Business Advice Centre
Supporting our local community in East London
We provide a free service of business advice to the East London community on behalf of the Royal Docks School of Business and Law.
Our Business Advice Centre is student-led but supervised by business professionals with many years of experience in their field. Our community focused initiative provides our students with practical and necessary on the job experience, at no cost to the East London community.
Meet with our student teams to receive support, under the supervision of qualified RDSBL staff. We aim to assist with business-related problems drawing upon the University’s resources and may refer enquirers to our other community support facilities where their expertise may be most relevant, these include:
The UEL Business Advice Centre is open for Business Surgery appointments.
We aim to respond to you within [?] working days.
Business Advice Centre Webinars by business experts will be scheduled.
The BAC is also referred clients from our other UEL centres and our partners in the East London community.
Student and Staff Volunteers
All staff and students will first undergo training with procedures and compliance with GDPR and to agree to maintain strict confidentiality.
Benefits for students
- To gain experience with real world business issues, particularly those of the East London community
- To build experience with managing clients as consultants
- To network in the local business community and through the Newham and Tower Hamlets Chambers of Commerce
- Network with entrepreneurs and start-ups
- Find local resources that may help students' own future entrepreneurial enterprises
- Find other ways to vitally support the East London community through voluntary work
Directors and supervisors
The Director and Supervisors are responsible for matters such as training, development and administration. The Business Advice Centre also has an Advisory Group consisting of members of the Royal Docks School of Business & Law and partner organisations. The Business Surgery is also supported by local business leaders who provide their services on a pro bono basis.
- Dr Giles Russell, Director primarily responsible for postgraduate volunteers
- Preethi Thankappan-Nair, Director primarily responsible for undergraduate volunteers
We are recruiting both undergraduate and graduate students for our teams of advisers. Undergraduates are based at our Stratford University Square campus and graduates at our Docklands campus. Our Business Surgery clinics are at both campuses with these students Other key members of the Business Advice Centre.
What does the Business Advice Centre do?
We aim to advise clients on their challenges and the options available to them to develop business in future. We can recommend and introduce other organisations who may be able to help you in specific ways, particularly our Legal Advice Centre and the Tax and Accountancy Clinic.
- Our services are free.
- As an advice service, we are not responsible for your own business decisions.
- The Business Advice Centre operates a weekly drop-in session during term time only. All enquiries are considered individually to ensure that they meet the appropriate criteria of the Business Advice Centre.
The initial meeting and after
What happens at the preliminary meeting?
The first stage is a preliminary discovery meeting with our team of advisers. Clients will not receive any advice at this time. Or team of adviser will seek to clarify the issue with the client. At such time they will also set out our policies and client care information. All communications will be in the strictest confidence, and client files are securely stored in line with Data Protection requirements.
What happens after the initial meeting?
After this meeting, our Student Advisers and a Supervisor will review the case and in the event that we can advise on the matter, our Student Advisers will research the case and draft a response that will be presented at a follow-up meeting Once the matter has been closed, with store details about your organisation but will comply to GDPR requirements concerning the retention of personal details of any person who has represented themselves to us.
The Business Advice Centre reserves the right not to offer advice in any particular case. In the event of the Business Advice Centre being unable to help, we may offer to refer your enquiries to other agencies or organisations who may be able to assist.
As an advice service, we are willing to engage in discussion to stimulate ideas and possible solutions but will not offer written advice to our clients. This particularly applies to financial advice as we are not registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.