Team Entrepreneurship student wins TARGETjobs undergraduate student of the year award

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Oliver Haddon, a third year student studying Team Entrepreneurship at Bristol Business School, has won The Future Leader in Business Undergraduate of the Year award in the Annual TARGETjobs competition.

12 prestigious awards were up for grabs, including Future CFO, Future Business Leader and the One to Watch, alongside more industry-focused categories such as Computer Science, Engineering and Management.

Applications were submitted by 3,441 undergraduate from universities across the country for one of the 12 awards and 1,050 made it through the assessment process. This consisted of three stages, including an application and questionnaire; an online assessment with situational, numerical and inductive reasoning tests; and finally, an in-person assessment with the respective award sponsor.

Oliver was presented with his award by writer and television presenter Konnie Huq and by Phillipa Jackson, Mars Petcare Head of People and Organisation. Mars were the award sponsors.

Oliver said,

“I would definitely recommend applying for the awards, I’ve enjoyed every part of it and it’s really stretched and pushed me. I am about to finish Business (Team Entrepreneurship) which has been fundamental to my success in this award. The course teaches you key business skills but also how to apply them in the real world. The course allows you to really work on things you are passionate about and focus on your own personal development. I have been able to complete an internship alongside my degree to aid my learning and co-founded a marketing company with two other students on the course.

“I owe a lot to my business coach, Akin Ojolo, the staff involved in the course and the University itself Throughout my three years I have always felt supported by UWE and that they really are there to help you get through your degree. They also provide countless extra-curricular activities and awards that are valued by employers. I was lucky enough to be involved in the UWE apprentice challenge sponsored by Samsung and my group came away with a mentor and the tech to start our company.

“If you want to be proactive in starting a business, or get real experience to set a platform for your career, then this course is very effective. I have managed to secure a job with Mars after winning this award, however when the time is right I know that I will run my own organisation. The course doesn’t limit you from seeking employment after university and all employers I have networked with have shown great interest in what we do on the course, I just don’t feel quite ready to take that leap yet, but when the opportunity arises I will follow my passion of entrepreneurship.”

Each award was sponsored by a prominent graduate recruiter — ACCA, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, E.ON, FDM, First Names Group, Gazprom, Laing O’Rourke, L’Oréal and Rolls-Royce — all offering fantastic prizes for the winners, including paid internships, trips abroad and meetings with senior executives.

Now in its eighth year, the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year awards continues to recognise and celebrate the best student talent in the UK.

A full list of the winners, along with more information about them, can be found at www.undergraduateoftheyear.com/winners/2017

More about the Team Entrepreneurship degree can be found here.

Relational coordination mechanisms for sustainable food supply chains: the role of farmer cooperatives in Brazil (British Academy and Newton Fund project)

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Associate Professor in Enterprise Operations Management  Vikas Kumar is working with Brazilian researchers from University of Fortaleza to investigate the role of farmer cooperatives in the promotion of sustainable organic food supply chains in Brazil and transfer best practices from the UK.

As a part of this project Dr Vikas Kumar recently  visited University of Fortaleza to deliver a two day workshop on Sustainable Supply Chain Management. The event was very well attended by more than 150 staff and students.

The workshop was jointly funded by the University of Fortaleza and British Academy-Newton Fund. Dr Kumar and Dr Daiane Neutzling are the principal investigators of the project.

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In the workshop Dr Kumar presented his talk on ‘Sustainability and Short Food Supply Chains’ where he discussed the potential linkages between the two topics. Other keynote speakers attending the event included Prof Stefan Seuring (Kassel University, Germany), Prof Marcia (The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) and Prof Susan Pereira (The Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo).

Dr Kumar also delivered a talk on current funding opportunities with UK for the Brazilian researchers and facilitated a mini-workshop for their current PhD students.

Prior to visiting Brazil, Dr Kumar was invited to the British Academy office in London to give a poster presentation.

£400m and 8,200 jobs: UWE Bristol’s contribution to regional economy

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The scale of the contribution the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) makes to the regional economy has been revealed for the first time.

Independent analysts have measured the impact the university has on the prosperity of the Bristol area in a special report, compiled by Oxford Economics.

They calculated that one in every 79 jobs in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset was dependent on UWE Bristol’s existence. Altogether, the university supported 8,280 jobs in the region and contributed £400.1m to its economy in 2014/15.

