Top industry award for University of Wolverhampton

It picked up the award for best International Project at the Guardian University Awards 2014 at a ceremony in London.

Judges picked out the University’s work in Nigeria helping to develop business and entrepreneurship as the outstanding entry.

The project has involved the University’s Business Solutions Centre working with the University of Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria to develop a knowledge exchange programme focused on the development and growth of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The programme was developed over a number of visits by academics from both institutions against a background of political and civil unrest in Nigeria.

A joint team was set up between both Universities which engaged with the Nigerian Banking sector to develop a Greenhouse Investment Fund (GIF) utilising their Corporate Social Responsibility Funds.

The team are currently working with four Nigerian banks in relation to GIF and talking to the Central Bank of Nigeria regarding second round funding to create sustainable £250,000 financial support fund for future business start-ups.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor External Affairs, Professor Ian Oakes said: “It’s a great acknowledgement of the hard work that has gone into developing what is a unique partnership.

“The University has a 25 year history of knowledge transfer activity in the sector of small and medium-sized enterprises and the project aligns perfectly with our strategy of championing knowledge, innovation, enterprise and opportunity for all.

“This was all done against a backdrop of violent terrorist insurgency, communication blackout zones and regular daily utility power outages that are readily taken for granted within the United Kingdom. Therefore the relationships which we have formed transcend that of a normal partnership.”

The Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre is collaboration between the University of Wolverhampton, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Wolverhampton City Council.

ENDS

For more information please contact James Allen in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003

Date Issued: Friday 28 February 2014

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