Essex Business school 

Business collaboration 

How we work with business

As a business school, we collaborate with organisations locally and internationally to better teach our students about real world scenarios. We collaborate in order to give back to business and offer a cooperative, research led approach to business consultancy and project management.

Every business has a story to tell. We want to hear about their challenges, their successes and what they've learned along the way. We feed this insight back into our teaching through the exploration of case studies and by welcoming guest speakers. For us, the best way to understand organisations and business operations is by connecting and collaborating. 

Our academic staff examine topical business case studies with our students in the classroom, while offering consultancy services to local businesses. We are at the forefront of business innovation and our students and staff are actively involved with business development through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).


It’s not enough just to teach the theoretical side of business; we want our students to understand business in practice. We help them understand how real businesses operate so they graduate workplace-ready. Our courses in accounting, finance, management, marketing and entrepreneurship are developed with this in mind and informed by a panel of business practitioners. 

Located for innovation

Essex Business School's Colchester home sits proudly within the Knowledge Gateway, the University of Essex's growing research and technology park. Students can tap into the expertise at Essex Startups, and write their own success stories. Start-up businesses and SMEs can find low rent space in the Knowledge Gateway's stunning Innovation Centre, while more established SMEs and businesses have set ups their offices in the Parkside Office Village

The University of Essex's Southend Campus is home to Essex Business School's Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship group which has a particular interest in practical business education, with a particular focus on researching best practice and operational strategies for start-up businesses and SMEs. The campus is located in Southend city centre, the heart of the Thames Gateway, one of the Government’s key areas for economic growth and a fitting location for entrepreneurial study. Here, the University of Essex's Business Incubation Centre helps expose students to the reality of launching a business. 

The University of Essex is designated a University Enterprise Zone, which means we have access to Government funding for nurturing new digital and creative enterprises. We are dedicated to commercialising ideas which will benefit the local and UK economies.

Andy Mew, Head of Start-Up Support at the University of Essex, presents a workshop on entrepreneurship to a class of MBA students in the Innovation Centre
"I know how exciting setting up your own company can be, but also how nerve-wracking. I know the mistakes people can make, and think I can help students avoid the regular pitfalls.  Studio X is a fantastic home for students - we are here for any student, on any course, with any business idea."
Andy Mew Head of Start-up Support University of Essex

Our collaborations 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) 

The University of Essex is the number one university in the UK for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs). Through Innovate UK funding, businesses can connect with academic partners at Essex to deliver business innovation projects which aim to tackle real-life business challenges.

Essex Business School students have participated in a number of KTPs to date, including; Laser 24 KTP and The Finishing Line KTP.

Essex Startups and Studio X

Essex Startups is the entrepreneurial section of the University of Essex and their aim is to provide every student and recent graduate access to resources that help them accomplish their entrepreneurial goals. From one-to-one advice, mentoring, workshops, bootcamps and pitching for investment, Essex Startups provide expert services that inspire the next generation of business owners to both dream – and achieve – big ideas.

Studio X is a dedicated and vibrant space which occupies much of the ground floor of the Innovation Centre. This space has been designed for students to develop business ideas and for entrepreneurs to connect with the University. Offering dedicated entrepreneurship and enterprise development programmes, drop-in sessions and one-to-one advice, University of Essex students can achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions with Essex Startups.

Essex Business School enjoys a close relationship with the Essex Startups team, not only due to proximity of location, but through the nature of our academic interests and entrepreneurial students. Many business school graduates go on to start their own businesses, often with the support and investment of Essex Startups.

The Startups team support our teaching and student experience by participating in workshops and extracurricular activities with our students, most notable, with our MBA cohorts.

The Essex MBA

The Essex MBA seeks to develop socially responsible entrepreneurs and working professionals who can deliver sustainable business. We offer part-time programmes to fit around your lifestyle and professional commitments. 

The programme is designed to immerse students in the real world of business. We collaborate by bringing practitioners into the classroom and arranging company visits. Both enable students to develop an understanding into the values and mechanics of a variety of firms, handpicked so they can gain specialist knowledge and foster links with business. 

With annual intakes every October and January and a variety of part-time study options to choose from, as well as our full-time MBA, there has never been a better time to find out more about the Essex MBA.


