Did you know that up and down the country, the UK's leading universities are offering a range of business support services and schemes designed for SME's?
When you think of higher education, the first thing that springs to mind may be a group of sleep-deprived students, proudly showing off their degree certificates after one too many late nights cramming in the library. However, not many people are aware that UK’s leading universities are actively working on higher education schemes with small businesses across the country.
After more than two years of upheaval following the Covid-19 pandemic, we are relieved to say that things are finally starting to get back to normal in the Blueberry office. However, for many SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises), this year comes with a new set of challenges – how to sustain and grow their business’s in a very different economic landscape.
The Small Business Charter is an initiative which recognises the way businesses and Universities interlink and can feed off each other. It is a mark of excellence which business schools can achieve by engaging in the local economy and working with small businesses.
As a prominent marketing agency, Blueberry Marketing Solutions work closely with universities to promote the support they can offer local businesses. And we’re constantly surprised at the lack of awareness some businesses have of the whole host of university support available to them.
In a recent business panel, the Small Business Charter explored the role Business Incubators can play in helping reignite the local economy.
Blueberry Marketing Director, Faresh Maisuria, shared some of his experiences as a leading SME with the board.
“Our success story helps illustrate how the symbiotic relationship between business and academia can and should work to the benefit of both,” he said. “So, check out what your local university is offering and get involved. These opportunities can also be a three-way process which benefits the university, local businesses and students and graduates. “Students are regularly given ‘live briefs’ to work on, like developing corporate branding for an existing company to use or testing and researching your offering. “Placements are a good way of offering students much sought after experience in your field. And graduate schemes through the universities are out there to help you acquire the next big talent. “And I think it’s safe to say we’re all looking for the best out of the graduate pool to work with us!”
“The symbiotic relationship between business and academia can and should work to the benefit of both”
At Blueberry, we understand that many businesses may feel like they’re just too busy to get involved, or are expanding at such a rate that they just don’t have time to take on anything new.
But remember, that you don’t have to run a start-up to require a bit of assistance with a new product idea, or marketing strategy. Asking for help to take your business to the next level doesn’t have to be complicated or disheartening. And asking for support from your local universities can only help with your expansion aspirations.
The small business charter along with almost 60 universities now also run the Help to Grow programme for growing SME’s over 5 employees.
“It’s all about investment,” added Faresh “The Government funds these kind of projects with the aim of creating more jobs. In turn, businesses make more money, which means the UK economy grows bigger and better – so we all win. “Essentially this is what we’re all aiming for. So make sure you take advantage of universities and everything they offer. Seek them out and get involved.”