Whether working in classrooms, health-care settings, or hospitality we all recognise the emotional labour of “putting on a show” when we least feel like it. Flourishing means more than minimising distress – it is about recognising our sources of nourishment, meaning and purpose, which can include the work we do.
UWE CPD at Bristol Business School are pleased to be offering a new 2-day course; “Flourishing at Work” in April 2023.
This course goes beyond a palliative approach to wellbeing which assumes stress is a failure of someone to cope with an emotionally challenging workplace, offering instead strategies to forget or survive things.
The pandemic accelerated our understanding of work as a place to go; work instead is a place to be in complex and multi-layered networks of relationships. If you are interested in understanding flourishing as understanding your place in relationally-complex environments, recognising boundaries and monitoring what we “spend” of ourselves, then this course is for you.
The facilitator, James Costello, is author of Workplace Wellbeing – A Relational Approach and has decades of experience as a psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor across the private, third and public sectors and more recently through working with complex organisational dynamics at the UK Home Office.
In this experiential course, you will explore issues including:
Understanding the pressure-points in the context of your unique setting.
Develop your listening skills, enabling you to diffuse emotionally-charged situations differently.
Learn to notice emotional “triggers” and have different outcomes.
Reflect on your negotiating style when resolving conflict.
Become more aware of boundary issues regarding relationships that go beyond face-to-face, which includes virtual real-time and out-of-time working.
On completion of this course participants will gain:
An understanding of the boundaries between home and work.
Insights into working structures to inform change processes in your context.
The capacity to understand yourself and others in your context.
UWE CPD at Bristol Business School are pleased to be offering a new 5-day course; “Creativity & Innovation for Strategic Leaders”.
This course is designed to familiarise participants with the important aspects of innovation and provide frameworks and practical tips to implement innovation in their own teams / organisations. By learning about why organisations struggle with innovation, participants will come away with insight into how they can overcome this to create and capture value.
On completion of this course participants will:
Understand the need for innovation within an organisation
Assess an opportunity for innovation and improvement in own organisation
Understand organisational and team-level factors required to support creativity and innovation
Gain and use a range of tools and techniques to generate and lead innovative options to deliver the improvement identified
Understand the innovation implementation process and how best to organise for innovation to enhance performance
The learning on this course is experiential and enquiry based. Each of the five days include a balance of theory input, practice exercises, peer feedback and discussion.
If you are interested in this course, the dates and further information can be found below:
First year students on Bristol Business School’s BA (Hons) Business: Team Entrepreneurship programme recently took part in a learning activity delivered by the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator based in Bristol. During the week-long activity, known as the NatWest Bootcamp, the Team Entrepreneurs learned about key entrepreneurial concepts such as growth mindset and customer validation while also developing their skills in developing business ideas, working effectively in teams and pitching their ideas.
During the NatWest Bootcamp students were allocated into teams and tasked with developing a business idea aimed at solving a real problem. Teams were encouraged to explore the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for inspiration of which problems to focus on, as well as reflecting on their own experiences as students and consumers. The week culminated in a pitching event held at the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub in the City Centre in which the teams pitched their ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs, receiving invaluable feedback on their ideas.
During the week the Team Entrepreneurs benefitted from a workshop on pitching, delivered by NatWest’s Entrepreneur Acceleration Manager Andrew Jackson. The pitching structure shared during the workshop follows the same approach used by entrepreneurs on the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator programme when pitching for investment. Team Entrepreneurs were also able to gain feedback on their pitches during a practice pitch session with Andrew Jackson which allowed them to finesse their pitches before the final day.
