Boost for local business as UCLan appoints new director of SME development

19 October 2015

Sue Smith joins the University

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has strengthened its business support facilities with the appointment of Dr Sue Smith.

As director of SME development, Sue will identify key opportunities for both students and businesses in order to develop and sustain growth.

Sue, who has 15 years’ experience of business engagement within the education sector, is looking to seek input from the local and regional business community, to help shape future engagement activities, increase opportunities for graduates and strengthen ties with businesses.

She joins from Teesside University, where she was the assistant dean for business engagement.

Previously the director for the LEAD programme at Lancaster University, she is a contributing author to LEADing Small Business - Business Growth through Leadership Development, a published study into business growth through development.

“Universities aren’t just about research and teaching anymore, their impact goes much further in supporting the wider business community.”

Sue said: “The local region is made up of lots of SMEs, so I’d like to maintain an ongoing dialogue with these businesses to find out what it is they need to be able to respond effectively to the challenges faced, as well as assisting with growth and helping them to maintain a competitive edge.

“Universities aren’t just about research and teaching anymore, their impact goes much further in supporting the wider business community. This might be in the form of graduates or accessing our research and business support intervention to help businesses grow.

“Graduates are equipped with the skills to be suitable for jobs, while additional support services are vital in helping entrepreneurs grow businesses, which in turn provides a boost for the local economy.”

UCLan has several specialist initiatives and programmes to help the development and growth of businesses within a range of sectors, from mentoring, consultancy, advice, incubation units, workshops and the latest equipment and facilities.

A business breakfast will be held at the Media Factory at UCLan on December 8, where representatives from local organisations are invited to take part in a debate on business engagement to shape how the University can respond to business needs. For more information, visit: