magnitude higher than the assessors have seen elsewhere. Furthermore, the stature, relevance, and impact of Birkbeck’s research for policy markers is exemplary.”

The latter sentence clearly pointed to our Centre for Innovation Management Research’s (CIMR) excellent research in this area, in particular our influence in national and international policies on entrepreneurship.

The award acknowledges the contribution of CIMR members, Professor Helen Lawton smith, who introduced Entrepreneurship Education at BEI and Dr Muthu De Silva, who currently convenes a majority of Entrepreneurship Modules, and were actively engaged in the SBC application submission.

We are pleased that BEI has been recognized as a school that supports small businesses. To that end, we are launching our first cohort for the Government’s Help to Grow programme. The 12 week course is designed to be taken alongside full-time work through a combination of online sessions and face-to-face learning. As it is 90% funded by the government, this opportunity allows participants to also receive 1:1 support from a business mentor and access to an alumni network. At the end of the programme, participants develop a growth action plan which is tailored specifically to their small business’ needs. Find out more and register for a course here: There are two information sessions where interested applicants can sign up for more information. For more information:


This post has been contributed by Dr Pam Yeow, Assistant Dean External Engagement