Institute of Directors award for Bristol Business School Executive Dean

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Donna Whitehead, Executive Dean of UWE Bristol’s Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School, was named New Director of the Year at the 2018 IoD South West awards.

Leading a team of nearly 300 staff and more than 6,000 students, Donna manages a budget of £55 million. She also leads the work on enterprise across the University. In winning the inaugural New Director award, she was singled out for achieving transformational change for the organisation in an impressively short period of time.

Donna said: “I am delighted to win this award. I’m incredibly proud to lead the Faculty, and enjoy and value working with all our talented staff. This award reflects their great work.”

A total of 14 directors from across the region were shortlisted for the awards, presented yesterday at a ceremony near Exeter. The awards were sponsored by accountants Bishop Fleming, which has offices throughout the South West. Guest speaker was Roy Kinnear, COO of South West-based airline Flybe.

Nick Sturge, South West chair of the IoD, said: “The South West has a well-deserved reputation for creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship. The diversity of awards this year served to demonstrate just this. We had a record number of entries this year so to be even shortlisted was an achievement. I want to congratulate not just our winners but our runners up too.”

All the winners will now go forward for a chance to represent the South West at the IoD National Director of the Year Awards in the autumn.

Internships at UWE – ‘The past 10 weeks have been wonderful’

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UWE Bristol offer a number of opportunities for their students. Candie Walters, a third year Business and Management student, has just completed a 10 week internship in the FBL Faculty. Keep reading to find out what she got up to.

I am a UWE Bristol Business and Management student who has just completed a 10 week internship in the Engagement and Enterprise teams in the FBL Faculty at UWE Bristol. The past 10 weeks have been wonderful. I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect, from managing social media accounts to planning events. The diversity of tasks has meant each day has been different and interesting; allowing me to continuously learn.

I was responsible for managing the social media accounts; writing weekly blogs, tweeting daily, and updating the Instagram account. I had to make sure I was aware of the different stories and activities that were going on in the university and publicise them. I created a content plan for each week covering what I needed to include in the following weeks social media posts. This meant I was able to keep track and make sure the content was interesting and informative for the audience.

Another task I was responsible for alongside Izzy, another intern, was to organise the FBL Level One Induction Activity. Izzy and I had to organise an event for 1500 FBL students in fresher’s week from start to finish. The activity consisted of four sessions spread out across three days in fresher’s week. The aim of the activity was to energise the first year students and introduce them to the enterprise pathway. The activity consisted of problem solving and crowdsourcing ideas on an online platform. We liaised with external companies, and were able use iDeeter’s online problem solving platform. It was an awesome tool to find opportunities and solve problems. Students had the opportunity to ‘up vote’ solutions and ideas in which a winner was granted a prize.

This event required event management skills along with a huge degree of organisational skills. Myself and Izzy, had to organise times, dates, groups, leaders, speakers, rooms, prizes and resources for the event; whilst also coming up with an agenda for each activity. This required successful communication with myself and Izzy as well as with other members of staff. Emailing and calling people was our main form of communication, but we also organised and held regular meetings with the academics and the iDeeter staff to ensure everyone was on board and knew exactly what was expected.

Furthermore, my role consisted of basic data entry tasks, data management, shoot logistics, event and research planning, liaising with stakeholders, project management and general organisation for meetings and car parking bookings. As you can tell, my line manager packed so much over the 10 week period for me, and I am leaving with a book full of knowledge that I can now put into my studies for my final year at UWE Bristol.

The team at UWE are the most welcoming and friendly staff I have ever worked for. They are always happy and willing to help with anything. I can’t explain how much I have learnt during my time working for UWE and I put that down to the amazing alumni team – Anna, Rachel and Laura.

I strongly recommend that anyone who is thinking about doing an internship, to come to UWE!

I am hoping to return once I have graduated! ‘


Third rise in student satisfaction as UWE Bristol moves top in South West

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Student satisfaction has risen for a third consecutive year at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), figures released today have revealed.

A university record 88 per cent of final year students graduating this summer signalled they were satisfied overall with the quality of their course.

