University acknowledged for its outstanding ‘With Enterprise’ programmes

The Leeds With Enterprise undergraduate programme 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 With Enterprise programme, which is led by the Business School’s Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES), is one of two specialisms that has been awarded exemplar status.

What is With Enterprise?

The Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES), at Leeds University Business School, works with other Schools from across the University of Leeds to deliver undergraduate degrees for students who want to combine a specialist subject with enterprise.

This enables students to study subjects such as Biological Sciences or Theatre and Performance, alongside studying modules with the Business School on planning, managing innovation, development, creativity and social enterprise.

Dr Richard Tunstall, Academic Director of Enterprise at the University of Leeds commented:

“Our approach has always been founded in the belief that enterprise works best when delivered alongside another disciplinary knowledge, as well as part of cross-disciplinary groups that are more likely to help individuals develop entrepreneurial approaches to problem-solving.

The programme has successfully embedded enterprise education into all faculties across the University, offering opportunities for students to take part in entrepreneurship education in truly interdisciplinary environments.

What makes the With Enterprise programme special?

The Univeristy of Leeds pioneered the concept of With Enterprise programmes, which is now beginning to be emulated by other Universities in the UK. The Small Business Charter highlighted the benefit of the cross-discipline approach:

“The With Enterprise pathway enables enterprise to be truly integrated into a wide range of disciplines and the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (CEES) team at Leeds University Business School has successfully developed five undergraduate programmes of this nature over the past 15 years, with plans for future growth in this area, including a new Medicine with Enterprise programme. This approach to embedding enterprise across a wide range of disciplines can be considered exemplary due to the integrated nature of the programmes in which enterprise is contextualised to each discipline area rather than being viewed as a “bolt-on” topic.”

The CEES team adopts a consultative approach in collaborating with other faculties to develop these pathways, thus recognising the relevant expertise of all parties and supporting academic colleagues to embed enterprise in a way that is relevant to their discipline.

Student feedback

Rhea Fofana (pictured above) studied Biotechnology With Enterprise undergraduate degree and believes the programme was the perfect foundation for building her career:

“I meet so many people who say they wish they’d taken the Biotechnology with Enterprise course. I’ve gained an incredibly unique knowledge of laboratory work and marketing at the same time. My undergraduate studies and my year in industry have been the first step to learn, gather and apply my knowledge. It’s given me the confidence and experience to go out in the working world and be successful.”

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Find out more about our Biotechnology With Enterprise programme

An interdisciplinary approach

Professor Karen Burland, Faculty Lead for Employability, Opportunity and Ambition (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures) commented on the important role With Enterprise has played in School of Music:

“The Music with Enterprise programme has enriched our community at Leeds, enabling students to recognise and realise their entrepreneurial skills and apply them in a range of contexts, often in collaboration with peers across campus and beyond. The integration of subject knowledge with cross-disciplinary teaching and collaboration is a key to the programme’s success, and supports students in their development as global citizens.”

Dr Susan Whittle, Programme Leader, Biological Sciences & Biotechnology With Enterprise, recognises the benefit in being able offer such a unique programme:

“This innovative programme has allowed us to attract students who are keen to understand the journey of an idea from research to real-world impact, and equip them with an appropriate range of knowledge and skills to become part of that journey themselves.”

Dr Stephen Dobson, Programme Director of Theatre and Performance With Enterprise commented:

"The BA Theatre and Performance with Enterprise represents a unique offering to support the next generation of leaders in the arts and cultural industries and to allow students to explore the potential to turn their creative talents into new enterprise ideas.”

Suzanne Hallam from the School of Sociology and Social Policy, believes the With Enterprise programmes is of real interest to students globally, especially for those thinking carefully about their career potential:

“The Social Policy with Enterprise programme has generated interest with both home and international students as it provides students who are studying Social Policy with insights into enterprise and commercial thinking which broadens their potential careers”.

Find out more about our With Enterprise programmes.


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.