Publication | November Edition
AWARDS AND AFTERPARTY
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IOEE CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE
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MAGAZINE November Edition Vol. 3
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SARAH TROUTEN, IOEE CHIEF EXECUTIVE Wow! What a month – our Celebrating Enterprise event took place this month and what a brilliant day it was! Our team made a fantastic job of organising it all and I’d especially like to thank Hannah Rowley our ‘Queen Organiser’ who made sure everything ran perfectly. I felt genuinely humbled after meeting so many inspiring people, who are all achieving uniquely brilliant things both within the UK and internationally. It was also fantastic to catch up with so many friends and colleagues, old and new who helped us celebrate SFEDI Group’s 20th anniversary. With the politically uncertain times that lay ahead of us, now is the time time to reflect on our own skills and whether we can withstand the coming changes, both as individuals and within our businesses. Building strong, sustainable businesses demands enterprising, resilient people at the heart of them. We’ll be with you supporting and guiding you and your team as we take on the coming months together. So, with Christmas lights being switched on and Slade already singing away in the background I hope you enjoy this edition of Think Enterprise - maybe with your very first mulled wine and mince pie.
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Content 10 Announcing our 2016 Award Winners 2016 FINALIST
14 Dr. Ernesto Sirolli: Celebrating Enterprise International Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
16 Kanya King MBE: Celebrating Enterprise Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
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Roxanne Kelly: Enterprise Learner of the Year Roxanne Kellyâ€™s story is one of genuine triumph over adversity. Despite an exceptionally difficult childhood and adolescence with a little support and encouragement the young learner has been able to nurture her innate enterprising spirit and build herself a bright, exciting entrepreneurial future. And, along the way, sheâ€™s been named our Enterprise Learner of the Year 2016.
20 Anthony Impey: IOEE Small Business Apprenticemaker of the Year
22 Ignition Auto Training: IOEE Enterprising Learning Provider of the Year
24 IOEE Honorary Fellowships awarded at Celebrating Enterprise ceremony
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26 Enterprise Education at LSBU is Highly Commended
27 Inaugural IOEE Fellow Summits are great success For the very first time, the IOEE’s dedicated Fellows have come together at two fantastically productive and inspiring Fellow Summits, which were held in Leeds and London in October.
28 Captured: An Update Earlier this year, we reported on Captured, an exciting enterprise support project that is being led by Newcastle University Business School in collaboration with a number of key partners, including SFEDI. Now, as the project moves into its second phase following a very successful start, we’re revisiting it to find out what’s new.
30 ISBE Conference 2016 The Role and Value of the Educator in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Educator: Some Reflections from a Workshop
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31 Anglia Ruskin wins British Business â€˜Oscarâ€™
32 Budding hairdressers pilot IOEE and TONI&GUY Enterprise Programme
34 London South Bank University named Entrepreneurial University of the Year
35 Manchester Metropolitan Business School Receives Highly Commended
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36 New Apprenticemakers Webinars Announced
37 Blue Patch New Business Awards recognise achievements of sustainable start-ups
38 â€œSeize every opportunity you never know where it might lead.â€?
40 Martina Eco, language expert and MSc student turned entrepreneur
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42 Enhancing the student experience in FE through embedded enterprise event
43 Routes to relaxation for busy entrepreneurs
44 Enterprise mentoring support for creative business
Coming January 2017 . . .
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2016 Award Winners On Thursday 10 November, SFEDI and IOEE hosted the annual Celebrating Enterprise Awards 2016, bringing together educators, entrepreneurs and other key figures from the UK’s small business, enterprise and skills sector. In the prestigious setting of the House of Lords, we recognised the individuals and organisations who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of enterprise, skills and entrepreneurship. From start to finish, the Celebrating Enterprise Awards were a fabulous success. Simultaneously a fitting way to mark the close of a productive, rewarding 2016 and a great way to look forward to all that 2017 may bring. We are delighted to announce this year’s Celebrating Enterprise award winners:
Enterprise Learner of the Year
Roxanne Kelly Presented by Nic Preston, CEO, SFEDI Awards. Roxanne Kelly has overcome real adversity and was referred by youth homelessness charity Centrepoint to Bradford Floating Support in October 2014. Since then she has completed a series of enterprise qualifications and developed her own fledgling enterprise.
------------------------------------------Enterprise Educator of the Year
Christine Atkinson Presented by Leigh Sear, CEO, SFEDI Solutions. Christine Atkinson is Co-Director of the Centre for Enterprise and heads up the Women’s Entrepreneurship Hub at the University of South Wales. Since joining the university in 1999, she has worked tirelessly to promote enterprise and career progression for women.
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------------------------------------------Enterprise Learning Provider of the Year Ignition Auto Training Presented by Sarah Trouten, CEO, IOEE.
Ignition Auto Training is a social enterprise that supports the disabled, ex-offenders and people with addictions back into employment via motor mechanic training. It is the brainchild of David Brazer who set out with a starting grant of just £30,000. The enterprise is estimated to have already saved local services over £224,000 and has moved 22 ex-offenders into employment from the initial pilot. London South Bank University received Highly Commended status for this award.
------------------------------------------Small Business Apprenticemaker of the Year
Anthony Impey Presented by Sophie Hardwick, Head of Apprenticeships, SFEDI Group. Anthony Impey is Founder and CEO of Optimity, a wireless broadband company. He has made apprenticeships a core component of Optimity’s talent strategy and is passionate about developing talent for the tech sector more widely. Anthony started Tech City Stars and Tech Up Nation to help local young people ignite careers in East London’s tech sector.
------------------------------------------Enterprise Support Champion
Samuel Kasumu Presented by Malcolm Trotter, Chair of the SFEDI/IOEE Advisory Council and CEO, IAB. In 2012, Lord Young launched the £160 million Start-Up Loans
Company to award low interest loans to 60,000 early stage businesses. However, entrepreneur Samuel Kasumu recognised that those from Black and Minority Ethnic Backgrounds (BAME) were not benefiting from the initiative. He campaigned to promote the opportunity to the BAME community and, thanks to his efforts, some 6000 people received support to develop business plans and access funds.
------------------------------------------Innovative Partner of the Year
The Institute of Supply Chain Management, IoSCM Presented by Ruth Lowbridge MBE, Executive Chair, SFEDI Group. The Institute of Supply Chain Management (IoSCM) is the UK’s leading professional organisation within supply chain management. Founded and led by Kevin Rumfitt CEO, the IoSCM has worked with SFEDI to create a new suite of professional qualifications perfectly tuned to the needs of both small and large businesses operating across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
------------------------------------------IOEE International Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Ernesto Sirolli Presented by Gary Lapthorn, Head of Community and Charity Engagement, Commercial Banking, Lloyds Banking Group. A world leader in the field of local economic development, since beginning his career in International Aid in Africa in the early 1970s Dr. Ernesto Sirolli has worked across the globe promoting and facilitating local entrepreneurship and self-determination. He is also the founder of the Sirolli Institute, a social enterprise dedicated to teaching civic leaders how to capture the passion, energy and imagination of their own people.
IOEE Lifetime Achievement Award
Kanya King MBE Presented by Stephen Pegge, Group Competitive Markets and Business Policy Director, Lloyds Banking Group. Kanya King MBE is an internationally renowned entrepreneur best known for her role as CEO and founder of the MOBO Awards. Much more than just an awards ceremony, for almost two decades MOBO has provided training and guidance to generations of aspiring music industry professionals. Persuasive, insightful and energetic, Kanya King is a real shining star both of the UK’s music industry and of its enterprise community. Ruth Lowbridge MBE, Executive Chair of the SFEDI Group, said: “Everyone who has received an award at this year’s Celebrating Enterprise event should be incredibly proud of their achievement. The standard of the nominees was exceptionally high, with the judges having difficulty choosing. Each individual had their own unique enterprising achievements. I’d like to take this opportunity to warmly congratulate all the nominees and winners and to thank them for all their hard work and dedication. Well done!” The award celebrations continued into the evening at the PRIMO Bar, Westminster, where we celebrated 20 successful years of SFEDI, the Sector Skills Body for Enterprise and Enterprise Support. The aftershow party included an awards presentation recognising our new IOEE Honorary Fellows, a live band and photo booth. Photographs from both events are available to view online here.
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Christine Atkinson Enterprise Educator of the Year 2016 award winner It’s an honour and a privilege to receive the Enterprise Educator of the Year Award especially this year when SFEDI Group is celebrating its 20th anniversary! It was wonderful to be part of the celebrations and to be in the company of highly esteemed colleagues who are all doing amazing work in the field of enterprise.”
Samuel Kasumu Enterprise Support Champion 2016 award winner Very humbled to receive this type of recognition amongst my peers. Enterprise agencies across the UK provide a vital service for those wishing to take the leap into business. Everyone with a great idea and the potential to build should be given a chance. Seeing so many great ideas come to reality makes all the hard work worth it.”
