Small Business Charter Recognition

The Small Business Charter is an award for the UK and Ireland's world-class business schools. These schools evidence outstanding expertise in supporting and engaging small businesses, local economies and student entrepreneurship. DCU, Ireland’s University of Enterprise, was the first designated Small Business Charter university on the island of Ireland (2017) and remains the only University in the Republic of Ireland to have Charter status. The National Centre for Family Business is a key contributor to securing and successfully retaining this prestigious accreditation. 

"As the first Charter award-holding school in Ireland, DCU Business School has demonstrated impressive impact supporting small businesses, particularly through the Centre for Family Business where research underpins delivery and is acknowledged on a global stage."   Small Business Charter

Benefits & Opportunities

The benefits conferred by the Small Business Charter are many including the use of its  recognition for excellence kitemark to promote:

  • Conducting research that will inform and promote what works and highlight best practice
  • Networking with business schools focused on enterprise and small business support
  • Access to knowledge-sharing workshops for business school award holders

Anne Kiem OBE, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said:

“We congratulate Dublin City University Business School for retaining its Small Business Charter Award. They have remained committed to supporting small businesses, student entrepreneurship and the local economy. The work that the school do to help businesses grow and to support students into entrepreneurship is having a demonstrable positive impact on businesses and entrepreneurs within its regional economy.”

Recently, we participated in the charter's knowledge sharing and presented our insights from our 'Surviving the pandemic' research series.

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Temple Family, Magee Clothing

Surviving the Pandemic: 8 Steps for Family Business

Read more about how our all-island family business research, on surving the pandemic crisis, has contributed to a knowledge sharing initiative from the Small Business Charter here

To achieve the Small Business Charter award, universities undergo a rigorous assessment to determine the depth and effectiveness of their business engagement and business support which is overseen by the Chartered Association of Business Schools. For example, the NCFB introduced the first programme on leadership for family business succession in Ireland, now a major executive education showcase with associated engagement events.  Created in response to feedback from a 2021 all-island study of family businesses the Small Business Charter Review Panel commented:

“The Family Continuity Programme is an exemplar ... Certainly, other institutions could benefit from learning about these programmes and their approach to live challenge, immersive learning.”


Family businesses who have engaged with the programme to receive executive education certification consistently give high praise: 
“In the past Family Business had to go abroad to gain this type of knowledge... we have a massive resource in the DCU NCFB which is on our doorstep and we can draw on them.”

Tina Darrer, Dooley’s Hotel, 2021


Feedback for the programme and similar events is overwhelmingly positive, with participants commenting that they appreciated the opportunities for continued networking post-events. In short, the charter recognises our close collaborations with ambitious Irish small and medium sized enterprises, with Irish family businesses, with the Irish entrepreneurial ecosystem, and our broader engagement with both Irish and multinational enterprises. 


Small Business Charter Award shortlist

NCFB shortlisted in SBC Excellence Awards

NCFB shortlisted in SBC Excellence Awards

An All-Island Engagement Campaign Enabling and Promoting the Survival and Recovery of Family Businesses Following the Covid-19 Pandemic, a research project led by Dr Catherine Faherty, is a finalist in the category for Outstanding Stakeholder Engagement.

Winners will be announced on June 22nd 2023. Read more about the awards here.


LIFE Module - Small Business Charter Excellence Awards winner

LIFE Module SBC Award Winner 2023

Learning Innovation for Enterprise (LIFE) module is a recent winner in the Small Business Charter Excellence Awards, Outstanding Support for Student Enterprise and Entrepreneurship category.  Find out more about LIFE here.

Project lead: Prof Teresa Hogan, DCU Business School

Email: teresa.hogan@dcu.ie