According to the report, the university boosts the city region by stimulating economic activity across a broad range of sectors including construction, accommodation, leisure, transport and tourism. For every £1 million of economic output the university produced during the year examined in the study, a further £430,000 was supported elsewhere in the local economy.

Authors of the report praised the university for helping sustain local businesses through its commitment to purchasing goods and services from local suppliers and highlighted how the spending by its 3,549 staff, 27,800 students and their visitors helped the city to thrive.

The report also underlined the role the university plays in supplying highly-skilled graduates to local employers, attracting students to Bristol from across the globe and developing close links with industry which make a major contribution to innovation, knowledge exchange and business growth.

It says:

“UWE Bristol makes a very substantial contribution to the economy of the West of England. It does so through its own operations, its purchases of goods and services from local suppliers, the wage-financed spending of its staff and the expenditure of its students and their visitors.

“In total, UWE Bristol is estimated to have supported 8,280 jobs in the West of England, or one in every 79 people in employment in the area (1.3 per cent). Some 59 per cent was as a result of the University’s expenditure, with the remainder of jobs stimulated by additional students’ and their visitors’ spending.

“The University contributed £400.1 million to the West of England economy. This is equivalent to 1.3 per cent of the local economy. As a result of this activity, in 2014/15, the University, its employees, students and their visitors supported a £88.7 million tax contribution to the Exchequer.”

UWE Bristol graduates are also a major boost to the workforce and supply of skills to businesses and other employers locally. Close to 7,000 students graduate from UWE Bristol annually including, last year, more than 900 nurses and other health professionals, and nearly 400 engineers and 250 computer scientists. Six months after graduation, 96 per cent of UWE Bristol students are in work or further study – a proportion well ahead of the national average.

The report added:

“The University has a major impact on businesses and the local economy through its role in the supply of graduate talent. A significant proportion of the thousands of graduates from the University annually are employed within the city-region, including many of those attracted to study at UWE Bristol from elsewhere.”

UWE Bristol’s world-leading research, its close collaboration with industry and support for innovation and growing businesses also have a major economic impact.

The report says: “The University makes a major contribution to innovation, knowledge exchange and business growth. UWE Bristol’s iNet innovation programme supported around 1,650 businesses, generating nearly 1,000 jobs, more than 500 new products and £28 million in gross value added.

“Other fast growth high technology businesses have benefitted from Innovation for Growth, a £7 million research and development support scheme run by UWE Bristol and financed by the government’s Regional Growth Fund, now in its second phase. In September 2016 UWE Bristol opened Future Space, one of only four University Enterprise Zones nationally, which provides business acceleration, start-up and grow-on space for businesses and promotes collaboration between businesses and university researchers.”

Professor Martin Boddy, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at UWE Bristol, said:

“This new report very clearly demonstrates the major impact of UWE Bristol on the prosperity of the West of England as a whole – not just as one of the region’s major employers but through buying goods and services from local businesses, attracting students from across the UK and globally, supporting innovation and business growth. Not least, the University provides the ready supply of graduates with the skills and aptitudes that businesses and other employers need in order to thrive and succeed.”

Grant Thornton, Chartered Accountants help final year students with their online audit simulations

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As part of their “Auditing and Audit and Corporate Governance” final year Accounting and Finance students use an online audit simulation.

Students were joined by four auditors from Grant Thornton, Chartered Accountants to help with one of their final sessions on their audit.

The students were joined by Senior Auditor Martin McVey and three UWE Bristol Accounting and Finance alumni: Amy Young, 2016; Sam Bateman-Martin, 2015 and Liam Royle, 2015.

The students commented that they found the session with the real life auditors incredibly useful.

 

 

CIMA Presents: Finance Business Partnering: The Conversations that Count

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On Thurs 23rd Feb, CIMA President Andrew Miskin FCMA CGMA visited UWE to present CIMA research on the changing role of the management accountant in the information age.