IoSCM Innovative Partner of the Year 2016 award winner It was an honour to be presented with the IOEE Innovative Partner of the Year award at the House of Lords. I am extremely proud of the institute and what we have achieved and we continue to remain focused and passionate about developing qualifications which deliver groundbreaking results within the supply chain industry.” - Kevin Rumfitt, CEO, IoSCM
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Dr. Ernesto Sirolli: Celebrating Enterprise International Lifetime Achievement Award Winner 2016
The IOEE International Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Ernesto Sirolli at the 2016 Celebrating Enterprise Awards, held at the House of Lords on Thursday 10th November. The recipient travelled from California, where he lives and works, to collect the award. The IOEE International Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2013 to honour individuals who have made a significant contribution to enterprise and entrepreneurship. This contribution, whether it be through research, writing, leadership or enterprise support, must have a significant and lasting impact on the enterprise field and must demonstrate a lifetime of commitment to raising the profile of enterprise and entrepreneurship. Dr. Ernesto Sirolli is one such individual. A world leader in the field of local economic development, since beginning his career in International Aid in Africa in the early 1970s, he has worked across the globe to promote and facilitate local entrepreneurship and self-determination. During the 1980s, Dr. Sirolli worked in Esperance, a small rural community in Western Australia, pioneering a unique approach to economic development, based on harnessing the determination and resourcefulness of local people. His work in Esperance inspired more than 350 communities around the world to adopt a responsive, person-centred approach to local economics. The Esperance community project is still active and created over 800 new businesses during its first 20 years. In 1995, Dr Sirolli founded the Sirolli Institute in California, a social enterprise dedicated to teaching civic leaders how to capture the passion, energy and imagination of their own people. Over the past three decades, the work of the Sirolli Institute has demonstrated that the provision of
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caring, competent, dedicated advice and support to entrepreneurs is as important as the introduction of physical infrastructures to the development of a stable and prosperous economy. Accepting his award at the House of Lords event, Dr. Sirolli had a serious point to make about the importance of valuing local enterprise in these days of global, multi-national conglomerates. Referring again to the election result, he said: “I really think that it’s our fault. We have failed economic development and we have failed original development. We have created ‘us and them.’ In the big cities of America, they think it’s fine, but in the countryside people are totally disconnected and history is passing them by. I really think that for us to renew our support of local entrepreneurs in rural country towns is essential in the next decade otherwise the idea of globalization will vanish. Remember what we used to say 20 years ago – think globally but act locally. As soon as you take the time to shut up and listen to local people you discover the miracle of intelligence.” Dr. Sirolli received a Laurea di Dottore in Political Sciences from Rome University in 1976 and a PhD in Local Enterprise Facilitation from Murdoch University, Australia in 2004. He is an Industry Fellow at CSRM University of Queensland, and an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University, as well the author of two books and a TED Talk that has been translated into 31 languages and downloaded over 2.5 million times.
Thank you for this award. In the past 40 years of practice we have discovered that there is no geography to passion and intelligence. All over the world people wish to have more, be more and become the beautiful human being that they know they have the potential to become. It has been an honour helping many thousands of people transform their talents into ways of feeding themselves and their families while contributing to the social and economic wellbeing of their communities. Doing good and doing well is the new imperative and assisting passionate entrepreneurs in doing so has been both humbling and exhilarating. I hope that more young people worldwide will discover how rewarding is it to help others to succeed and embrace Enterprise FacilitationÂŽ as a most fulfilling profession.â€?
Gary Lapthorn, Head of Community & Charity Engagement, Lloyds Banking Group, presented Dr. Sirolli with the International Lifetime Achievement Award.
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Kanya King MBE: Celebrating Enterprise Lifetime Achievement Award Winner 2016 This year, the title of Lifetime Achievement Award-winner was bestowed upon someone who has used her fierce enterprising spirit to carve for herself and her community an important place in the world. Kanya King MBE, founder of the MOBO Awards came along to the House of Lords to accept the honour.
on to selling food and whistles at Nottingham Carnival. I’d have so much fun! My mother would sometimes come into my bedroom at the weekend and there’d be so much money in there she’d almost be ready to march me to the police station wondering where I could have accumulated it all. Happy days.” However, Kanya’s early life wasn’t always so content. One of nine children born to an Irish mother and Ghanaian father, Kanya’s parents had to contend with discrimination, as well as poverty. Dedicating the Lifetime Achievement Award to her parents, Kanya said:
The IOEE Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2013 to honour individuals who have demonstrated a lifetime of commitment to raising the profile of enterprise and entrepreneurship. Kanya King MBE meets and exceeds these criteria. She is an internationally renowned entrepreneur through her role as CEO and founder of the MOBO Awards, which she established in 1996, when few believed there would be an audience for a celebration of such diverse music genres. Now, 20 years later, MOBO holds the distinction of being one of the world’s most televised urban music awards shows, reaching over 400 million viewers across more than 200 countries. Kanya was presented with an MBE in 1999 by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace and MOBO has since become much more than just an awards ceremony, offering training and guidance to generations of aspiring singers, MCs, DJs and producers. For those who have known her for a long time, this latest honour will come as no surprise because Kanya has always had a knack for spotting a business opportunity. She used her acceptance speech at the IOEE Celebrating Enterprise Awards to tell us about her very first foray into the world of enterprise. She remembered: “I would collect the bottles that you used to take back to cafés for a 5p return. So I’d spend the whole day in the park - it was a bit like a babysitter for my mother – and without any costs but my time, I could generate a really nice little income. Then I grew up and moved
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“My parents were very isolated because they were away from their families and networks so it was really a bleak experience. I grew up in a small council flat so to get ‘me time’ I’d often go to the local park, which is Queen’s Park in north west London where there was peace and tranquillity. There, I would spend a lot of time daydreaming about what life would have in store for me but I soon realised it would be discipline and control that would turn my ideas into reality.” Sadly, Kanya’s father died when she was just 13 and the young girl was placed in care. However, even these considerable setbacks didn’t dampen her determination to succeed. As part of her acceptance speech, Kanya described what could have been a disheartening early exchange with a careers advisor: “I told the careers advisor that I wanted to set up my own business, but she told me that I needed to be more realistic about my career options because we had no money and I was on free school meals. And, if I worked hard enough I might be able to get a job at Sainsbury’s and work towards becoming the manager. You know, that might have been an honourable profession but it was not what I wanted to do. I came away from that office feeling like I was worthless and that I was wrong to have ambitions, especially given my background. That was the time when I decided I would venture out on my own, pursue my own goals, so I really, really want to thank that careers advisor for putting the fire in my belly and making me realise I needed to take control of my destiny and live the life I had always imagined.”
I’m honoured to accept this incredibly prestigious award and would like to thank the IOEE for recognising me. I’ve dedicated my career to enterprise and to building MOBO into the globally respected brand that it is, so I’m touched to receive this acknowledgement. I am proud that MOBO has been pivotal in taking British black music from the margins of popular culture to the heart of the mainstream around the world. To be called an innovator and a visionary is high praise, but what matters most to me is to help create lasting, positive change in the community, creative industry and in society, by championing excellence, diversity and empowerment.”
Stephen Pegge, Group Competitive Markets and Business Policy Director, Lloyds Banking Group, presented Kanya King MBE with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Despite leaving school with few qualifications at age 15, Kanya was determined to return and gain formal certificates because, she said, her father’s voice was ringing in her ears, imploring ‘Kanya, be the best you can be.’ In fact, Kanya told the Celebrating Enterprise audience, her parents had always wanted her to become a teacher. She said:
and music lovers worldwide. Persuasive, insightful and energetic, Kanya King is a real shining star both of the UK’s music industry and of its enterprise community. Summing up what it means to her to receive this important accolade, Kanya said:
“Although I failed in the traditional meaning of that word I still like to think my work with young people is about spreading a message, and hopefully inspiring them to reach their full potential.”
“I really am honoured to be receiving this Lifetime Achievement Award today. I’ve dedicated my career to leading MOBO and celebrating the excellence of others, whether that’s in film, fashion, music, culture, the arts, charitable endeavours or enterprise. So, to be recognised myself is not only unexpected but very humbling.”
Indeed, Kanya has endeavoured at every step of her journey to create incredible opportunities for budding young entrepreneurs
To view the photographs from the Celebrating Enterprise Awards ceremony, please click here.
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Roxanne Kelly: Enterprise Learner of the Year 2016 Roxanne Kellyâ€™s story is one of genuine triumph over adversity. Despite an exceptionally difficult childhood and adolescence with a little support and encouragement the young learner has been able to nurture her innate enterprising spirit and build herself a bright, exciting entrepreneurial future. And, along the way, sheâ€™s been named our Enterprise Learner of the Year 2016.
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Around two years ago, 22-year-old Roxanne Kelly from Bradford had reached a real low point. Having endured an extremely challenging childhood and moved out of her family home, Roxanne was attending college but finding that crippling anxiety associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was making it all but impossible for her to learn effectively. She was dealt the final blow when her place in rented accommodation was suddenly under threat. Fortunately, CentrePoint, the charity that supports 16-25-year-olds back into homes and jobs, was on-hand to help out and Roxanne had been assigned a key worker - Bev Hutton. Roxanne remembers those dark times: “My tenancy was under threat and I had some mental health problems. I still have PTSD, which comes with a whole host of mental health issues, but back then I was struggling to go outside or really do anything. Bev worked really hard to help me to get outside and live again. She built me up until I was ready to go to the CentrePoint Training Hub.” Among the many services Centrepoint offers to vulnerable young people are a series of educational and vocational courses designed to boost self-esteem and radically improve individuals’ general life skills, as well their future prospects for employment and economic independence. Roxanne began by polishing up on the basics: “I started off with one-to-one sessions and completed LifeWise units, which helped me learn things like how to run a tenancy successfully, how to pay bills and budget, how to run a household, making sure your house is safe and how to do water readings and gas readings. All the skills you need to be an adult looking after yourself.” Once Roxanne had proven herself to be a capable, engaged learner, some of the staff at the CentrePoint Training Hub suggested that she should enrol on another, slightly different programme. They knew she was already making tentative entrepreneurial steps by buying and selling items online and so they invited her onto the Be Your Own Boss course. Roxanne says: “I’d started buying and selling some collectible trading cards – Pokémon cards – online, just to see what I could do with them. I’d done it before as a kid in the 1990s, so that I could buy other stuff I wanted. I’d made quite good money off it and I knew there was still a market out there.” Now, as a young adult finding her way in the world, Roxanne returned to her childhood pastime. She bought a big box of Pokémon cards online at a good price, sorted them out and sold them individually to make a reasonable profit. Having gained some confidence, as well as some new skills, Roxanne decided to take CentrePoint up on its offer and enrol on the Be Your Own Boss programme. This SFEDIdesigned course covers topics including generating new product ideas, how to expand, budgeting, networking and how to present yourself as an entrepreneur. Having thoroughly enjoyed the course and taken much from it, Roxanne soon moved up a level, enrolling on the Self-marketing course. She recalls:
Nic Preston, Head of Quality, SFEDI Group presented the award to Roxanne Kelly.