The partnership between Team Entrepreneurship and the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator has evolved over the past five years and the NatWest Bootcamp represent a key milestone in the academic calendar for the year 1 Team Entrepreneurship students, providing a strong foundation of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. Speaking of the partnership, NatWest’s Entrepreneur Acceleration Manager Andrew Jackson commented:
“The Team Entrepreneurship Bootcamp has been a regular appointment in the NatWest Accelerator’s diary for a number of years – supporting the UWE students through a series of workshops and challenges from the Power of Mindset through the concepts associated with ‘Knowing Your Customer’ to creating and delivering a great Pitch. I’m constantly impressed by the way the students apply themselves to the challenge of considering creating an idea, validating their assumptions and developing a credible solution to real-world, real-time issues. It’s a pleasure to be involved and a privilege to be able to help and support the development of the next generation of creative, entrepreneurial thinkers.”
The NatWest Bootcamp is a strong example of an academic-industry partnership which is adding real value to the student experience. Many of the Team Entrepreneurship students that have taken part in the Bootcamp have continued developing their business ideas further and some have stayed in touch with Andrew Jackson and his team for further mentoring and guidance as they grow and develop as entrepreneurs.
As part of our Business and Law Student Spotlight 2022, we spoke to accounting graduate Hannah Carr about her journey so far at UWE Bristol. Hannah has just completed her third year and will be starting at Mazars as a Trainee Financial Planner in September.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at UWE, especially the different experiences and activities that have been available throughout my degree. For example, I was able to work in the Business Advice Clinic, providing real external clients with advice and gaining valuable career experience that I could then reference in interviews and future roles.
I think my biggest achievement during the course has been to reach the shortlist for ‘Accountancy Graduate of the Year’ in the PQ Magazine Awards this year. I was honoured to be nominated and make the top five nationally, and for me it reflected my hard work but also the significant support and encouragement that the lecturers provided during the degree to push me to succeed and achieve more than I thought possible.”
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
“I think it would be to try everything and put yourself out there to get involved with as much as possible, even if it doesn’t seem 100% relevant to your degree or future career plans. For example, I was involved with the Peer Assisted Learning scheme and the Student Ambassador programme, and these roles gave me some invaluable experiences that were useful in interviews as well as my personal development.”
What has been the highlight of your UWE experience so far?
“It sounds a bit cliché, but I would say the people. I’ve met some amazing friends and some truly passionate lecturers who want to see you succeed and will push and encourage you to reach new heights. I’m so grateful for those I’ve met during my degree, and I’m definitely sad to be leaving now! But of course, excited for my new graduate role and the next chapter.”
For the last month, my team at UWE Bristol, the Stakeholder Engagement team, have had a guest with us on placement. This is part of an initiative set up by an amazing Community Interest Company called Women’s Work Lab.
Becky Ware has joined us and very quickly become a part of the team. I have seen her confidence grow, her enthusiasm spark new ideas and her creativity bring a fresh mind-set to challenges. Here she shares her story about the power of Women’s Work Lab, and the vital support provided by many organisations, like UWE, in offering work placements.
“Being a single stay-at-home mum, it is easy to fall into a routine, and that routine becomes a comfort that is hard to break out of.
I have been out of work for just over 9 years, in that time I had a second child, and an operation on my kidney which I had to wait a few years for.
I was trying to motivate myself into job hunting, but didn’t know where to start, having had such a large career break.
I was lucky that I had a social prescriber who texted me unexpectedly one day advising about The Women’s Work Lab (WWL), I had a look at their website, and read through all the information, a 12-week programme where they help you to get back into work sounded ideal.
I applied on a Saturday and was offered a place on the course on the following Tuesday, I had a bit of apprehension, would I be any good? Am I really the type of person that they help? Am I deserving of this? But I decided that I had to give it a go, I owed myself the chance to improve my life, and that of my kids.
The Thursday of that week I went for my first day, I arrived and waited in reception with a group of other mums, all in the same position as me, none of us knowing, really, what to expect.
The WWL course was insightful and run by a wonderful lady called Sally, she had the experience to really give us all some good advice. I’m currently only halfway through the course, the experience so far has been amazing, I’ve met some wonderful mums who are in the same position as me, and I hope we keep in touch following the end of the course.
Part of the course is a four-week work placement, I was so nervous to find out where I would be going, as were the other mums, but I was delighted to find out my placement would be at the UWE.
I’m now in my job placement, working in the FBL.
The staff in the FBL have been so incredibly welcoming, and happy to spend time with me, considering I’m not a permanent member of staff, and will only be here for 4 weeks, the amount of time and help they’ve given me has been nothing short of wonderful, their support has really helped my experience and I am so excited about looking for a job and getting back to work, I’m not sure how encouraged I would have been if I didn’t have this support.
I’ve got new experiences that will help me in my job search, even something as simple as using outlook again, and getting back into work friendly habits. The confidence this placement has given me is worth its weight in gold.
I’m so thankful to everyone in both the FBL and the WWL, without them I would probably still be at home trying to figure out the best pathway for me to return to work, and still be around for my children.
I cannot recommend the WWL course highly enough, I’m looking forward to finishing the course with some more classroom work, but I will also be very sad to leave my placement, I really feel like part of the team.”
Camilla Rigby is the Co-Founder and Joint CEO of Women’s Work Lab (WWL), a Community Interest Company with the stated aim to support under-represented women aged 25+ to fulfil their career potential and become work ready. The WWL aims to unlock potential and lay the foundations for a brighter future for the mums they work with. Outcomes for participants include new careers, positive role modelling for their families and communities and the creation of a vital support network. Camilla was virtually reintroduced to UWE when they were looking for a venue to host the Spring 2022 South Gloucestershire programme.
The mission of WWL is in line with UWE’s core values and as a UWE alumni, we were keen to support Camilla with her endeavours. Camilla studied Business Studies, completing in 2004.
“I enjoyed my time studying at UWE and today, as a regional hub for business, and an educational provider with enterprise, community and industry partnership at its heart, UWE seemed like the perfect place to inspire our participants.”
“Completing my Business Studies degree really opened my eyes to what the real world of work could look like. My year-long work placement provided an amazing springboard for my career and I managed to land my first job before I’d even graduated! I am still in touch with many friends from UWE days and it’s great to see how many have followed entrepreneurial pathways. ”
The WWL programme includes bespoke classroom training, 1-2-1 support, skills training, practical career support and a four-week work placement. During 2022, 90 women will be supported in this way across six programmes taking place in the local city/ region.
Before Co-Founding the WWL with Rachel Mostyn in 2019, Camilla had a 15 year career in senior communications roles for household brands including Dyson & OVO Energy. As a Mum to two boys aged 9 & 11 (one who is autistic), she understands first-hand the challenges that Mums can face trying to support her family alongside work.
“My inspiration in co-founding WWL came back in 2016 when I felt unable to juggle the pressures of work and a young family; I felt like a failure to be honest. I recognised at the same time the privilege I had and began to question how much harder it must be for women who don’t have a decent support network, or lots of work experience. I was fortunate enough to meet Rachel during this time of reflection and we began to research what was available for Mums that were unemployed and in receipt of state benefits. Turns out very little and so we set about co-designing the programme with Mums from across the City into what we have now. We’re proud to have worked with over 100 womens on their journeys back towards work, whilst building an amazing team of women who really connect and inspire the Mums we support.”
UWE has been proud to host this inspiring initiative and work with the local community to improve outcomes for mothers who have been challenged in some way in terms of securing work. This programme really aligns with our Strategy 2030 in boosting our economy and supporting the local and regional community, and has massive societal impact which is so rewarding and essential for continued growth and success.
“We feel as though this is just the beginning for the Women’s Work Lab. Having started in early 2020, covid has unsurprisingly hampered what we’ve been able to achieve. That said, in 2021 we know that 60% of the women we supported are now working; this is testament to their hard work and determination. It also shows why specialist employability support is so needed and it’s amazing to have the support of employers like UWE in helping these women to fulfil their potential.”
If you would be interested in finding out more about the work of WWL, you can find additional information via their website here.
We recently ran a series of guest lectures from experts in the FinTech and Financial Services industry for our MSc FinTech students. MSc FinTech is a course that equips students to address the pervasive impact of disruptive financial technologies. This programme is jointly run by Bristol Business School and The Department for Computer Science and Creative Technologies.
The aim of the guest lecture series was to give the students real insight into what it takes to start, run and grow a FinTech. From day one we wanted to ensure that understanding around the importance of compliance, risk and legal were understood. If our students go on to start their own ventures in the future, better that they understand these requirements from day one.
The series gave students an insight into the different types of technology and applications, helping them to imagine and innovate. This included Open Banking, AI, Blockchain, NFTs, Metaverse, Payments, Automated Investing and Cyber to name a few.
We also regularly share news articles from the world of FinTech and discuss the impact they might have on the future of finance. Four lucky students attended FinTech Talents event in London where they heard from headline speakers from across the world of FinTech and Financial Services.
Below is a summary of each of the guest speakers that came to campus to present to the students and what they discussed:
Julian is behind FinTech North and FinTech West, which make up part of the National FinTech Network. Julian discussed the UK fintech ecosystem and clusters and reflected on the Kalifa review. A government backed review into FinTech in the UK that identified Bristol and Bath as a fintech cluster.
Tim Hegarty – Founder of Blockchain Ventures Ltd / Early NFT pioneer
Tim discussed the history of blockchain and the early explorations into the new technology.
Creativity, design, advertising, marketing and NFTs.
Reid Derby – Director of Strategy at CyNam and Strategic Advisor on Innovation at Golden Valley Development
Golden Valley Development and the cyber tech ecosystem in Cheltenham and opportunities to develop a career in this sector.
“It was a fantastic experience to have delivered a guest lecture to the students of the Masters in Fintech at UWE.
The students were very engaged and interested in the topic of AI ethics, and the session sparked tough provoking and interesting conversations about the ethical considerations of technology and their impact on society”
Karin Rudolph – Collective Intelligence UK
“It was a pleasure being able to give a talk to the UWE Fintech Masters students. The audience was super engaged and asked loads of pertinent questions. They were really interested in both previous experiences and my views on how various areas of Fintech were developing. Overall, it was great to have such enthusiastic interest from an audience and to get their perspective as well on emerging trends. “
Blog from Berrbizne Urzelai, Team coach- Senior Lecturer, UWE Bristol and Scarlett Hagger, Project Support Officer, West of England Combined Authority.
On 16 March UWE Bristol hosted a Social Impact Hackathon – a start-up brainstorming event where UWE students from Team Entrepreneurship, Law, and Business and Management (some of them Enactus members too) worked with refugee and migrant entrepreneurs associated with the West of England Growth Hub and ACH to solve the problems they are facing in their entrepreneurial journey.
The day started with a social breakfast where all participants got to know a bit about each other. The event officially kicked off with an inspirational speech from Fuad Mahamed, the CEO of ACH and an International Ambassador for Bristol. Fuad came to the UK as a refugee from Somalia with no English, and went on to obtain a first-class degree in Engineering from Bath University followed by an MSc in Management from Lancaster Business School.
Setting up ACH in 2008 in order to support the resettlement of refugees like himself, he has built the organisation into one of the leading providers of integration support for excluded and marginalised people. It now spans across 3 cities, employs 65 people and works with 2500 individuals a year.
The Migrant Business Support (MBS) project started in January 2021 and offers enterprise support to third-country nationals through one-to-one sessions, workshops, mentoring and online training. As of April 2022, the project has supported over 200 refugees and migrants in the West Midlands and Southwest.
The MBS project differs from other mainstream business support as it has cross-culturally competent Business Advisers, training and workshops that are translated into different languages for different nationalities and has a ground-up approach from listening to their clients and tailoring the service to their needs, which in turn leads to a constantly evolving service.