Up one percentage point on last year, UWE Bristol’s score now stands at four per cent above the national average.

The result from the National Student Survey lifts UWE Bristol to 27th in the national league table from 155 institutions, up 31 places on last year. UWE Bristol boasts the highest overall student satisfaction rate of all 13 South West universities.

The annual survey sees students reflect on their time at university, offering their verdict on topics ranging from teaching and assessment to resources and academic support. It was introduced in 2005 to help inform the choices of prospective students and assist universities in enhancing student experience.

UWE Bristol’s satisfaction scores are above the national average for each of the 27 questions in the survey, including four new questions covering learning opportunities and the students’ union.

Sixteen programmes at the university, including Architecture, English and Environmental Science, received 100 per cent overall student satisfaction scores and a further 35 programmes achieved 90 per cent scores or higher.

Within the Bristol Business School, we received excellent results for our Business and HRM; Business Management and Leadership; Banking and Finance; Marketing Communications and Tourism Management courses.

Professor Steve West, UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted our overall result has risen for the third consecutive year – this is a tremendous achievement.

“We are closer to our ambition of 90 per cent by 2020, and are continuing to progress in the right direction. It is evident that our highest performing programmes continue to sustain their performance year on year.

“Our ambition of outstanding learning on every programme and for every student remains our number one priority.”





UWE’s Distinguished Address series prepares to receive 100th guest speaker

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Adapted from South West Business article written by David Clensy.

The Bristol Distinguished Address Series (BDAS) will receive its 100th guest speaker when the series restarts this Autumn.

The BDAS events will now take place in UWE Bristol’s new £55million Bristol Business School building.

Karen Blackett OBE, chairwoman of MediaCom, will be the 100th speaker on December 6, after the talks kick off on October 11 with a talk by Sacha Romanovitch (CEO of Grant Thornton).

Since 2008, highly prestigious speakers have captivated audiences attending the BDAS events at UWE Bristol. Eminent lecturers have so far included Lord Karan Bilimoria (chairman, Cobra beer), who spoke about boldness in business, Michael Ward (managing director, Harrods) on the luxury industry and its challenges, and Baroness Dido Harding (chief executive, TalkTalk) on how Britain can lead in the digital revolution. Many other high-profile names from the business world also feature on the list of previous speakers.

The lectures are free to attend, open to everyone and last about an hour with opportunities to meet the speaker afterwards, and to network. The talks provide a rare opportunity for attendees to hear about the challenges, issues and decisions made at the highest level of leadership.

For the full article please see here.

For more information on the BDAS events please see here.

Help the Bristol Business School with a research project on wellbeing and space with a collective walk

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As part of a research project titled Thinking urban spaces differently: Articulating and contesting ‘green’ imageries of Bristol as an enterprising city”, Pam Seanor, Senior Lecturer in Strategy and Enterprise, is looking for participants for a collective walk.

The walk will meet at 12.15pm on June 12th at the footbridge over the River Avon nr. Sparke Evans Park.

The idea of a collective walk is that it enables ideas to flow more freely than they might do if sat behind a desk.

Pam is interested to hear about what Bristol means to you and if you see any perceived benefits between “green” spaces and wellbeing. The wander will also discuss feelings of ownership towards areas visited on the walk. She is keen to hear from local residents, people who use green spaces for leisure and those that work in Bristol.

This is the third walk that Pam has hosted as part of the project. In Autumn 2017, she will be hosting a workshop “Exploring Spaces of “Green” Practices”. The workshop will include a short film of the walks and will collaboratively explore the different narratives identified on the walks. Additionally there will be a report shared on how walking and talking with other can help social change. Anyone who took part in the walk will be invited to attend the workshop but it will also be open to anyone who is simply interested in learning more about the project.

The walk is part of a series of events run by the Festival of Nature.

Places are free but most be booked. Email Pam for more information and to register your place:

Team Entrepreneurship students host “Celebrating Female Entrepreneurs” event as part of International Women’s Day

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As part of International Women’s day 2017, the Female Entrepreneurs Team from the BA (Hons) Team Entrepreneurship programme, chose to host an event that celebrating female entrepreneurs.