“The Self-marketing course taught me how to market myself, how to make a good business pitch, and how to write my CV and a strong cover letter. It also covered ways of making money to invest in your business. I’d like to get a full time job so that I can put money into the enterprise. The programme taught me business values and how to find a route that’s right for me.” Centrepoint was a launch pad for Roxanne but, ultimately it is the younger learner herself who has carved out a future to look forward to. Her dedication, hard work and entrepreneurial flair are all much admired by the charity’s team. Roxanne says: “I had no hope before Centrepoint. I wasn’t able to go outside or do anything. With Centrepoint I managed to attend the courses, gain a bit of confidence and hope, and look at what direction my life could go in. Self-belief is probably the most important thing I got from it.” In the future, Roxanne hopes to continue buying and selling the trading cards but she’s also got ambitions to sell other goods and has recently been buying Pandora jewellery and vinyl records online. Now that she feels more confident and capable, she plans to take a job and spend some of her income on buying more valuable items, which she’ll then sell on at ever larger profit margins. Roxanne was nominated for the Enterprise Learner of the Year Award by Centrepoint Learning Team Leader Claire Hancock and Assessment and Training Officer Ann Clayton. She recalls: “They told me they were going to put me forward and I was quite surprised because I hadn’t expected it – I’d just gone to CentrePoint to try to move on. Then I was even more surprised when I found out I’d been shortlisted! It was the biggest surprise to actually win because the other candidates were so strong – they’d done some really good stuff. I was kind of scared to go to the House of Lords at first but it was a really amazing building and a great night – I really enjoyed it. I’m really grateful to SFEDI for the opportunity to do the qualifications, and for all the help CentrePoint has given me because it would have been impossible without them.”
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Anthony Impey: IOEE Small Business Apprenticemaker of the Year 2016 When faced with a skills gap in Optimity, his ambitious Shoreditch-based tech business, Anthony Impey embraced apprenticeships, placing the training model at the very heart of enterprise success and changing lives along the way.
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Anthony Impey established Optimity as an IT and telecoms business in 2003 and for a decade enjoyed solid growth and success. However, in 2013 the direction in which Optimity was moving changed dramatically when a client asked for a high speed internet connection to be installed in their office within a very short time frame. The solution Anthony’s team came up with was a radical departure from what had gone before, as he recalls:
and at a lower cost than that provided by either BT or Virgin, had to step-up its recruitment fast, as Anthony recalls:
“Instead of using conventional fibre optics, which would have taken months, we used a new wireless antenna that we fitted on the client’s roof to provide connectivity without the need to dig-up the road. That was the point at which our business transformed from being an IT and telecoms business to being a pioneer of wireless internet connectivity.”
Part of the extra training the Optimity apprentices received was delivered via an in-house initiative called Tech Up Nation. This allowed the team to tailor training so that it exactly corresponded to Optimity’s business needs and existing skills gap. The importance of this apprenticeship model within Optimity isn’t to be underestimated. In a rapidly growing team, that already totals 60 staff, Anthony aims to have 15-20% employed as apprentices. Since first starting out on the apprenticeship journey three years ago, the business has developed the number of roles available to young people. Anthony says:
Today, Optimity is a business that uses ground-breaking technology to provide business broadband using systems that negate the need for fibre optic cables and the time and money they demand. It is one of only a small handful of companies using this technology in the UK and Optimity leads the way in the capital. Because the technology was so new but demand was growing, Anthony soon found that his success left him with a challenging skills gap to fill. He says: “We were installing new technology that very few other people were using so there weren’t many people in the labour market with the skills we needed. We tried recruiting people with the skills but it proved very difficult. We then tried recruiting graduates but couldn’t find the people with the right attitude As a last resort we turned to apprenticeships. That was a defining moment for Optimity.” Recruiting apprentices led Anthony to discover that those with a lack of formal qualifications and without years of experience can often be the best possible people for the job. He says: “If you recruit people with the right attitude and ambition you can always teach them the skills they need. That approach to talent runs through the whole business now. We will always prioritise attitude and ambition over everything else during any recruitment drive.” Optimity, suddenly enjoying unprecedented success and growing demand for its new service, which is installed significantly faster
“We started recruiting soon after we began offering the technology. The apprenticeships we offer are existing programmes run by a variety of different providers, which we then augment with additional in-house training.”
“Now, we have a variety of jobs filled by apprentices across the organisation, from IT helpdesk staff through to antenna engineers. I think what’s really inspiring about recruiting apprentices is their determination to succeed. A lot of the young people we’ve had through the business have struggled to find work and have had long bouts of unemployment. Many have arrived with had poor qualifications from school often because they were contending with other challenges at home. What’s blown me away is how well those young people respond to being given an opportunity.” Although the positive impact apprenticeships can have on the individual is unquestionable, Anthony is firmly of the opinion that the decision to recruit apprentices has to be made from a commercial point of view. The role must be real and the apprentice, he says, must add long-term value to the organisation. However, the secondary effect of giving sometimes disadvantaged youngsters a step-up is something he’s exceptionally proud of: “For me, the impact we’ve had on young people’s lives is probably the proudest achievement of my career. For some, there was really a dead-end ahead so to give those people an opportunity is absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t have imagined a few years ago what a profound effect recruiting apprentices would have either on me or the business.” Now, that positive impact has been acknowledged thanks to the Celebrating Enterprise Awards, so how did Anthony feel when his name was announced as Small Business Apprenticemaker of the Year? “I was in a state of disbelief. I was very honoured to receive the award and incredibly proud of Optimity’s achievements and the work we’ve done around apprenticeships. Just to be nominated was a great achievement but to win is a real reflection of the dedication our whole team has made. We went into apprenticeships with both feet, unsure of what the outcome would be but we’ve proven that if you make that wholehearted commitment, not only can the commercial benefits be great for your organisation but it can also have this wider positive impact on the local community. It’s a true win/win.”
Sophie Hardwick, Project Director of Apprenticemakers, SFEDI Group, presented the Apprenticemaker Award to Anthony Impey. Think Enterprise | 21
Ignition Auto Training: IOEE Enterprising Learning Provider of the Year 2016 At this year’s Celebrating Enterprise Awards, the title of IOEE Enterprising Learning Provider was bestowed upon Ignition Auto Training, a unique social enterprise that equips some of the country’s most marginalised learners with valuable car mechanic skills and renewed self-belief. We caught up with David Brazer, the man behind Ignition Auto Training, to find out the secret to its success.
people into work. I started as an advisor and worked my way up to become Operations Manager quite quickly. I felt that I had found my passion.” Having discovered work he found truly rewarding, in 2008 David decided to set up Citadel Associates (SY) Ltd – his first social enterprise, which he continues to run in tandem with Ignition Auto Training. Citadel has a broad remit, as David explains: “We specialise in helping society’s most vulnerable people into training and employment. Such as disabled, ex-offenders, people with mental health issues, people with drug and alcohol issues, black and ethnic minorities – anyone who doesn’t have the advantage of playing on a level playing field.” Sarah Trouten, Chief Executive, IOEE, presented David Brazer with the Enterprising Learning Provider of the Year award Despite having no background in mechanics himself and with a grant of just £30,000, in 2014 David Brazer started Ignition Auto Training. In just two years this pioneering social enterprise is thought to have saved local services around £224,000 and has moved some 30 exoffenders and other vulnerable learners into employment. David himself has had a varied, interesting career trajectory. In his time, he’s worked as a factory worker an NHS employee, private investigator, and even a Hypnotherapist. However, it is as founder and managing director of two ambitious social enterprises helping disadvantaged people find employment that he has really found his niche. David explains how he came into this line of work: “I had a job working for a government project supporting disabled
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It was through his work with Citadel’s clients that David noticed a major flaw in the system. Some of those he was trying to help were being offered qualifications that were, in isolation, no help in the struggle back to work. “I noticed that people were coming back to me from a training company we’d contracted with saying ‘I’ve been on the CSCS Card course; I’m qualified to work on a building site now.’ But of course they weren’t because the CSCS Card is only a Health & Safety certificate – not a trade.” David felt it was unfair to put people through the CSCS qualification when they had no solid marketable skills in bricklaying, electrics or plumbing that would make them attractive to building site employers. He put some serious thought into what his clients really needed to get into work. The answer was skills, qualifications, real work experience and references – all the elements of a solid CV. Along with general employability skills such as confidence,
David Brazer, Ignition Auto Training.
timekeeping, teamwork etc. The next step was to work out how he could equip them with such things and the answer was a citadel sister social enterprise - Ignition Auto Training. David says:
was brilliant to see him buzzing. I said ‘You know if you lost your job tomorrow you’d be able to get yourself another one.’ He said ‘Yeah, no doubt.’”
“The only way to do it was to set up a proper working business with a training side that would support people through qualifications but would simultaneously provide them with a lot more.”
So, how does David feel about being nominated for a winning the Enterprising Learning Provider award?