The West of England Growth Hub provides tailored support, expert guidance and access to finance and support programmes to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the West of England. The Growth Hub offers a free and impartial service open to all businesses, from all sectors, helping businesses throughout Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
In the morning the teams worked together in understanding the background of the refugees and what kind of problems they were facing, and then in deciding which issue they wanted to focus on. Having the client inside the team was an interesting experience.
The students supported a variety of projects and ventures, from a carwash business to graphic design or craft art… all at different stages of development.
The teams pitched their solutions to a panel that was formed by: • Shuai Qin: CRÈME, Aston Business School • Nigel Stone: TE UWE Mentor in Residence • Sebastian Crawshaw: TE UWE Mentor in Residence
They were all great and the panellists gave them very valuable feedback to guide them into the next steps of their projects. They really enjoyed the experience:
“So humbled to support such talented refugee in the ACH refugee Hackathon last week! It was an awesome experience, well done everyone! If only we could recognise and embrace immigrants’ skills and embrace them into our culture more. What a difference that would make to all of us.”
The event helped the participants develop skills and competencies such as team working, problem-solving, leadership, innovation, networking or building rapport and empathy. It was great to feel that energy in the room and how motivated everyone was on the task.
“It was such an insightful day. It was lovely to meet the refugees and to learn about their businesses and their talents and passions. They were truly inspirational with so much to offer and I learnt a lot from them too. I have kept in touch with M. and S. I am aiming to ask S. for some advice on graphic designs and calligraphy for one of my projects. I would like to go to the craft sale to see more of M’s beautiful work and to get to know M. and S. better and what goes on in their community. I look forward to getting to know everyone who took part and I am excited about the next steps. It was a really amazing day and we should definitely do more of these. Thank you for making it all run so smoothly.”
“I thought the event was excellent, was great to speak to people from different backgrounds and hear their experiences. It was also fun working with other students from other subjects. It was massively out of my normal comfort zone but I soon got on with everyone really well and enjoyed the day. I learnt that there are many barriers that refugees can face, the language barrier seemed to be a difficult one at times, but refugees have a lot to offer in a range of skills. I will be emailing M. what I created for her and follow up with further advice for her business. The contacts I made in the team will be useful in the future for further projects and ventures.”
Refugee entrepreneurs also found it useful and are taking some steps forward within their businesses:
“I learnt not to waste my time on things that will not develop my future… from here I began to reconsider my situation. I have enjoyed speaking with people with experience, from different fields. This is the first time that I feel that I have taken real advice from someone who does not know me… a good advice. My plan is to contact these suggested people and engage in 1:1 support.”
“It was a great event for me. I learned that I need to make a business plan first and know better my audience. The panel members gave us great advice. I learned a lot from them, it was very helpful as they have experience. I am not sure yet how I will carry on with all that feedback, but I am now working to reopen my Etsy shop.”
The event had a fantastic celebratory feel. It was not a competition but a celebration of what we can do together. Participants also got some certificates and a UWE digital badge thanks to Lynda Williams, Associate Director of Stakeholder Engagement. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership and supporting them during their journey.
We just planted the sheet and the magic happened! We have now shared the material created during the day and created a communication channel for the participants to continue to work together on these and other projects. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership and supporting them during their journey.
UWE Bristol has announced the dropping of the BAME acronym. Work like this looks at supporting not only the learning and assessment of students but the re-enforcement of UWE’s commitment to a fairer and more just learning environment, where everybody is recognised as an individual with different support needs.
Alongside this agenda, several Level 2 Bristol Business School students have been working to create engaging online campaigns to raise awareness of racism in football. English football has been at the forefront of the fight against racism in sport, with recent and ongoing events that have tainted the sport from the World Cup, right down to grassroots football.
Every day, news stories are serving to remind us all that this isn’t something that happens occasionally, but is in fact endemic in the systems of sport that we are all part of. Our Level 2 students were tasked with educating themselves, having open discussions with peers, and using their creative marketing skills to develop a social media campaign that could affect behaviour change.