He addressed  an audience of public and private sector delegates, academic staff and students, and lead an interactive discussion on finance business partnering. He was welcomed by Tracey John, Head of Research and Business Development in RBI and supported by an introduction from Professor Robert Luther. 150 delegates enjoyed an insight into the future of the management accountant in the information  age and a lively panel debate ensued. A number of students from AEF attended and their comments included:

It was a very powerful talk that gave me new insights to approach my current modules with, as well as a rare chance to have an informal talk with leading academics and accountants that more students should utilise.(Maxwell , BAAF3)

‘It was an enlightening experience and was full of lots of relevant insightful information. Andrew seems to have a very real and positive idea about how management accountants fit into the future. I found the whole thing very interesting.’ (Abigail BAAF3)

CIMA are actively involved in supporting our accounting students and are already planning further events of this kind with us.

‘Replete with folly and injustice’ – Hammond follows in Osborne’s footsteps

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Author Jo Michell, Senior Lecturer in Economics

The media response to the Budget is always reliably low on content and high on hyperbole. Even by these exacting standards, 2017 has been a vintage year. Coverage has focused almost exclusively on the decision to raise National Insurance contributions for self-employed workers – with some side glances to the tax treatment of dividend payments. The macroeconomic implications of the budget have passed almost without comment.

In the days leading up to the budget statement, much attention was focused on Hammond’s proposed £60bn ‘rainy day fund’ – alternatively marketed in some outlets as a ‘war chest’ or ‘gas in the tank’ – to cope with Brexit contingencies.

What form does this fund take? The average reader probably imagines that ‘putting money aside’ involves a transfer of funds into an account somewhere. Maybe the Chancellor will open up an ISA to keep his £60bn safe from the taxman until he needs it?

In fact, the Chancellor’s £60bn ‘fund’ is not yet even in his own hands – it refers to planned additional borrowing between now and 2020.

How, the reader may reasonably ask, is planned borrowing a ‘rainy day fund’? The answer is that – despite determination by politicians and the media to conflate the two – household finances and government finances do not work in the same way. The endless references to ‘living within our means’ and ‘maxing out the credit card’ are deeply misleading – usually intentionally so – when applied to public finances.

Rather than ‘cash in the bank’, the £60bn ‘fund’ is a result of the Chancellor shifting his own fiscal targets around. When he took over from George Osborne, Hammond inherited a ‘fiscal rule’ requiring the government to be in surplus by 0.5% of GDP by the 2020-21 parliament. In plainer language, this means that the government must aim to be repaying its creditors to the tune of half a per cent of GDP by 2020.

In the Autumn Statement, Hammond – taking a leaf from the Gordon Brown rulebook – shifted the goalposts. Instead of aiming at a 0.5% surplus, the new target is a 2.0% deficit. By 2020, the government will aim to be borrowing an amount equal to 2% of GDP per annum.

Incidentally, a 2% deficit by 2020 is pretty much exactly what Labour proposed at the last election. Although denounced as the height of fiscal irresponsibility by the Tories at the time, this has now been spun into a prudent ‘rainy day fund’.

At the time that the Chancellor shifted the goalposts, official figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility showed projected actual borrowing to be a bit less than the target of 2% – by a total of £27bn over the period up to 2020. Since the autumn, official predictions about the public finances have shifted slightly in Hammond’s favour:  as a result of the credit-fuelled post referendum consumer spending spree, tax revenues are now projected to be slightly higher over the next few years.

If the latest round of projections turns out to be correct (they almost certainly won’t) the Chancellor will further undershoot his borrowing target, by a total of around £60bn over the period.

To use the government’s favoured credit card analogy, it is as if you were to obtain a credit card with £1000 limit, and then plan to spend only £400 – leaving you with a ‘rainy day fund’ of another £600.

But this misleading analogy shouldn’t be used. For one thing, the Chancellor is free to set his own limit: the 2% number is arbitrary. He could conjure billions more into his ‘fund’ simply by raising his borrowing target to 3%.

All this of course assumes that he doesn’t make any changes to his tax and spending plans – he could, of course, use public borrowing to fund additional spending on investment and services.

But he won’t do this. He is determined to miss out on the once-in-a-generation opportunity provided by ultra-low interest rates. Rather than taking the advice of the economics profession and spending on desperately needed new infrastructure, the Chancellor presents further austerity as prudence. It is nothing of the sort.

This highlights a more important difference between household and government finances. Spending by an individual household on accommodation, food and clothing will not affect the size of its wage packet. This is not the case for government. Increased public spending leads to higher employment and therefore to higher tax income and lower benefit payments. This is why the ‘credit card’ analogies are so wrong and so pernicious. Government expenditure and income are not independent.

