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Supporting small business and entrepreneurs

Our public value mission places social and economic improvement at the heart of our teaching, research and engagement activity.

We recognise that business and management has an important role to play in tackling the grand challenges facing society. Crucially, public value underpins and informs our engagement with the small business and social enterprise sectors, and also how we promote a culture of enterprise amongst our students.

“This strategy is so special, so unique. It is hugely motivational. The local and international business community will commend and recognise Cardiff because having a moral compass is so, so important in business.”

Roger Lewis, Chair, Cardiff Airport

Running a small business or developing a new commercial or social enterprise is a significant undertaking and presents a unique set of challenges and demands. We provide targeted support and development opportunities through our teaching, research and engagement activities, accessible to the small business community.

We also have a strong track record of supporting industry bodies and policymakers in better understanding the challenges facing the small business community. Our work with them helps to facilitate the development of policies and support mechanisms that will enhance small business growth and promotes an enterprise culture.

We provide tailored R&D, knowledge exchange, training and educational support for small businesses and SMEs through a range of mechanisms including:

Help to Grow

This 12 week leadership course, designed and delivered by entrepreneurs and industry experts, is specially tailored to help small business leaders boost the performance and resilience of their enterprises. The programme, which is 90% subsidised by UK government, is delivered exclusively by CABS Small Business Charter accredited business schools, of which Cardiff Business School is one of only two in Wales.

Find out more about Help to Grow at Cardiff University, including how to apply.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Our expanding portfolio of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, a mechanism through which we have a well-established track record of success in supporting SMEs, including social enterprises, throughout Wales and the wider UK in improving their businesses and enhancing their in-house capabilities.

A recent example is our new KTP with Tower Cold Chain (CT2 Ltd), a leading provider of rental services for organisations requiring temperature-controlled container products, serving pharmaceutical industries and life science worldwide.

The KTP aims to design a decision support system for a cold chain distribution network to allow effective and efficient flow of temperature-controlled reusable containers that transport pharmaceutical goods, such as vaccination vials, to customers from public, private and third sector health providers, for the ultimate benefit of their patients.

Lean systems thinking

Building on our reputation as a pioneer in research and knowledge exchange related to lean systems thinking, we have recently spun out the Lean Competency System (LCS) as a commercial enterprise. The LCS is a University developed and industry recognised lean qualifications framework for developing lean thinking knowledge and practical skills in the workplace.

LCS works with firms of all sizes and also individuals but has developed a specific accreditation programme for SMEs, designed for the needs and operating conditions of start-ups or smaller companies.

Business strategy and entrepreneurship

We offer specialist development opportunities for those with high entrepreneurial interest and potential to set up their own business, or to work in a new venture development capacity in an established organisation through our highly successful Business Strategy and Entrepreneurship (MSc) programme.


We are actively working to ensure that our varied and expanding portfolio of placements and graduate opportunities caters for and supports the small business community, through facilitating access to bright, enthusiastic talent in a way that works for your business.

We have also recently partnered with the Hodge Foundation to provide a specialist summer placement opportunity tailored to undergraduate students who wish to learn more about social enterprise.

The Hodge Foundation Responsible Social Enterprise Programme provides a mechanism for students to work with local social enterprises to help address key business challenges, while helping make a real positive difference for the local community.

Social enterprises interested in learning more about this opportunity to work with our students are welcome to contact us via

Contact us

Staff and students at Cardiff Business School are delighted to support small businesses, social enterprises and entrepreneurs for mutual benefit. If you would like to explore your ideas with us, please contact:

Business School enterprise