David recruited a very experienced mechanic who also had experience of the welfare to work sector. His own role is that of managing director so day-to-day he oversees funding bids and contracts, and liaises with the probation service and other referring bodies. Profit generated by Ignition Auto Trading is ploughed back into the enterprise and used to buy vital work equipment for the men and women learning the mechanic’s trade. Those using the service represent a wide cross-section – the youngest is just 14 and has been excluded from school, the oldest is a 61 year old lady. David is keen to point out that Ignition Auto Training’s remit is not to simply produce ever more individuals with car mechanic’s training. It is, he says, far more nuanced than that: “It’s not about churning out mechanics – that’s just a process that we use to support people. The people we help end up in all sorts of jobs. It’s about giving them soft employability skills and new confidence. They feel better about themselves, it’s about building their self-efficacy.” Speaking to David, it’s obvious that he loves what he does. Equipping people with the seeds of confidence and capability that will allow them to transform their own lives is clearly very rewarding: “A guy came in last week who’d been through the service. He said “Dave! I‘ve got a girlfriend and I’ve got a job and I’ve got a car!’ It
“I was surprised but it was great. It’s lovely to know you’ve been nominated and it’s great when you win because the guys who come in here don’t see a future for themselves and when I tell them that actually I wasn’t born with a silver spoon and I’ve done this through hard work it inspires them to work hard themselves.” Those accessing Ignition Auto Training’s offer arrive via probation services, local drug and alcohol services or the job centre. A few even self-refer. Depending on the level of learning individual students attain, they walk away at the end of their time with the social enterprise with an Institute of Motor Industry award, certificate or diploma. An inspirational, optimistic and determined individual, David and his team were thrilled to have their hard work recognised by the IOEE: “This journey establishing Ignition has been such an incredible rollercoaster of extreme highs and lows but seeing the positive changes in the service users’ lives makes it worthwhile. To be amongst such esteemed company is an honour and to win is a privilege we will endeavour to live up to. It isn’t easy but our mantra is ‘Anyone can do easy.’” If you’d like to learn more about the work David does at Citadel or Ignition Auto Training, you can visit www.casyltd.co.uk or www.ignition.org.uk.
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From Left: Sarah Trouten, Ruth Lowbridge MBE, Barbara McDonough, Doug Cole, Jane Langley, Kevin Rumfitt and Gaynor Hodge.
IOEE Honorary Fellowships awarded at Celebrating Enterprise ceremony
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“Being awarded such an honour was a huge surprise. It’s a lot to live up to and I feel an even greater responsibility to support entrepreneurs throughout their journeys as well as to do whatever I can to help create an appropriate enterprise support infrastructure. I greatly look forward to working with other fellows to achieve this.”
Each year, the IOEE’s Advisory Council carefully selects a number of key individuals for the distinction of receiving IOEE Honorary Fellowships. Representing the great and the good from the worlds of enterprise and enterprise support, every individual selected is an exemplar in their field. We took the chance to catch up with a few of our new Honorary Fellows. This year, the Honorary Fellowships ceremony took place following the IOEE Celebrating Enterprise Awards event, which was held in the House of Lords on Thursday 10th November. With everyone gathered in PRIMO Bar close to the parliament buildings, Ruth Lowbridge MBE, Executive chair of the SFEDI Group, welcomed guests and announced the names of the thirteen people about to become Honorary Fellows. Those who received the honour were: • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Barbara McDonough, NOVUS Bev James, The Coaching Academy David Taylor, Manchester Metropolitan University Dinah Bennett, International Consultants for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise (ICE Ltd) Doug Cole, Higher Education Academy Gaynor Hodge, TONI&GUY James Watt, Brewdog Jane Langley, Blue Patch Jane Walton, Social entrepreneur, mentor and teacher Kevin Rumfitt, IoSCM Martin Dickie, Brewdog Melanie Bryan OBE, DL , WhyNotChange Walter Herriot OBE
At the event Ruth outlined those attributes and characteristics that the Advisory Council seeks when looking to bestow this most prestigious grade of IOEE membership. The core criteria for the status is that the individuals are recognised as having made a significant contribution to enterprise and/or enterprise support, and are willing to support and make a personal contribution to promoting the work of the IOEE. Despite the fact that all of this year’s Honorary Fellows fit the criteria equally well, they do so in a diverse variety of ways. Jane Langley is founder of social enterprise Blue Patch, an online marketplace where over 300 UK-based sustainable businesses sell their products. The core objectives of this initiative are to make renewable energy a primary source of power and to invest 100% of surplus profits in community-owned renewable energy. Jane said:
‘I’m thrilled the IOEE have recognised our work. Blue Patch’s focus is on helping our members so having our efforts noticed and rewarded by a supportive network of highly regarded professionals - all of us doing our best for the small business world - provides great encouragement for the Blue Patch team to keep redoubling efforts.”
Melanie Bryan OBE, DL is another exceptionally accomplished new Honorary Fellow. Melanie is the founder of WhyNotChange, experts in helping business, social enterprises and charities grow sustainably; and also the visionary behind the award-winning North West Women’s Enterprise Day, one of the UK’s flagship events for Global Entrepreneurship Week, attended annually by over 200 women, and now in its seventh successful year. Awarded her OBE for services to Social Enterprise and Women’s Enterprise in the North West, Melanie also holds the title of National Enterprise Support Champion 2015. She said:
The third Honorary Fellow we spoke to was Jane Walton, who, as well as being the National Chair of Education Policy for the Federation of Small Businesses, also runs her own enterprise dedicated to spreading the word on self-employment and championing enterprise in education. We asked how she felt about her new status and she replied:
“I am delighted to have been made an honorary fellow and aim to continue to promote self-employment as a viable career option and the role of the IOEE and SFEDI in providing recognition for those who work in this field.”
One of our Honorary Fellows this year has a touch of celebrity about her – Bev James is the author of Sunday Times bestseller Do it or Ditch it!, a business person’s guide to planning, prioritising, delegating and taking action for work and for life. Bev is also CEO of The Coaching Academy, the world’s largest training organisation for coaches. Bev told us what this latest honour means to her:
“I am extremely grateful to have been awarded an IOEE Honorary Fellowship. To be recognised for outstanding contribution within the community of enterprise means the world to me and I am extremely proud to be a part of an organisation that is as established and as credible as the IOEE.”
Finally, we spoke to Dinah Bennett OBE who is the founder director of International Consultants for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise (ICE Ltd) and global gender equality experts WISE Development. As a passionate advocate for small business development, women’s economic empowerment and gender equality, for almost three decades Dinah has enabled people and organisations all over the world to attain enhanced insights into enterprise and entrepreneurship by pushing the boundaries of current thinking in entrepreneurship. On being awarded an Honorary Fellowship she said:
“I am honoured to receive this fellowship in recognition of doing the work that I love, and that is so important to our future social and economic wellbeing. I shall be proud to be an ambassador for the IOEE.”
We’d like to offer our warmest congratulations to all of the new Honorary Fellows, who we very much look forward to working with in the future. Think Enterprise | 25
The LSBU team received the Highly Commended status in the House of Lords
Enterprise Education at LSBU is Highly Commended At the Celebrating Enterprise 2016 Awards, we were delighted to present the Highly Commended status for Enterprising Learning Provider of the Year to London South Bank University (LSBU). The commendation celebrates LSBU’s commitment to supporting students and graduates to become the next generation of entrepreneurs, develop their enterprise skills and start up their own businesses. Gurpreet Jagpal, LSBU’s Director of Research, Enterprise and Innovation (REI), said: “Congratulations to everyone at LSBU! This great achievement recognises the collaborative work that the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute team has done in partnership with LSBU’s seven Schools, and particularly the School of Business.
Professor Mike Molan, Dean of the School of Business and Pro Vice Chancellor for Enhancement, said: “I am delighted that LSBU has been awarded Highly Commended status in the Enterprising Learning Provider of the Year category. The award is recognition of the fantastic work that has been done across the institution, particularly through collaboration with the Business School, in supporting student-led enterprise and startups, working with local SMEs in providing support and guidance for business growth and project work, and in providing students with opportunities to engage with live enterprise projects and gain invaluable hands on experience of working with business and applying their problem solving skills.” IOEE Chief Executive, Sarah Trouten, who presented the award to Gurpreet and Mike said:
“It clearly demonstrates what can be achieved when enterprise learning is embedded into the curriculum, and rolled out through interactive extra-curricular programmes, with the support of our academics.”
“I would like to congratulate all the team at LSBU for their contribution they make to raising the profile of enterprise and entrepreneurship both within the University and within their local community.”
Part of the Research, Enterprise and Innovation team based at the Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute delivers skills support, competitions and start-up programmes to help students and graduates to develop their skills and drive forward new, innovative ideas.
This commendation follows another recent global award win for LSBU at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centres (GCEC) for Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Centre. As well as winning the Entrepreneurial University of the Year category at the Times Higher Education Awards last week.
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Inaugural IOEE Fellow Summits are great success For the very first time, the IOEE’s dedicated Fellows have come together at two fantastically productive and inspiring Fellow Summits, which were held in Leeds and London in October.
Sometimes we need to meet face-to-face to achieve real progress and really connect with one another. That’s why, last month IOEE Fellows came together at two separate events to share ideas and knowledge directly. The events took place at the University of Leeds, Devonshire Hall on the 13th October and at the Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation at London South Bank University on the 25th October. All of the committed individuals who act as Fellows for us are in fact representing our broad membership, providing them with a voice whether they’re business advisors, business mentors or business owners in their everyday lives. The Summits’ agendas updated our fellows on what had happened within the IOEE in the last twelve months, what projects and initiatives the organisation is currently involved with and our longterm plans for the future. A large part of each summit was also devoted to exploring and debating the New Skills Plan (Guide to Enterprise Standards). The IOEE Fellows learnt about the Skills Plan during a presentation by IOEE team members who then led discussions. Conclusions and thinking that resulted from this process were then fed into our autumnal Advisory Council meeting. Overall feedback on both events was very positive. Elsa Caleb, a business advisor with over 25 years of experience, as well as being a mentor, coach, speaker, trainer and assessor, is a proud IOEE Fellow. Over the years, she’s assisted numerous small business owners to start and grow their businesses and she continues to advise small businesses and assist them with applying for loans. Elsa attended the London IOEE Fellow Summit, which she found to be extremely informative. Speaking about the experience, she said: “It was great to be around like-minded business people with a keen interest in a subject that’s very dear to my heart, knowing that the outcome of this summit will have an impact on various initiatives around young people, enterprise and individuals seeking more knowledge in this area. Individuals need the enterprise option, especially if they have a creative mind-set and want to explore and build their own businesses in the future, having received the correct learning and skills development prior to starting.” Like all of the IOEE Fellows, Elsa takes her role very seriously both as a way of contributing to the wider enterprise community and as a representative of our diverse and ever-growing memberships. She says:
IOEE Fellow, Elsa Caleb “Being a Fellow of the IOEE is very important to me, because I get the opportunity to meet and share my passion with likeminded individuals. It gives me the opportunity to give back to business owners with less experience through mentoring, speaking engagements and training and it allows me to contribute to the future of enterprise through an organisation that understands its subject well.” It’s hoped that the IOEE Fellow Summits will become a regular fixture in our events calendar, possibly taking place annually or biannually depending on other developments across the organisation. SFEDI Executive Chair Ruth Lowbridge MBE, who attended both summits, said: “This is the first time we’ve brought the IOEE Fellows together in this way and it has been an all-round success. The way our Fellows shared their experiences of enterprise reminded me of what entrepreneurship is all about. Debating the ins and outs of the Skills Agenda was also really interesting – the results of which went on to inform our Advisory Council discussions and policy statement. Having set such an impressive precedent, we’re looking forward to staging the events again in the future.”