This is what lies behind Keynes’ claim that cuts may not even achieve their narrow aims of reducing government debt. Spending cuts during periods of weak demand lead to lower growth and higher debt ratios.  Recent research finds strong evidence for Keynes’ position: ‘Attempts to reduce debt via fiscal consolidations have very likely resulted in a higher debt to GDP ratio through their long-term negative impact on output.’

In their analysis of the budget, the Institute for Fiscal studies noted that the UK has now gone a decade without growth (on a per capita basis). Average earnings are not projected to reach 2007 levels again until 2022 – by then the UK will have gone fifteen years without a pay rise.

This unprecedented situation is man-made. It is the outcome of seven years of macroeconomic mismanagement. Hammond’s insistence that austerity is prudence brings to mind Keynes’ response to demands for budget cuts in 1930, just after the Wall Street crash: ‘I suppose that they are such very plain men that the advantages of not spending money seem obvious to them.’

Analysis by the Resolution Foundation shows that the burden of cuts in the coming years will fall entirely on those on low and middle incomes, while the better off are set to see their incomes rise.

The emergency Labour budget of 1931 was, Keynes wrote, ‘replete with folly and injustice’. The statement could equally have been made about any budget presented by George Osborne. Hammond appears determined to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps.

 

The Distinguished Professorial Address: Professor Sylvia Walby -“Gender and the crisis”, March 30th

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The Bristol Business School invites you to Professor Sylvia Walby’s Distinguished Professorial Address at UWE Bristol on Thursday 30 March. Register your place here.

Sylvia Walby OBE is Distinguished Professor of Sociology, UNESCO Chair of Gender Research, and Director of the Violence and Society UNESCO Centre at Lancaster University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and of the RSA.

She was the founding President of the European Sociological Association; and has been President of Research Committee 02 Economy and Society of the International Sociological Association. She has served on the sub-panel for Sociology for HEFECE REF2014, and as a non-executive director of the UK National Commission for UNESCO.

Her research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the European Commission, European Parliament, European Institute for Gender Equality, Council of Europe, ESRC, and the UN. Books on ‘society’ include: Crisis (Polity 2015); The Future of Feminism (Polity 2011); and Globalization and Inequalities: Complexity and Contested Modernities (Sage 2009). Books on ‘violence’ include: The Concept and Measurement of Violence against Women and Men (Policy Press 2017), and Stopping Rape: Towards a Comprehensive Policy (Policy Press 2015).

Her address will look at answering the question “Is the mid-twentieth century European nightmare, in which financial crisis led to economic recession, fascism and violence, being repeated today?” 

Abstract:

“What constitutes crisis is contested. The construction of government deficits as if they entailed fiscal crisis to be treated as a state of exception is contested. The cascading of crisis from one institutional domain to another is also contested, since renewed democratic forces potentially provide sites of resilience and resistance.

The significance of gender relations in this democratic resistance is often underestimated. How is the crisis restructuring the gender regime? The complex inequalities on which the financial crisis draws, and which the development of global finance exacerbates, intersect in diverse ways. The paper argues for a gendered conceptualisation of the crisis, not as ‘refamilialisation’ in which women are pushed out of production back into reproduction, but rather as a critical turning point in the trajectory of the public gender regime from a more social democratic form to a more neoliberal form.

The paper offers analyses of gendered practices of the stages of the crisis. It addresses whether the crisis – erupting in finance in 2007, and cascading through the economy, the fiscal, and the political – is now leading to an increase in violence. The theorisation of crisis is developed using complexity science, gender theory, and a reworking of the concept of social system.”

The event is free to attend. Register your place here.

Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School Students win big at UWE Talent Awards

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Every year, UWE Bristol celebrates their students and alumni with the Celebrating UWE Talent Awards.

This year, the Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School won more awards than any other Faculty by winning in five categories and also having five runners up.

Firstly, Heather Murray, a student on BA Marketing degree, won the Undergraduate Intern of the Year award for an internship at St Werburghs Community Farm. The citation from her employer noted that during the internship she  became fluent and confident in writing licence and funding applications, together with communicating excellently with a wide range of people.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was won by Rob Wilson, Will Dooley and Bradley Green founders of Crowdreach, a business started whilst they were students on the Business (Team Entrepreneurship) programme. This start-up business delivers a  Crowd Funding service and has delivered on over 30 projects, with one project raising 1 million dollars.