The focus for the students working on this assignment was to firstly educate themselves by researching the experiences of Black footballers, understanding what the key issues were and then moving on to establish how they could connect with the footballing audience in order to educate and affect behaviour.
This led to some really challenging and open discussions in the classroom between both White and Black students. I recall a student asking his peer ‘well, what is it actually like being Black and being here, in this room and you’re the only one’. It became evident that not only was this learning space developing our Marketing students’ knowledge of digital marketing, but it was also engaging them in discussions they possibly would not have had.
Our hope is that by creating more challenging assessments, based on real and very palpable issues that are usually avoided, educators can start to get students to see other perspectives, learn about the lived experiences of others and ultimately, educate themselves.
Marketing expert Denise O’Leary, founder of Purpol Marketing, has been awarded an MBE for services to the construction sector in the New Year’s Honours List. Denise studied BA Business Administration at UWE Bristol followed by MA Marketing, graduating in 2004. She is also currently involved with UWE as a Help To Grow: Management mentor helping SME’s drive change within their business.
Denise, who lives in Chippenham, has had to keep tight-lipped about the award for several weeks.
“I am honoured and humbled to be recognised with the award of an MBE in the 2022 New Year’s Honours list – made exceptionally special as it is the Platinum Jubilee year of Her Majesty The Queen.
“When the letter came through I couldn’t believe it, it didn’t seem real. Today I’m so thrilled to be counted among so many wonderful people who have been honoured for their work throughout our society to make our lives better.”
Denise received the honour for the work she has done to demystify the world of construction and marketing. It’s a sector which is heavily male-dominated and where the value of marketing is often underestimated.
As construction specialist, Denise is trusted with confidential company information and company survival can depend on the winning outcome; Denise’s marketing and bid writing skills have literally saved companies.
“I am so delighted that I can put into words how great construction companies can be, so they can win contracts to secure their futures. With social value and local supply chains now high on the agenda, messaging within bids is so important,” she said.
Since 2014, Denise has worked tirelessly with ambitious and forward-thinking companies to help them embrace intelligent marketing through strategic planning and consistent delivery of ethical and clear marketing messages.
Dan Barfoot of CMD Recruitment commented “We have developed a strong working relationship. Denise is really in tune with us, putting into words and images what we actually deliver to our clients.”
She has also supported many business owners and directors in the writing and successful submissions of tenders to win work through complex procurement processes.
This has meant construction companies she’s supported have obtained millions of pounds of work on projects funded by central government and other large corporations. She has a high profile in construction and has been a keynote speaker at the Big 5 Building and Construction Expo in Dubai several times as well as UK Construction Week. Denise is a respected international ‘Women in Construction’ ambassador, speaking at events on why women should consider construction as a career.
“We have worked with Denise on a number of high value project bids and have found her professionalism and industry knowledge invaluable.” said Shaun Tew, of Tew Bros.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you – your bid writing has almost certainly saved our company. You are part of our family,” said Neil Griffiths, of WB Griffiths and Sons.
During the pandemic, Denise took the lead nationally in embracing the Kickstart programme launched by the Government – she was the first business owner in the UK to take on 50 Kickstarters at once to help young people take the first steps in their careers. To date she has supported 166 young people in this way.
As a business woman, Denise is well known across the UK and overseas for her work. She’s published a best-selling book “WINNER – How to win Business Awards” published by Panoma Press.
She has multiple awards including 13 international Stevie Awards for marketing and entrepreneurship from 2021-2019, and her company was voted ‘World’s Favourite Marketing Agency’ in 2020. Last year she was also named among the Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs by F:Entrepreneur.
Denise commented “I would like to thank all the amazing people I have worked with and my family for their incredible support. This honour is in recognition of all the people who have been part of my journey, and I am so emotional and thankful of this amazing accolade.”