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Captured: An Update Earlier this year, we reported on Captured, an exciting enterprise support project that is being led by Newcastle University Business School in collaboration with a number of key partners, including SFEDI. Now, as the project moves into its second phase following a very successful start, we’re revisiting it to find out what’s new.
Employment and Skills (UKCES), began almost a year ago in December 2015 and, since then, a number of real success stories have emerged from it. One of the large businesses involved with the first phase was GlaxoSmithKline, the multinational healthcare company. The business put forward three of its senior staff to reach out to small businesses in County Durham including a counsellor and life coach, a recruitment agency and a consultancy firm. Polly Lerner, HR business lead at GlaxoSmithKline shared her experience and expertise with a Bishop-Auckland based small business, helping it to conduct a comprehensive SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and found that the rewards went both ways. She said:
Small businesses across all sectors, although they may boast agility, determination and sheer drive, tend to be vulnerable in certain key areas such as the skills needed to manage the business. Research conducted by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has shown that small firms (of between five and 19 people) see their performance improve dramatically when specific investment is made in developing leadership and management skills. The Captured programme responds to this challenge facing small firms by connecting owner-managers with managers from large businesses in the North East. In so doing, the managers from larger businesses can share their skills and know-how with small business owners who, although they may be experts in their field, may need to develop some of the leadership and management skills required to fulfil their businesses’ full potential. The project, which was funded by the UK Commission for
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“The programme has given us the chance to get out of the daily routine and think and reflect, both on the efficacy of GSK’s business processes and on the skills and experience gained through working in a different environment. There are significant advantages in learning how small businesses work and behave and then seeing how these traits can be applied back in our workplace.” Other large businesses who have engaged with Captured include computer software specialists Sage and global engineering company Siemens. Phase 1 of Captured ended in July 2016, having lent valuable support to a large number of small businesses in the North East. Now, having secured new funding from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP), Captured: Phase 2 is beginning. It will be launched in November 2016 and run until July 2017. During this time, the project will engage with approximately 40 small businesses and large firm managers. Each month will see a new cohort of participants join the programme. Leigh Sear, CEO of SFEDI Solutions and an Associate Lecturer at Newcastle University Business School,
GlaxoSmithKline staff from left to right: Brendan Fish, Polly Lerner and Simon Forsyth
is a key member of the project team, along with Fiona Whitehurst and Paul Richter from the Business School. He explained to us the types of businesses who may benefit from engaging with Captured: “The first phase of Captured has shown to us that it benefits those small businesses, whether with one or two or five members of staff, looking to develop and move forward. The engagement with the manager from the large firm provides them with an opportunity to discuss their plans for the business and discuss what is required to move from idea to action”. “The managers from the large firms are seeing their input, coupled with the drive and determination of the owner, have a beneficial impact on the small firm and the local economy. They’re also finding they return to their own workplace with new perspectives”.
Those small businesses who get involved in the project’s second phase will find that by committing a relatively short amount of time, they will see their businesses benefit enormously. Captured is carefully structured to fit within the demands of running a small business, by providing an environment in which owner-managers can reflect on their plans for taking the business forward and discuss how to move from idea to action with the large firm manager. The programme consists of one half-day session with 5 or 6 other owner-managers of small businesses followed by three further half day sessions where small firms work with their large firm managers. If you run a business of 20 people or fewer and you’d like to learn more about Captured, visit the blog by clicking here or email email@example.com
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WRITTEN BY LEIGH SEAR
ISBE Conference 2016 The Role and Value of the Educator in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Educator: Some Reflections from a Workshop There have been a number of recent publications, such as the QAA guidelines on enterprise and entrepreneurship education and the EntreComp framework, which provide us, as educators, with useful resources for understanding the enterprise journey of a student whilst in higher education. However, in comparison, there has been less focus on what we need to know to deliver an effective experience. The development of a set of occupational standards for enterprise and entrepreneurship educators earlier in the year highlighted that there are a number of key areas of ‘need to know’ facing enterprise and entrepreneurship educators including co-creating the education experience with others, measuring the value of enterprise education and responding to problems and predicaments. So a lunchtime workshop at the ISBE conference, with a view of the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine, provided an opportunity for a group of educators to unpack these “need to know’s” and reflect upon how can we support the professional development of enterprise and entrepreneurship educators so that they have the knowledge and skills required to deliver an experience that adds value in a changing environment. The workshop started with two provocations. One from Andy Penaluna who proposed that enterprise and entrepreneurship educators will know that they have done a good job because they are no longer needed. So there is value through redundancy. This is because they will have worked within their institution to facilitate the embedding of enterprise and entrepreneurship education across different disciplines and they will have encouraged others, such as students and businesses, to take ownership of education
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process. The other provocation from Kelly Smith reflected on the relationship between research and practice and the impact of the labels we use to describe what we do. Kelly proposed that as educators and researchers we are interested in finding things out and then talking about these things to others. In order to talk to others, we need skills to motivate, engage and reflect. These provocations were used to stimulate discussion and debate and number of issues emerged. First, there was a discussion around understanding of different models of education and the role of the educator within these different models. For example, the life world of the small owner-manager is often messy, uncertain and ambiguous. However, the enterprise education process can promote this world as rather linear, structured and rational. Second, there was a discussion around the entrepreneurial experience of the educator and the ways in which this experience can be acquired. Third, the value of different communities (e.g. educators, small business owners, students and other stakeholders) to the development and delivery of enterprise and entrepreneurship education was discussed along with the role for the educator in bringing these different communities together and avoiding segregation and perceptions of ‘them and us’. We are going to use the outcomes from the workshop to shape ongoing discussions related to different opportunities for the professional development of enterprise and entrepreneurship educator. So we would welcome you to get in touch and share your experiences and thoughts. Leigh Sear SFEDI and ISBE Trustee.
Anglia Ruskin University - Professor Lesley Dobree, Deputy Vice Chancellor The Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship
Anglia Ruskin wins British Business ‘Oscar’ Entrepreneurship excellence recognised at Lloyds Bank National Business Awards Anglia Ruskin University, an IOEE Centre of Excellence, has won a prestigious national prize for entrepreneurship at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, known as “the Oscars of Great British business”. Anglia Ruskin saw off competition from the University of Sheffield, Liverpool John Moores University, Royal Agricultural University and London South Bank University to win the Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship at a glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor Park Hotel in London’s Mayfair on Tuesday 15 November. The University Entrepreneurship award recognises the work of universities to encourage, prepare and enable entrepreneurial opportunities, distinguishing those doing and delivering most. The judges said that Anglia Ruskin had “injected enterprise and innovation throughout the curriculum” and also praised initiatives such as the MedTech Campus, a partnership with councils in Southend, Harlow and Chelmsford to drive business growth in the UK medical technology sector.
Professor Lesley Dobree, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “Winning the Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship underlines the emphasis Anglia Ruskin places on ensuring an entrepreneurial culture runs through the fabric of our university.” “It is testament to the hard work and innovative approach of our staff and students and is our second major national award in this area in the past three years, having been named Times Higher Education’s Entrepreneurial University of the Year in 2014.” The awards were described as “the Oscars of Great British business” by former Prime Minister David Cameron, and the ceremony was attended by 1,200 guests including business leaders, Government, investors and the media. More information about the Lloyds Bank National Business awards and the 2016 award winners can be viewed here.
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Budding hairdressers pilot IOEE and TONI&GUY Enterprise Programme A new enterprise programme designed to give students the commercial edge has been given the thumbs up by trainee hairdressers. Get the Idea, the learning programme the IOEE has developed in collaboration with global hair stylists TONI&GUY, was piloted at City of Wolverhampton College.