Next up, the winner of the  Social Entrepreneur award was Neha Chaudhry, a graduate of the MSc Marketing degree, who developed a walking stick which assists sufferers from Parkinson’s disease. Neha used her social enterprise as material for a number of her assessments on the MSc Marketing programme.

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Matthew Lee, Managing Partner of Bishop Flemming LLP, with the winner and nominees of the Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School Placement Student of the Year Award

Philippa Borton, a final year student on BA Business and Management, won the Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School Placement Student of the Year for a placement at Boeing Defence UK. Her employers commented that she provided market analysis on a range of multi-billion pound campaigns, receiving formal recognition from executives in the UK and the US and making a valuable contribution to the business. She is currently working on a dissertation for which she collected the data whilst on placement and continues to work part-time for Boeing. Philippa has been offered a full time position with Boeing when she graduates.

Finally, Sagar Limbu,  an alumnus of the BA Business and Management and now a student on the MSc International Management, was a winner of the UWE Bristol Futures Award Student of the Year and a runner up in the International Experience Student of the Year category for an internship in China with Generation UK.

The Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School also had several runner ups in different categories across the night:

Arian Ali Ghanbari, from BA Business (Team Entrepreneurship) was a runner up in the Social Entrepreneur category for Solarnest. Arian used a UWE Enterprise grant to take part in the self-employed internship programme, building Solarnest’s brand, awareness and social media following.

Angharad Griffiths, an LLB Law student, was the runner up in the Undergraduate Intern category for an internship with Coull Ltd, who noted that she was ‘focused, efficient and always on time’ and that they are offering her a part-time role within the company.

The two runners up for the Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School Placement Student of the Year were Victoria Strange from BA Business Management with Law for a placement as Business Development Co-ordinator with Barton Wilmore and Naomi Lee from BA Business Management (Leadership, Change and Organisations) for a placement as Project Support Co-ordinator with Treves UK.

Congratulations to all the students and alumni who won and nominated at the awards!

Students from partnership University in Malaysia visit UWE Bristol

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UWE Bristol has partnerships with several Universities across the globe, including Taylor’s University in Malaysia, which enables students across the globe to gain a UWE Bristol accredited degree.

Established in 2004, the partnership with Taylor’s enables students from both Universities the opportunity to study in Bristol or Malaysia in their final year of study.

In mid-February, 12 first year students from Taylor’s came on a study visit to UWE Bristol in order for them to get a feel for what it could be like to finish their degree within the Bristol Business School at UWE Bristol.

Whilst on their visit, the students were given the task of working on a brief to launch a product in Malaysia or the UK. They worked closely with our Team Entrepreneurship students and the Academic Success Centre.

The end of their visited culminated in the students presenting their research and products back to Bristol Business School lecturers. Associate Head of Department (Partnerships) Business and Management Christine Comrie commented:

“The Malaysian students were very committed and engaged throughout the whole project. We were very impressed by the amount of work and research the students had undertaken into coming up with excellent product ideas”

Additionally to working on the brief, the students were given the opportunity to work with students studying for the same degree as them; attend lectures and take part in team building activities.

The students fed back that they had a great experience and some of them plan to hopefully return to UWE to finish their studies.

After the success of this study visit, it is hoped that visits like this will become regular events, and there are plans in progress to develop similar opportunities for UWE students to visit Taylor’s University.

 

Students gain “real world” presentation feedback from Robert Half Employment Consultants

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This term students in the final year of the BA Accounting and Finance degree work on an audit of a fictitious company Sheridan AV in the Audit and Corporate Governance module.   Last Friday they took part in a practice presentation of their work on the planning phase of the audit to a panel comprising the two tutors (Susan Whittaker and Nicola Horner) who acted as the audit manager and the audit partner.  Also on the presentation panel was Leo Hewett who is an Associate Director of Robert Half employment consultants.

Susan and Nicola provided feedback to the students on their technical audit knowledge and Leo gave them instant feedback on their presentation skills.

The intention is that students will be able to consider this feedback  before they make their assessed presentation next month.   Leo’s feedback will also be helpful for students to consider when interviewing for graduate positions.