Inspired by the theme for International Women’s Day 2017, Be Bold for Change, the students wanted to host an event that that celebrated women’s achievements as well as inspiring other women to become entrepreneurs, leaders and change makers.

The event showcased 8 different female entrepreneurs at various stages of their journeys and the barriers they have overcome. The entrepreneurs were introduced by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Jane Harrington.

The speakers included Katie Alcott, Founder and CEO of Frank Water; Neha Chaudry, Founder of Walk to Beat and Helena Hills, Co-Founder and CEO of True Start Coffee. A full list of all the speakers can be found below with their top tips for other budding entrepreneurs.


The event was held at UWE Bristol’s Future Space and was attended by over 80 people. The event was organised by Alice Lumley, Danielle Seprersaude, Jade Marsella from the Team Entrepreneurship degree and their team coach Ainhoa Esnaloa.

Helena Hills – Co-Founder and CEO of True Start Coffee

“If it’s impossible and you can make it happen. It’s a game changer.”

The multi award-winning TrueStart Performance Coffee is the only coffee in the world designed for sports performance. Helena and her husband Simon came up with the idea during IronMan triathlon training, and officially launched last year to phenomenal public response. A Bristol-based start-up, TrueStart have built and army of incredibly loyal customers.

Marion Gillet – Programme Lead & Product Development Manager for Design Council Spark

Don’t hire on experience, look at diversity and values.”

Marion is a design entrepreneur who runs the UK’s first ever design-led start up accelerator. In this role she draws from her own experience as an entrepreneur herself to provide a supportive experience for start-up founders. Marion studied product and industrial design in Paris and London and she has over 10 years’ experience in setting up unprecedented collaborations between international brands (Longchamp, Clairefontaine) and small design companies (The Heatherwick Studio, Charlene Mullen).

Amy Kington –  CEO of Community of Purpose

Different people show their strengths in different ways.”

Community of Purpose exists to empower people and their communities to overcome big challenges. Community of Purpose uses a range of programmes to increase sports participation, raise educational attainment, reduce health inequalities and support socially excluded groups access services so they can realise their potential.

Tess O’Shea – Founder of Euony Vintage/ Seatox

Choose something close to your heart….and go out and network.”

Tess O’Shea is at the start-up stage in her journey and is a graduate from UWE, who started the enterprise internship last summer with a passion for pre-loved clothing. She was unhappy with the mass production of fast fashion and the vast CO2 emissions of the clothing industry. She started selling on Depop and then progressed into the pop-up shop space at UWE. She is currently embarking on a new venture, Seatox, which is an edible and cosmetic seaweed business.

Neha Chaudry – Founder of Walk to Beat

You have this fragile idea that you want to make real, you have to belief in yourself and be really confident about it before you go out and get other people convinced about it.”

Neha is a UWE alumni and  founder of the start-up called Walk to Beat, partly based at the Bristol Robotics Lab. The first product developed by Walk to Beat is a walking stick designed for Parkinson’s patients to help them improve their walking problems. Walk to Beat is further set to design stream of assisted living products to empower the ageing population. Recently she has been awarded UWE 2017 Social Entrepreneur of the year award.

Katie Alcott – Founder and CEO of Frank Water

If you’ve got a product, [going to festivals and telling people what your doing] it’s the best way of getting feedback and making sure you’re doing the right thing and that you’ve got the right messaging.”

In 2005 Katie came up with the concept of FRANK Water through which she could raise awareness of world water issues – saving lives by supporting safe water and sanitation programmes and being pragmatic by initially raising funds through the sale of bottled water in the UK. FRANK Water Projects, which has funded over 300 sustainable, community-run safe water and sanitation programmes across rural India. Dedicated to supporting those most in need; the marginalised, tribal and hard to reach communities, research and development of technology and approach are key to the organisations future.

Liz Davidson – Co-founder of Esoterix Systems

“Communication is everything; learning to communicate and understanding where communications breaks down is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.”

Esoterix Systems is running the Mobility on Demand Laboratory Environment (MODLE), an Innovate UK sponsored project, in North and West Bristol. The project is exploring new services, mode integration and business models to offer flexible transport options which meet users’ complex transport needs.

