RSA Newcastle Network Encounter: The Business Clinic

Fellowship Event / Online


Online via Zoom

  • Economics and Finance
  • Enterprise
  • Higher education

This April, the RSA Newcastle Network Encounter will be hearing from The Business Clinic at Northumbria University about their impact in business support across the North East.

The Business Clinic provides free consultancy advice to SMEs, multi-nationals and not for profit organisations who are looking to grow by taking their business in a new direction, explore new challenges or require fresh eyes to help them succeed. The service is provided by the Universities’ final year undergraduate and postgraduate business students who work in groups, acting as consultancy firms, to provide research, advice, and recommendations for clients. To date, 1600 students have worked with and supported over 400 organisations, representing £2.2 million of consultancy advice.

On Wednesday 21 April, the Fellow-led Newcastle Network will explore The Business Clinic’s contribution to the North East business support eco-system and collaboration with regional partners, as well as the role The Business Clinic has played in increasing growh and productivity in SME’s.

Join us to learn about the role the Clinic has played in increasing growth and productivity in SME’s, and the invaluable support it has provided for regional charities and social enterprises. Hear about the impact on graduate employability and skills for these students who are providing this amazing pro-bono service.


Nigel Coates, Director of the Business Clinic, Northumbria University 

Nigel Coates was involved in starting the Business Clinic in 2013 and has advised a number of universities on the establishment of business clinics. He held a number of learning and teaching roles at the University, and has experience across various marketing and commercial management roles. He teaches on UG/Masters Programmes and supervises doctoral students. He researches and publishes in his discipline and in Learning and Teaching, and acts as a national judge for Young Enterprise, Start-Up Programmes and the RSA Student Design Awards. He is Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Marketing Trust and a trustee and board member of Smile for Life Children’s Charity.

Nicola Burnip, Business Clinic Manager, Northumbria University

Nicola Burnip has 20 years’ experience of business development and managing university-industry relations, with a specific interest in graduate employability. She has experience in commercial recruitment, and worked for a number of years managing undergraduate and graduate placements and has been involved in the development of a number of employability initiatives to improve graduate outcomes. She joined Northumbria University in January 2018, and is now responsible for managing and developing client relationships with the Business Clinic, sourcing strategic projects for UG and PG students, and developing consultancy briefs. This includes working closely with multi-national organisations, SMEs, social enterprises and charities.

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