The international collaboration with the University of Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria aims to increase the number of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in a country troubled by political and civil unrest.
The project won the Collaborative Impact Award at the PraxisUnico’s Impact Awards held in Cardiff last week. The University was also a finalist in the same category for its local business support through the Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre.
Marc Fleetham, Director of Business Solutions at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We are delighted to have won this major award, which is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of all at the University. Our international partnership working has clearly demonstrated the impact you can have when dedicated, passionate people collaborate successfully together in a way which benefits both our academics, students and the wider community.”
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 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), using their Corporate Social Responsibility Funds.
The team are working with four Nigerian banks in relation to GIF and talking to the Central Bank of Nigeria regarding second round funding to create a sustainable £250,000 financial support fund for future business start-ups.
The Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre is a collaboration between the University of Wolverhampton, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Wolverhampton City Council.
Picture: Gary Dimmock and Nigel Birch from the University of Wolverhampton with Science and TV presenter Steve Mould.
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Date Issued: Tuesday, 17 June 2014