The partnership with the university will initially focus on entrepreneurship and the scale-up of high-growth businesses, through the university’s innovation hub, Nexus.
Nexus is a community of entrepreneurs who have access to business support, opportunities and connections to help them expand.
The partnership will see KPMG and Nexus work together on a number of initiatives that will support business growth across the region.
KPMG will join forces with the engagement team at Nexus to create an incubation space for businesses which could benefit from the combined knowledge and expertise of KPMG and Nexus.
Nexus members will also be able to access KPMG’s Leeds city centre office for meetings and collaboration sessions.
KPMG and Nexus will co-host and provide tailored support to businesses in the incubation space, share best practice and hold events designed to drive innovation.
A spokesman said: “The partnership will extend to the wider university and include developing joint research projects and exploring learning and skills development opportunities for both students, businesses and KPMG colleagues.”
KPMG plans to launch a series of strategic partnerships with universities across the UK and has also announced a partnership with the University of Nottingham on advanced data analytics.
The spokesman added: “The collaborations will provide mutual benefit by enhancing KPMG’s award-winning community programme, working alongside universities to deliver further social value across their regions.”
Euan West, the office senior partner at KPMG in Leeds, said: “The University of Leeds has an abundance of expertise and is home to a hive of innovative activity through their strong focus on research and innovation excellence.
“That’s why this partnership made so much sense to us and we want to harness our collective strengths to help support and grow innovative businesses in Yorkshire.
“This is an exciting example of collaboration in Leeds to bring new value to business in our recovering economy. Through this partnership we will be accessing talent and expertise to support growth in our local economy and community.
“Our heritage and position in Yorkshire are some of our greatest strengths and this announcement puts our commitment to Yorkshire at the heart of our plans for the future of work. We know the immense value of universities as critical drivers of the talent and innovation on which businesses depend in our cities and regions.
“The opportunity to strengthen this bond with an institution of the calibre of the University of Leeds is exceptional and focusing on delivering thought leadership in the field of entrepreneurialism will help businesses exploit some of their most significant opportunities.”
Dr Martin Stow, Nexus Director, said: “We are extremely excited about this next stage of our partnership with KPMG and what it can offer to the businesses within the Nexus community and across the wider city region. KPMG has been a key Nexus collaborator from the beginning and offered invaluable advice and support to our members that has delivered positive commercial outcomes.
“Leeds City region is a great place for entrepreneurs to start up and scale an innovative business and the University of Leeds is proud to be an integral part of this ecosystem, alongside partners like KPMG.
“We’ve worked together with key organisations across the city to build a supportive network that inspires entrepreneurs to solve the biggest challenges facing our society today.”
Developments like Nexus, the University of Leeds’s innovation hub, can play a major role in levelling up the UK’s economy, according to Euan West, the office senior partner at KPMG in Leeds.
Mr West said the partnership with the University of Leeds was one of a number which KPMG had secured with UK-based universities.
He said the innovation coming out of the University of Leeds will be at the heart of the economic recovery after the pandemic.
Mr West added: “As all businesses look to become more resilient, access to talent is becoming more important and universities are creators of much of that talent.”