‘Get the Idea’ is an innovative new programme designed to help learners undertaking vocational qualifications to develop their enterprise skills alongside their core trade. The idea is that colleges and universities will be able to use the programme as a complimentary strand of enterprise learning that will enhance students’ chances of success either as self-employed people or as entrepreneurial employees. Sue Cole, hairdressing
the Work-based Learning at City of Wolverhampton
Manager for College, said:
“I was invited to get involved when hairdressing was chosen as the pilot. The programme seemed to fit really well with what we already offered and gave students the entrepreneurial skills they needed to sit alongside their skills as stylists.” ‘Get the Idea’ has been carefully designed to help young learners really consider entrepreneurial endeavour from a new point of view, expanding their thinking around what it can mean and enterprising activity they may engage in. Sue added: “Some of our students aim is to open their own businesses and they immediately think of a salon. The T&G pilot has helped them understand that even just having a column [a chair in a salon] can be a small business within a salon.” “The programme has enabled students to think of the chair they will one day run within a salon in entrepreneurial terms. They were encouraged to consider ways of growing their clientele base and thinking about how to market themselves within that salon
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business they’re part of. This way of thinking wasn’t covered by the NVQ – it simply wasn’t giving them those enterprise skills.” Although in previous years City of Wolverhampton College has seen many hairdressing students go on to open their own successful salons, those young people usually had to go elsewhere to develop their understanding of enterprise. Now, students can gain both the hands-on practical hairstyling skills and the business mind-set in one place. Importantly, the skills taught on the ‘Get the Idea’ programme, are in no way limited to the world of hairdressing. Sue explains: “The content of the programme itself is quite generic; although our learning materials were tailored around hairdressing, the general ideas could be applied in any subject area.” Twenty-four-year-old Hanna Jones obtained her Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing in July from the college, making her one of the first students to take the ‘Get the Idea’ programme. Hannah, who now works at the college’s hairdressing academy as a graduate stylist said: “The programme was really good. I took a lot of information from it on how to manage my own salon one day. It was definitely different from what we’d learnt before – it told you about the business side and made you think of the future in a different way.” Hanna found that the programme presented her with eye-opening information about self-employment and running her own business. She added: “The reality of opening your own business can be quite tough. You have legal issues to consider, making sure you’ve everything you need and making sure you’re working to the best
City of Wolverhampton College learners who undertook the programme pilot
standards. I really enjoyed the ‘Get the Idea’ part of the course. It was nice to plan your future salon and open your mind creatively. It made you think about how you would like your business to be, how you would like it to be run and what kind of services you would provide.”
how they’d want their businesses to look and whether they’d be sole traders or part of a franchise. Some young people had lots of ideas and the programme helped them to tailor their ideas and plan short term and long term targets, which is a good approach to enterprise.
This positive response is representative of the general student feeling about the programme, which the college hopes to continue offering.
“From my point of view, it’s a good course for everyone to do alongside their basic vocational qualification because it gets them thinking about what they actually want to do and helps them nurture their entrepreneurial skills for the future.”
Sue added: “The feedback from the learners has been excellent and the attendance was good so our plan is certainly to run the programme again. The students were engaged with the T&G element and found it rewarding to explore topics like salon names,
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LSBU Team received their award at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane
IOEE Centres of Excellence excel at the Times Higher Education Awards 2016
LSBU named Entrepreneurial University of the Year IOEE Centre of Excellence, London South Bank University (LSBU), has been awarded the Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards. The accolade celebrates the entrepreneurial support offered to students, graduates, staff and the local community led by LSBU’s Research, Enterprise and Innovation team, based at the Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation, with support from academics across LSBU’s seven Schools. The Times Higher Education Awards are widely regarded as the Oscars of the higher education sector, shining a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of institutions, teams and individuals working in higher education across the UK. In 2014/15 LSBU supported 600 local SMEs, boosting growth and creating jobs. Enterprise activities offered by the Student Enterprise team have engaged over 10,000 students and staff, and supported 220 student and graduate business ideas this year. The judging panel commended the University, saying: “LSBU has demonstrated how a vision can be translated into action, within curricular and through the work of its staff and more widely across their local, national and international networks. We are particularly impressed by the number of students engaged, the breadth of enterprising activity the University is involved in and the depth of employer engagement. LSBU shows a truly entrepreneurial approach to its pivotal role in the community and academic endeavours.”
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LSBU’s victory was witnessed by more than 1,200 people who gathered at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane. Commenting on the win, Professor David Phoenix, LSBU’s Vice Chancellor, said: “This is a fantastic accolade for the University and I am incredibly proud of what our staff and students have achieved. “The importance of innovation and entrepreneurial education is going to be even more important as we seek to increase productivity and grow the UK economy post-Brexit. At LSBU we will continue to inspire and support students to become what they want to be through our range of curricular and extra-curricular support and look forward to further strengthening our role as a driver for innovation in south London.” Gurpreet Jagpal, LSBU’s Director of Research, Enterprise and Innovation, added: “I’m delighted that all our hard work has been recognised at the Times Higher Education Awards. Working with LSBU academic staff across our seven Schools and our Entrepreneurs in Residence, we have created a culture of enterprise that is engaging an increasing number of students and graduates through our innovative projects and programmes. We are also driving business engagement through collaborative research projects with industry and supporting SMEs to grow and innovate to solve real-world challenges. Congratulations to the team!”
Manchester Metropolitan Business School Receives Highly Commended Manchester Metropolitan Business School has once again been recognised for its excellence with a ‘highly commended’ citation at this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) Awards. The accolade was presented at the awards ceremony in London on Thursday evening (24 November), featuring the Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson. Judges praised the Business School’s pioneering approach to the development and delivery of degree apprenticeships. The commendation caps a remarkable year for the Business School as it joined an elite global group after being awarded the prestigious international AACSB accreditation. The IOEE Centre of Excellence was also named the Business School of the Year at the Educate North Awards. Professor Julia Clarke, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Business and Law, said: “It has been an incredible year for the Business School. Its undoubted strengths in innovative teaching and continued professional development, impactful research and business partnerships continue to be praised and recognised.”
“As a Business School, we play a critical role in the development of students’ lives but we also enrich the quality of training, support and development of companies in the region – and beyond – as Manchester begins to harness the potential of the Northern Powerhouse concept.” Sarah Trouten, IOEE’s Chief Executive said: “I am delighted to see two IOEE Centres of Excellence acknowledged at this prestigious event. Both LSBU and Manchester Business School have truly embraced enterprise and entrepreneurship education, adopting new and innovative teaching practices which have led to valuable experiences and opportunities for both students and the wider business communities.” “I would like to congratulate and praise the teams at LSBU and Manchester Metropolitan Business School whose commitment and dedication to student’s success is evidently clear, and I look forward to further supporting their success through IOEE.” A full list of winners is available on the Times Higher Education Awards website and the photographs are available to view here.
Think Enterprise | 35 MMU Business School team received Highly Commended
New Apprenticemakers Webinars Announced In the run up to government changes around apprenticeships, Apprenticemakers is running free webinars for businesses about the latest announcements and the aspects most likely to impact SMEs. Joining the next webinar on Thursday 19 January 2017 at 11.30am is Phil Warnock from Ginger Nut Media. Phil will share his experience of recruiting and supporting apprentices in his business and his thoughts on the upcoming changes. The webinar will cover the levy, new apprenticeship standards, what to consider if your business is new to apprenticeships. Apprenticemakers is an impartial nationwide project run by the SFEDI Group which is bringing together SMEs interested in apprenticeships.
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Blue Patch New Business Awards recognise achievements of sustainable start-ups
Last month, SFEDI’s very own Leigh Sear and Ruth Lowbridge were invited to act as judges of the inaugural Blue Patch New Business Awards. Blue Patch is a social enterprise and online marketplace selling British-made luxury lifestyle goods and working with some of the country’s best designers and makers. Billed as a ‘search for young, quality Independent British businesses that manufacture, make or provide a service with an interest in sustainability’, the awards themselves are all about picking out the crème de la crème of this country’s ethical makers and designers. Last month, the brand became the UK’s first pop up sustainable department store when it opened its doors (for one day only) to customers in Dulwich. This event also provided the ideal setting for the Blue Patch New Business Awards ceremony. Leigh Sear, Chief Executive of SFEDI, acted as judge and first prize was awarded to The Soap Co. This innovative social enterprise produces lovely soaps with sophisticated fragrances, contemporary packaging and a firmly environmentally friendly outlook. Leigh said: “All of the businesses shortlisted for the Awards demonstrated a clear passion for creating sustainable products in the UK and making a difference to others through developing and growing their businesses. In particular, the Soap Co highlighted that through being enterprising that they can provide opportunities for others who face challenges to gain employment in the labour market. Other businesses to receive recognition include Lala & Bea, a children’s clothing brand producing fun, quirky fashion for kids aged 0-12, and Terre Verdi, a skincare company selling quality, organic cosmetics.
The Soap Co was awarded first prize at the Blue Patch New Business Awards 2016
The Blue Patch Collective, the people behind Blue Patch, work with numerous British manufacturers and independent makers to curate exactly the type of website ethical shoppers will want to visit as Christmas rolls ever closer: www.bluepatch.org
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“Seize every opportunity you never know where it might lead.” Richard and Clare Talbot-Jones, who run Talbot Jones Risk Solutions, recently attended our Celebrating Enterprise 2016 Awards event in the House of Lords. In this month’s blog, Clare tells us about how our award winners and finalists inspired her.
