University proud of its integral role
De Montfort University (DMU), sponsor of the Heart of the Community Award, has established itself as a major player in the Leicestershire business community.
It has forged successful links with firms and organisations across the city and county, developing partnerships using its wealth of academic expertise and sharing its world-class facilities.
The faculty of business and law teaches innovative, entrepreneurial thinking to the leaders of tomorrow and thanks to links with the UK's new Enterprise Research Centre – opened by Business Minister Michael Fallon in January – academics are helping to not only boost the performance of SMEs but inform the Government's business policy.
DMU is also passionate about helping young businesses succeed. Its Campus Enterprise Opportunities programme provides support for students and graduates in the form of funding, advice sessions and workshops to help them get their ideas off the ground.
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DMU's Innovation Centre offers a work space for entrepreneurs, start-ups and growing companies. Benefits include regular business advice, wifi, meeting rooms and virtual tenancies for people who need professional office space.
This year, the Leicester Mercury reported that a record number of new companies had been registered in the county.
DMU's Innovation Centre has nearly reached capacity – the busiest it has ever been.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Wilson, is also dean of the faculty of business and law. He said: "DMU is proud to be an integral part of Leicestershire's thriving business community.
"Business leaders in Leicestershire have shown time and again that they are willing to take risks and think creatively. Many give up their time to come and talk to our students, inspiring and mentoring them.
"Leicestershire's business leaders are not deterred by the prevailing doom and gloom. They believe, as we do, that there will always be a place for businesses which look for opportunities rather than focusing on problems.
"Businesses who give back to the community are always remarkable. DMU's successful Square Mile project offers our expertise to help local companies by offering student support through our BusinessWorks scheme and free IT training.
"Sponsoring the Heart of the Community Award in the inaugural Leicester Mercury Business Awards reflects the importance that we as a university place upon working in partnership with the community. We have been very impressed with all three finalists and the judges had a tough time choosing the winner."