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Bradford Business Challenge

Addressing business and societal challenges

Bradford Business Challenge is a three-way collaborative partnership programme between the School of Management at University of Bradford, final year business and management students, and local organisations.

The programme supports University of Bradford’s ethos of being a ‘civic university’ with ethics, sustainability and responsible management at the heart of its action.  

It's an initiative that actively demonstrates the School of Management’s award-winning commitment to making an impact on the local community and economy in Bradford, while preparing its graduates to the world of work through dealing with real-world problems.

Students working on laptop

Examples of Bradford Business Challenge projects

Since its launch in the 2018/19 academic year, Bradford Business Challenge has delivered a degree of impact to more than 50 sponsors and has helped participating students to develop a range of transferrable skills and improve their employability.

Third sector organisations

Public Sector organisations


Community projects

  • Homelessness in Bradford. Working with Bradford Night Stop
  • Understanding how the after-school clubs could help to tackle the crime and drug issues among youth in deprived communities in Bradford District. Working with a Bradford based youth football club

My research was exceptionally well received, and I graduated with a first class honours degree and a job at the organisation that I developed the project with. It’s such a brilliant environment and I have been able to grow and learn so much in my role. I am glad that through the Bradford Business Challenge programmes created by the University I was able to unlock my future potential.

Final year Business and Management BSc student

Frequently Asked Questions

Bradford Business Challenge works by providing free consultancy to help address a particular business or a societal challenge that is relevant to Bradford and resonates with other global locations of our students.

Projects are undertaken by the School of Management students under the guidance of academics and in collaboration with local organisations to identify and co-create solutions for local problems that resonate globally.

Projects tackle important, real issues, identify areas for strategic development, and culminate in a comprehensive strategic report with recommendations for the organisation. While students are allocated with an academic supervisor from the School of Management, the organisation is required to allocate a sponsor to offer guidance and support throughout the project.

The University of Bradford School of Management is the first business school in England to receive joint accreditation from the Association of MBA (AMBA) and Business Graduate Association (BGA), whose Charter prominently validates the school’s commitment to quality and responsible management practices of an institution, particularly in driving social transformation and impacting communities. In February 2021, the School was granted Small Business Charter status, which recognises the school’s enduring commitment to working with businesses and entrepreneurs in the city, region and more widely, and its support for them through various initiatives. Two months following this, the school was awarded ‘Business School of the Year 2020’ by the Educate North Awards – an awards event that celebrates, recognises and shares best practice and excellence in the education sector in the North of the UK.  Most recently the school was named the UK Business School of the Year at the annual Times Higher Education Award in November 2021. In this spirit, the school has a determination on bringing business and students together in learning and teaching activities - both inside and outside the classroom that positively impacts our local community.

  • The organisation recieves a solution to a challenge through a pro-bono consultancy work using a structured, evident-based academic approach
  • The programme offers a platform for students to engage with real-world issues and apply their knowledge to make an impact to the communities, whilst developing skills and competency for employability
  • The University accomplishes a mission of civic university, making an impact to communities.

  • Company project: Students work with organisations on the sponsored project to tackle organisational or business challenges.
  • Community project: Students work with community groups to better understand and tackle societal challenges.
  • Entrepreneurship for good: Students develop business ideas incorporating social entrepreneurship element in their business model.

Time of the year Stage of the process
June - August
  • Organisations register their interests and projects
  • Projects released to students.
  • Students submit expression of interest in projects
  • Student selection process.
  • Successful candidates meet project sponsors for project scoping
  • Fine tuning and agreeing proposal
  • Proposal submission
February - April
  • Bulk of project undertaken
  • Project submitted for assessment
  • Students present findings to project sponsors

At other times of the year we would have MSc students also looking for projects – please get in touch even if your project falls outside this schedule.

Get involved in Bradford Business Challenge

If you are a business, society, public or private organisation who thinks they might benefit from a Bradford Business Challenge project do get in touch. The School warmly welcomes enquiries.