Clare and Richard Talbot-Jones
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WRITTEN BY CLARE TALBOT-JONES
“Seize every opportunity- you never know where it might lead”, Richard advised in his interim appraisal blog post in August, to mark the 6th month anniversary of our business. It seems particularly appropriate that these quickly jotted notes, shared from the sofa at the end of a long, tiring and rewarding day, should have, in themselves, offered us and our business so many exciting opportunities. On this occasion, our humble blog post lead to an invitation to the House of Lords and a lot of exciting business prospects and connections! After reading the article online, the IOEE got in touch to find out more about us, and wrote a Spotlight On feature on Richard. In the September magazine I was also asked to write the first of a series of pieces for subsequent editions. With a readership of 26,000, this is outstanding exposure for a small business, and really helps to build our reputation and spread the word about our services. Shortly after, we were thrilled and honoured to receive an invitation to the SFEDI and IOEE Celebratory Event, marking their 20th anniversary, bringing together ‘key members of the business community’. Meeting in the Cholmondeley Room and terrace of the House of Lords for a champagne reception and hearing the remarkable stories of the award winners was inspiring and encouraging stuff. Kanya King MBE, the worthy winner of the Lifetime Achievement award mentioned the impact of her careers advisor, who warned her away from developing her entrepreneurial spirit to run her own business, as she came from ‘too humble’ a background. How wrong she was! You can find more details of Kanya’s awe-inspiring story on page 16 of this publication. It brought me to think of my own career’s advisor, who confidently asserted that the only careers worth considering were those in the ‘Caring Professions’, as anything else ‘would not be rewarding’. As I was academically inclined towards the Arts subjects, I was directed away from medicine and towards Law or Teaching. That short conversation with the careers advisor had quite an impact on me, and I took the advise very much to heart. To be quite honest with you, my natural propensity from then on was to consider Business, in general terms, as a cold, cut throat and mercenary industry, powered by profit margins and unconcerned with people. Hearing the stories of the award winners and mingling with the guests reinforced a truth that I have been experiencing very powerfully and joyfully over the last 9 months since our business launch - my careers advisor got it VERY wrong! Running a business
is extremely rewarding. And the business community is the most supportive, encouraging, engaging and proactive employment group that I know of. “Business is all about people” David Brazer from Ignition Auto Training, the winner of the Enterprising Learning Provider of the Year award told me, and he’s absolutely right. It was a privilege to be able to take the time and the opportunity to hear some of the countless stories in the room, of how business people, supported and recognised by organisations such as SFEDI and IOEE are making an impact in our businesses, our communities, our cities, our country and our world. The award winners were inspiring from beginning to end. Having begun my career in business in my mid-thirties, I was really encouraged to hear the resumes of the 3 young people up for the Enterprising Learner of the Year award. As an ex-teacher, I was really excited to hear about the resilience shown by each of the nominees. It was encouraging to hear about local businessman Robert Lundgren Jones’ experiences launching his Northumbrian coach tours enterprise, and how he has overcome obstacles - observing, adapting and keeping an open mind in order to make his business a success. Winner Roxanne Kelly’s story of turning personal trauma, adversity and suffering into an opportunity to create a resource to support, encourage and give direction to others is inspirational and encouraging. They have learned two very important lessons at a much earlier age than I did: 1. Business is very rewarding 2. Seize every opportunity. An opportunity may be taking 20 minutes to write a blog post to support others or an invitation to the House of Lords. It might be a university project, a closed door, a disappointing result or a harrowing experience that makes you feel alone. In these entrepreneurs I see a spirit of creativity, resilience, strength, bravery and determination. We had good fun at the celebratory event, with beautiful surroundings, good food, a free bar, a live band and a photo booth. But the best bit was the people. We made some wonderful connections that we are excited to be exploring and that we hope will not only help to build our business, but help to build an even stronger and more united business community too. Many thanks to SFEDI and IOEE for your kind invitation.
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language expert and MSc student turned entrepreneur. Enterprising Learner of the Year award finalist, Martina Eco, recently attended our Celebrating Enterprise 2016 Awards event in the House of Lords. We were fascinated to know more about how London South Bank University is helping the student entrepreneur and multilinguist to ensure that, when it comes to her business plan, nothing is lost in translation.
From an early age, Martina Eco has always been fascinated by language. “I knew I wanted to study foreign languages since I was 13,” she says, “but the idea of becoming a translator only occurred to me when I began binge-watching Desperate Housewives and my dissertation tutor at the University of Pisa suggested a dissertation on the Italian subtitles of Friends!”
by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute at the Clarence Centre. “I attended three Start & Evolve talks, about PR, freelancing and networking, and I’ve been checking their activities ever since,” she says. “I got involved with the Business Solutions Centre, a student-led advice clinic for small businesses, and I’m loving every minute.”
Although Martina always wanted to work in audiovisual translation, the course she initially wanted to study in Italy was cancelled. After applying to two EU-funded translation courses in Turin, Martina was accepted onto one of them. However, it was a straight interpretation course rather than the audiovisual translation she had been hoping for.
The Business Solutions Centre gives advice to SMEs in areas including marketing, business development, financial planning, accounting, IT, forecasting and more. In her role, Martina was responsible for advising local businesses on their marketing strategies, which gave her an added perspective on the challenges faced by small businesses in a variety of fields. The advice of the students is always checked by academics from the Business School, so the students are learning both from the clients they work with and the academics who check their work.
“I decided to go for it anyway, and it turned out to be one of the best choices I have ever made,” says Martina. “Within two months we started doing real work for real clients, and I absolutely loved it. I got my first paid job through one of my professors before I had even graduated, and things slowly but surely grew to the point where I was doing well for myself as a freelancer, but wanted to take my business to the next level. That’s where LSBU came in.” Determined to learn more about business and marketing so that she could grow her interpretation business, Martina enrolled on LSBU’s MSc Marketing degree. “I wanted to learn more about marketing because I felt it was absolutely crucial for my business and my development,” she says. “While some students come to university because they want a business, I wanted to come to LSBU because I had a business.” Unsurprisingly for a woman who had already shown entrepreneurial flair, Martina found herself drawn to some of the workshops put on
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It was while working at the Business Solutions Centre that Martina found herself talking to a member of staff from the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute about the Make It Happen competition held by the institute each year. “They suggested I enter in the freelance category,” Martina says. “I’d heard about it, but didn’t think I had enough time to put together a strong enough application. The fact that the staff told me about it and took an interest in me was enough to push me to enter.” It was a decision Martina would not regret. She finished as a runnerup in the freelance category and, like many of the competitors, found the process to be an incredibly valuable experience. “I think the main benefit is not the prize itself, but the experience that comes from pitching as part of the competition,” Martina says.
Martina Eco and Anna Howard, Associate Professor in Enterprise Education at LSBU, in the House of Lords.
“It’s something I had never done before, so it made me understand how I could improve for the future. The coaching I had about how to pitch really helped me understand a lot more about my business and the possibilities I have for the future.” Martina’s advice to students hoping to follow in her entrepreneurial footsteps is to make the most of LSBU’s focus on enterprise skills, and the services offered by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute. “I wish I’d had all the help LSBU has given me when I started out!” says Martina. “Italian universities are not employmentfocused like LSBU, so all the things I had to learn about the ‘nontranslation’ side of my business, I’ve had to learn by myself. “All the skills I’ve developed with the Start & Evolve/Develop & Grow talks, such as networking and communication skills, have helped get me out of my comfort zone. Now I’m developing even more skills, and still feel I have so much to learn. The Make It Happen competition has also been really helpful, not just for the prize but for the experience.”
mean the same thing in any language. “Go for it,” she smiles. “Try, fail, and try again. Learn as much as you can from other people. Never stop reading. Build a network. Make plans. Trust yourself and your skills. Don’t be afraid to speak up. See mistakes as learning opportunities. Enjoy the freedom, but stay focused. Never lose sight of the big plan.” For Martina, that big plan is coming to fruition thanks to the skills the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute helped her to develop. It’s a plan that suggests she isn’t finished with LSBU yet either. “I’ll keep attending workshops and making the most of LSBU’s network,” she says. “I might even rent a nice office at the Clarence Centre to hold my own workshops and talks for some freelancers!”
Martina credits LSBU with giving her the confidence to trust herself and her skills, and is proud of the progress she has made. “I’d never presented in front of an audience before coming to LSBU, and now I’ve presented at one of the biggest language events in Europe – the Language Show in London,” she says. “I’m confident enough to share my experiences with others on my blog, and on other translation forums and platforms. I’d like to move on to become a consultant and mentor for young translators and interpreters who want to be successful.” When it comes to offering advice to entrepreneurial students thinking about joining LSBU, Martina has a few golden rules that
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Enhancing the student experience in FE through embedded enterprise event Enhancing the student experience in FE through embedded enterprise Wednesday December 7th 2016, 10am to 4pm Barnsley College, Conference Room, Old Mill Lane Site, Barnsley, S70 2AX There is still time to register to attend this EEUK Enterprise Exchange event generously hosted by Barnsley College. The event will be of interest to those working in Further Education Colleges or in Universities that work with FE.
The event will enable delegates to: -
Consider different college-wide approaches to embedding enterprise Hear from experienced educators who have embedded enterprise across the College Take part in an interactive Entrepreneurship Moodle session Obtain new ideas to inform curriculum development Meet and network with other enterprise educators
Background and summary
EEUK Enterprise Exchange events are one day best practice style mini conferences where educators and practitioners come together to share and exchange good practice and expertise related to enterprise and entrepreneurship education. This event will focus on models of embedded enterprise that impact on the student experience in Further Education (FE). FE and HE colleges will share their expertise of how enterprise education works in their college including team structure, model for engagement of staff, engagement of students and how enterprise contributes to an overall enhanced student experience. Rubina Rashid, Assistant Principal at Barnsley College and EEUK Director, will kick the day off with her talk “How Enterprise contributes towards outstanding” and will reflect on the contribution that Barnsley’s enterprise agenda has made. The day will continue with colleagues from The Sheffield College, where enterprise is a key strategic driver, sharing models of embedded enterprise that impact on the student experience and explaining how they work with external organisations to ensure ongoing support. Penny Matthews from Big Ideas Wales will look back at the Welsh youth entrepreneurship agenda across the last 15 years and will share insight into early stage developments of the Welsh Entrepreneurship Exchange. There will be also be contributions from the IOEE and a range of colleges including Coleg Cambria who will run an interactive session using their Entrepreneurship Moodle.
Speakers and contributors confirmed so far: -
Rubina Rashid, Barnsley College Jo Bolton and Chris Browne, The Sheffield College Penny Matthews, Big Ideas Wales Sue Poole, Gower College Swansea Rona Griffiths, Coleg Cambria Lydia Butterworth, Kirklees College Sarah Trouten, The IOEE
The event is free to attend for members of Enterprise Educators UK and £125 for others. To attend please visit www.enterprise.ac.uk or click here to book now. 42 | Think Enterprise
Routes to relaxation for busy entrepreneurs In the UK it has been found that entrepreneurs work an average of 52 hours a week – that’s a figure 63% longer than the average employee. While you may enjoy the hard graft and see it as a short-term solution to long-term success, in fact there is evidence to suggest that burning the candle at both ends is detrimental to your overall productivity. Here, we’re taking a look at why taking time out could be the best business investment you ever made.
creative ideas. It’s vital that you inject fresh experiences into the mix. Seeing the same faces and the same places each and every day will leave your thinking stale. Why not dare yourself to have two new experiences every month and, if you’re feeling generous, invite your team along too? Pony trekking, sushi making, willow weaving or go-cart racing… the choice is yours. The most important thing is to completely switch off from the world of work and give those neurons the chance to fire in new directions.