The Essex MBA

Successful Futures

Essex Business School students enjoy their own annual conference, Successful Futures

We welcome keynote speakers, many of whom are Essex Business School alumni, from all sectors including banking, digital marketing and artificial intelligence. They present both their own experiences of work and the latest innovations in their field. From robots to crypto-currencies, Successful Futures encourages Essex Business School students to expand their ideas and apply themselves to a world where they will be the difference. 

Our graduates in business

Our Advisory Board 

Meet our board members

Professor Claudia Girardone

Dean of Essex Business School

Professor of Banking Finance, University of Essex

Claudia is Dean of Essex Business School and Director of the Essex Finance Centre (EFiC). She is currently on the editorial board of several journals including the Journal of Financial Economic Policy and The European Journal of Finance. Her current research areas are on banking sector performance and stability, bank corporate governance, the industrial structure of banking and access to finance.

 Richard Fenn

Head of Operations and Strategic Planning

Essex Business School, University of Essex

Dr Danielle Tucker

Reader in Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management

Essex Business School, University of Essex

Dr Danielle Tucker's research interests focus on evaluating complex change management initiatives for public sector organisations (including Police, Local Authority, Local Government, NHS Trusts and health and social care providers). She has published research on the interpretation of communication during organisational change, the use of organisational change agents and middle managers to facilitate change. She is particularly interested in the flow of information and ideas across boundaries, partnership working and collaboration arrangements (e.g. integrated care). Danielle is an Academic Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

 Oliver Drury

Head of Membership and Customer Support, East of England Co-op

Oliver has worked extensively in the automotive and aerospace industry for Marshall where he was Global Director of Communications, he then joined Adnams PLC as Communications Director and now is responsible for communications at the East of England Co-op.  Oliver has an MBA and MSt in Sustainable leadership from Cambridge University, is a Freeman of the City of London and its on our Advisory Board and share his knowledge through the Director’s workshops.    

 Kevin Meehan

Investment Fund Specialist

Non-Executive Director, Independent Director and Senior Business Adviser , Various Alternative Asset Funds

Essex alumna Kevin is an Alternative Asset Specialist, guiding the delivery of global, commercial business strategies for the Financial Services sector. He built a NED/Independent Director/Advisory portfolio leveraging 25+ years' experience across all verticals of the hedge fund sector including asset management, fund admin, legal and prime brokerage.  

 Alessandra Mongiardino

Risk Management Specialist

Non-Executive Director, Triodos Bank UK 

Alessandra Mongiardino is a Non-Executive Director at Triodos Bank UK and a risk management specialist. Alessandra has more than 25 years of international Risk Management experience developed in Banking, Asset Management and Rating Agencies. Her expertise include enterprise-wide risk management, oversight of climate, financial and strategic risk, and credit portfolio analysis and modelling. She has extensive experience of working in multi-cultural environments, having studied and worked in five different countries across three continents. Alessandra holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Warwick and an M.Sc. in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Southampton.

 Leila Thomas

CEO and Founder, Urban Synergy

Leila Thomas is the CEO and Founder of Urban Synergy, an award winning, accredited Mentoring Charity, founded in 2007. Leila has over twenty years in the tech industry building IT networks, Leila is currently seconded from the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), to lead the charity’s expansion and development of programmes, in London and ethnic diverse cities in the UK. Leila pivoted the charity’s strategy and developed online e-Mentoring, e-Seminars, online work experience externships and parent support programmes. Urban Synergy Inspire, Guide and Ignite the ambitions of young people and to date have helped over 27,000 young people, with their bank of more than 1,000 relatable role models. 

 Karen Turnbull

Economic Strategy Specialist, Colchester City Council

Karen is an experienced and qualified economic development and marketing practitioner, with experience in five industries across the private and public sectors in both business to business and consumer markets. She has many years' experience in partnership working, placemaking and place marketing (particularly around developing Colchester as a visitor destination). She is often called upon to provide an economic perspective for Planning colleagues, external consultants and business support agencies. Her analytical skills are drawn upon to develop economic strategy and policy development, which she then works in partnership with stakeholders to implement and monitor. Her overall aim is to make a real difference to the quality of life for people in Colchester's communities and to make Colchester an attractive proposition for investors.

 Trevor Worth

Managing Director

Department/Centre, Portcullis Legal

With over 30 years experience in the legal services profession, Trevor specialises in estate planning bringing the expertise needed to protect clients and their families, after creating the business as a 23 year old.