University acknowledged for its outstanding Entrepreneur-in-Residence programme

The Leeds <i>Enterprise Ambassador</i> initiative has been recognised as an excellent example of student enterprise support by the Small Business Charter.

Leeds University Business School has recently been awarded the Small Business Charter accreditation, a UK award that celebrates the role business schools play in supporting small businesses and student entrepreneurship.

The award also acknowledges particular specialisms that can be considered examples of excellence relative to other UK business schools, and refers to these as ‘exemplars’.

The Enterprise Ambassador initiative (our dedicated student-facing entrepreneurs-in-residence programme) is one of two specialisms that has been awarded exemplar status. The initaitive is lead by the Business School’s Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES).

What makes Enterprise Ambassador programme special?

Entrepreneur-in-residence schemes are a regular part of UK Business Schools, where successful small business founders and owners give up their time to support teaching and mentoring of students. The exemplar status recognises the Leeds programme as being the ‘best of the best in the UK. The Small Business Charter highlights the unique qualities of the Leeds programme:

“The Enterprise ambassador scheme combined with the alumni network and the university’s strengths in terms of maintaining strong relationships with Enterprise Ambassadors resulting in donations in both funding and time for the next generation of entrepreneurs, could be considered exemplary as this level of investment from Enterprise ambassadors who are not traditional alumni is quite unique.”

Dr Richard Tunstall, Academic Director of Enterprise at the University of Leeds commented on what he believes makes the Leeds programme special:

The breadth and depth of the relationship between the ambassadors and the University is exemplary; they are high profile business leaders in their own right, yet they are active in our taught programmes, mentor students and influence our student enterprise strategy.

Who are the Leeds Enterprise Ambassadors?

Founder and CEO of Leeds-based businesses TopScreen Media Ltd and White Label Loyalty, Achille Traore (pictured above – centre) is one of the Enterprise Ambassadors giving their time to support the students.

“I’m really proud to be part of the programme. It’s a brilliant way for business owners, like me, to give back. Enterprise Ambassador is a broad term but essentially it’s a supporting link between the university and the commercial world. We’re there to help and support the students.

I also provide lectures each semester and attend networking events organised by the university, so they can begin creating links to the professional business world while studying.

Caroline Wherritt, Founder and Chief Executive of Re:Work, a Yorkshire based Social Enterprise, became an Enterrpise Ambassador in 2014:

“I feel like I’m part of a vibrant community committed to the growth of enterprise in the University, the region and nationally and I see a genuine entrepreneurial spirit and ambition in all the students.”

Pete Mills, founder of Calls 9, Alt Theory and Cyrsp, is an Enterprise Ambassador and passiontate supporter of the role of the University is stimulating the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Leeds:

“I have made lifelong connections and friends, lectured to hundreds if not thousands of students, and created business opportunities that have had a material impact on my business interests in the community.”

The Enterprise Ambassadors that the University have selected are from an incredible diverse background but we are all united by integrity, strong community values and a willingness to help others.

What do students think?

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In this video Ha Pham, who studied MSc Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Leeds University Business School, shares her experience of meeting entrepreneurs from local and national companies

Read more about our Enterprise Ambassadors.

The Small Business Charter (SBC) is an award for the UK’s world-class business schools. The SBC award celebrates business schools that play an effective role in supporting small businesses, local economies and student entrepreneurship. The Small Business Charter was developed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Chartered Association of Business Schools.