Exceptionally long hours, difficulty winding down and a mind that’s constantly buzzing with new ideas. If you’re a true entrepreneur this is probably a way of life familiar to you. If you’re always rushing to get started on the next project, to connect with the next valuable contact, to broker the next big deal, you may end up running on empty. That’s when it’s time to step back and reassess how your lifestyle may be impacting your overall productivity. Between 2013 and 2014, some 11.3 million work days were lost due to stress, depression or anxiety across the UK. That’s an average of 23 days per person, per year. Although you may not have overdone things to that extent quite yet, it’s wise to really think about how small changes could improve your health and also your productivity and creativity at work. We need to start thinking of relaxation as an investment in both our bodies and our businesses. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Dump the tech
We’re an exercise mad society and everyone knows that a good work out helps your body produce feel-good endorphins and serotonin, the hormones that relieve pain and promote happiness. However, you may not know that these hormones also help to regulate the metabolism, enable a deeper, more restful sleep and improve both motivation and concentration. There has never been a better time to dig out your trainers, your swimming costume or your mountain bike and get moving! Just 20 minutes a day could provide the time and space your mind needs to produce your next big idea, to untangle an ‘impossible’ business puzzle or to simply ease away the tension that’s distracting you at work. Have new experiences As an extremely busy business owner, life can become a series of patterns and routines. The 5.30am alarm, the trip to the gym, the 7.45am morning meeting, the 10am coffee… doing the same things time and time again provides little inspiration or space for
Have you ever calculated how much of your waking life is spent with a screen in front of your face? Most of us reach for our smartphones before we’ve even raised our heads from the pillows, squinting into these reflective surfaces to check the news, the traffic, Twitter or emails before the kettle’s on. All that screen time isn’t good for your stress levels or your productivity as an entrepreneur. One way to counter it is to exercise a blanket ban on all technology for one full day every month. No telephone, no laptop, no TV – nothing. At first you’ll find this extremely difficult and those twitching fingers will be constantly reaching for buttons that aren’t there. However, once you become accustomed to the feeling that something’s missing, you’ll most likely find going tech-free liberates your brain to follow different thoughts and releases it from the stresses of constantly communicating with the outside world.
Getting back to nature in woodland, by the beach or just in the local park has been proven to be beneficial to both our health and our productivity. Health experts have even coined a term for those who don’t have enough access to the great outdoors – they’re said to be suffering from ‘nature deficit disorder’. This condition exacerbates depression and anxiety and all but guarantees you’re not working at your optimum level. Simply taking your lunchbreak in the park or making time each week to visit the beach could ensure you get your regular dose of nature. If even that is too much to ask, what about investing in a few office plants? They have been shown to boost productivity by a remarkable 15%! These are just a handful of ways to boost your general wellbeing both for your own sake, and for that of your business. In fact, there are a multitude of options, each as different as the entrepreneurs who give them a go. Most important is that we all find ways to relax and unwind away from the pressures of business ownership.
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Enterprise mentoring support for creative business Last year, as part of the BBA IOEE mentoring programme, University of Worcester postgraduate student and aspiring entrepreneur Sarah Mitton was matched up with Tim Newman, a Commercial Banking Relationship Director at Lloyds Banking Group. We caught up with them both to find out more.
A few years ago Sarah Mitton was working for UnLtd, an organisation that supported people to set up social enterprises. As part of her role, she would facilitate mentoring connections but she had never either mentored or been mentored herself. That was to change a year into her postgraduate degree at the University of Worcester when she decided to start her own business. She recalls: “When I started my masters in Leadership and Management in 2014 I was quite heavily pregnant. Once I’d had my daughter I just felt that I didn’t want to go back to the job I’d been doing because it was a lot of travel. So, about a year into the course, last October, I decided to set up on my own. We were halfway through the programme and that was around the time the mentoring became available too.” Sarah’s course was part of Worcester University’s innovative Momentum Programme. This initiative represented a new direction for the institution. Funding had been secured from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to run a pilot scheme that would support executive Masters students in their enterprising endeavours, as well as their formal education. As part of that Sarah was given the opportunity to access the British Banking Association/IOEE mentoring scheme, which matches banking profession mentors with those just setting out on their enterprise journey. She says: “Momentum was a bit of an experimental project for the university. Half of the students on my course were working in an existing company and the other half were looking to set up businesses. I began as someone who was working for a company and then partway through the course decided to set up my storytelling business.” Rhubarb Rhubarb Creatives, Sarah’s business, is now up and running. The specialist arts organisation takes storytelling to its clients for events, training and outreach purposes. Sarah, who works alongside 25% shareholder and business partner Charlotte
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Brennan, explains how the business idea came to her: “For my thirtieth birthday my friends bought me a book which was called The Moth. It was about a storytelling movement that had begun in New York. People would go along to live gigs and stand up to tell short, five minute stories.” Sarah’s interest deepened when she began listening to some of the stories themselves as podcasts as she looked after her tiny new-born daughter: “The stories were really moving and they sparked my interest in how we all have stories to tell but how, often, they get lost over time because we have no way of archiving them. My business sprung from an interest in how we can capture people’s stories and also use them as a tool, for example, for community cohesion.” In November 2015, when Rhubarb Rhubarb Creatives was in its very early days, Sarah was told she could have a mentor from Lloyds Bank. She took the opportunity and was matched with Tim Newman. Tim has been a Relationship Director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking for around 20 years. He has a portfolio of corporate clients who are typically turning over between £25 million and £100 million each year. Initially, Sarah had some reservations about being matched with someone whose background was so different from her own. She says: “I thought ‘oh, that’s not going to work. I’m in such a different world from him.’ But actually, in terms of our personalities we’re a good mentoring match. He’s a very creative person, even though he operates in a completely different sector.” In his day-to-day role, Tim’s responsibility is to manage his clients’ entire relationship with Lloyds Bank, while also securing more business from those clients and from other prospects. By contrast, as a mentor he works with those at the embryonic stages of starting up. However, by the time Tim met Sarah he had
The things Tim has been able to impart have been so useful and he’s really helped me to move from being a creative arty person, to thinking more clearly about the practical business side of what I’m trying to do.Just to have his ongoing encouragement has been brilliant, to be honest.”
Sarah Mitton, Rhubarb Rhubarb Creatives.
already proven his mentoring credentials as working with Worcester University students wasn’t his first foray into mentoring. He started off four years ago, having undertaken the IOEE’s mentoring training. His first mentees were from Aston University Business Schools and, before lending Rhubarb Rhubarb Creatives a helping hand, he had also been connected to two other small start-ups via the IOEE’s close association with Lloyds. So, when he first put himself forward for the task of enterprise mentoring, what was the motivating factor for Tim? He says: “I knew mentoring would be a role completely separate from my day job. It was a way of using the skills I’ve acquired over so many years of working with larger corporates. I believed those would be useful in terms of supporting start-up businesses, which is the way that it’s gone so far.” In fact, Tim often feels that his start-up mentoring task is a ‘scaled down’ version of working with the huge corporations he’s accustomed to supporting in his day job. He says: “The issues and challenges are very similar. You might put a few noughts on the end of the figures but fundamentally the theory of running a business is the same whatever the size. The need for the basics – for planning, research and sound financial skills are very much the same regardless of whether you’re a pre-turnover business or a £100 million business.” Sarah and Tim have been meeting face-to-face every four to six weeks for around a year now and each of them has found the process fulfilling. Sarah says: “At first it was about Tim finding out about my business and coming up with some long and short term objectives. Now, he’ll set some homework and follow up on key points via email between our meetings. It might be that we go through a stakeholder agreement, my website, or my business plan… he helps me to find solutions in the areas where I’m struggling.”
As with all the best mentoring exchanges, it isn’t only the mentee who benefits and Tim himself has found the relationship very rewarding. He says: “It’s great to be able to see a small seed businesses flourish and prosper. The enthusiasm of someone who has ambition at that stage is contagious. I get a great buzz from it to be honest. It’s so different from the day job. I’m there dealing with established businesses, that have been through the early stages many, many, many years ago so it’s great to go back to basics.” Over his years of mentoring different types of people running all sorts of enterprises, Tim has come to understand that the best mentors are those who know when to hang back and let the mentee take the lead, as he explains: “I think to be a mentor you have to be a good listener and you have to avoid the trap of jumping to solutions – you need to be a good facilitator and empathiser, but not someone who says ‘you have to do it this way.’” This approach certainly seems to be working for Sarah, whose business is steadily growing as she develops her entrepreneurial skills, taking guidance from Tim at every stage: “The things Tim has been able to impart have been so useful and he’s really helped me to move from being a creative arty person, to thinking more clearly about the practical business side of what I’m trying to do. Just to have his ongoing encouragement has been brilliant, to be honest. Really fantastic.” If you’d like to learn more about Sarah’s business, visit her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter @tworhubarbs
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COMING JANUARY 2017 . . .
Learn anytime, anywhere with our Social Learning Platform! In January 2017 weâ€™ll be launching our new IOEE Campus. Enjoy our online enterprise courses, wherever you are and whenever you want. Learning content will be available on mobile, tablet or desktop. Enterprise Answers, Groups, e-Learning, Business Plan Builder, Mentoring and Factsheets will all be available through our new online campus. We look forward to seeing you there!
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