Bath Unlimited’s development supported by University of Bath MBA students

December 18, 2020

University of Bath MBA students have worked with the Bath Unlimited initiative to support it in developing its strategy, with their research underlining the city’s strong quality of life, its support for business start-ups and the strength of its financial and defence sectors. 

Bath Unlimited was launched in October to support the economic development and confidence of the city on the back of the Covid crisis by drawing attention to its many very successful and exciting businesses, and to highlight the innovation and enterprise that takes place in the city. 

Two groups of students have now carried out research projects as a part of their MBA (Master of Business Administration) studies – the first benchmarked Bath against similar British cities while the second looked at the relevant strength of different business sector clusters in the city.

The first group found, when compared with other cities, Bath excelled in terms of the quality of life it offers residents, being placed second in the country for quality-of-life measures.

It is also extremely successful in incubating start-ups and has one of the highest rates of young business survival success.

Bath-headquartered law firm Royds Withy King director of marketing & business development Kevin Peake, who leads on the development of Bath Unlimited, said: “This project has highlighted two really important features of Bath that make the city unique – essentially that you can move to Bath to start a company and not only has that company got a high chance of survival thanks to the supportive start-up environment, but you will also enjoy a high quality of life.

“We’ll take these forward into our future development work, with the aim of better highlighting the opportunities in Bath for innovation and start-up businesses.”

The second group focused on the various business sectors in the city, highlighting not only the value of its digital and technology sector, which is well known, but also of the financial sector and Bath’s unsung defence sector.

Invest in Bath business engagement officer Shannon D’Arcy said: “I was excited to learn quite how much the financial sector contributes to Bath, and that we have 66 accountancy companies located here in the city which can play a major role in attracting new businesses through their networks.

“This is definitely a sector we’d like to do more work to highlight – it offers significant economic impact both in terms of growth in the city and employment.”

The students presenting the work all came from outside of Bath – and many from outside of the UK – meaning they took a fresh look at the city and shared some new perspectives that those living and working here for a long time could overlook.

Students in one of the groups who came from China, Thailand, Vietnam and India said, if they had been more aware of the employment opportunities and impactful companies in Bath, they would have looked to stay local after finishing their studies rather than moving to other cities in Britain.

Kevin added: “The work done by the MBA students has resulted in a number of recommendations as to how we can position our city moving forward, and the role that we can play in doing this through Bath Unlimited.

“We have a number of new ideas and initiatives which will help us achieve our goal of encouraging more people to start businesses and innovate here in Bath.

“Working with the University of Bath and the MBA students on this project has highlighted how much can be achieved when organisations around the city work in close collaboration – we have some fantastic resources in the city and through working together to utilise these we can achieve a great deal more than we could alone.”

Applications are open until January 8 for the University of Bath School of Management’s part-time Executive MBA programme, designed for working professionals looking to deepen their management expertise. There are scholarships available for the University’s Executive MBA and Full-time MBA programmes.


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