Lorryne Heyns – Founder of The Little Lollipop Shop

My biggest learning point is letting go; that your business isn’t always based in your hands, you can get it to a certain point but then you have to get other people involved.”

Lorynne is a UWE alumni and Founder of The Little Lollipop Sho. She crafts beautifully styled lollipop favours with stunning details such as lace, sparkling glitter and fresh edible flowers for weddings, birthdays and magazine editorials. All of her food products are made with the highest quality ingredients and are all natural where possible. Lorryne corporate clients include Channel, Estee Lauder, Loreal

The Faculty of Business and Law launch new Research Centres and Groups

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A ‘soft launch’ of the new research centres and groups was held on 25th January 2017 at the Executive Conference Centre.  The groundbreaking research undertaken at UWE Bristol aims to make its mark on business, industry and the wider community.

There are three new research centres and five research groups:

  • CALR- Centre for Applied Legal Research
  • BCEF – Bristol Centre for Economics and Finance
  • BLCC – Bristol Leadership and Change Centre

The groups are:

  • IOMS – Innovation, Operations Management and Supply
  • HRM – Human Resource Management
  • AMG – Applied Marketing Group
  • EE – Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • BBEC – Bristol Business Engagement Centre

Donna Whitehead Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean in her introductory remarks stated:

I’m really excited about the future of our research. What we are launching today represents our ambitious and creative values. We have created new research centres and groups that really reflect our strengths; where we have significant resource, capacity, capability and ambition’

 Presentations were given on each of the research centres and the research groups, outlining the aims of each centre or group.

All the presentations stressed the applied nature of their research and links with their stakeholders.

The soft launch was held prior to Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, Chairman of Cobra Beer’s Bristol Distinguish Address.

In his concluding remarks Lord Bilimoria congratulated the centres and groups and focused on the benefits of collaborative research that impacts on both policy change and decision -making. Lord Bilimoria outlined the benefits of collaborative research and the resultant opportunities.

Over 120 staff and external stakeholders attended the soft launch.

The Bristol Business School Alumni networking drinks and panel discussion on the entrepreneurial mindset

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Back in December, the Bristol Business School hosted an alumni networking event at the Arnolfini which included a panel discussion that focused on the entrepreneurial mindset.

The panel was made of two alumni and was chaired by Carol Jarvis, Associate Professor in Knowledge Exchange. The first panel member was Tim Hughes, an MBA alumnus who is now a success coach. Tim was joined by Steven Curtis, who is an alumnus from the Team Entrepreneur degree and has successfully launched his own business restoring old BMWs.

The panel were asked to share their experiences and what the entrepreneurial mindset meant to them before the guests asked the panel questions.

After the panel discussion, the alumni guests were given the opportunity to network over refreshments.

The photos of the event can be found here.

“Life after UWE – different jobs and options” Panel event – Weds 25 January

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The Faculty of Business and Law are hosting a panel event on Wednesday 25 January to highlight some different career paths you can take after studying a degree at UWE. The panel includes three alumni from UWE Bristol.

The speakers are:

  • Jonathan Grant, Head of Legal for Markets, Banking and Notes at the Bank of England;
  • Steve Rowan, Director of the Tribunals, Trade Marks and Designs Division of the UK Intellectual Property Office;
  • James Poole, Team Manager of Company Secretarial Services at Capita Asset Services; and
  • Bryannie  Gibson, Senior Associate at PwC.

Each of the speakers will talk for around 10 minutes on their career path, from degree to their current job. They will explain their current role as well as sharing tips for soon to be graduates.

The presentations will be followed by questions and informal networking over refreshments.

The event is open to any Business School and Law School students.

The event starts at 1pm in 4B031, Frenchay Campus.

If you would like to attend this event please register via InfoHub.


UWE Women Researchers Mentoring Scheme: Applications open for mentors and mentees until 13 January 2017

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The Women Researchers Mentoring Scheme (WRMS) aims to promote and facilitate professional development for women researchers working at UWE Bristol, helping them reach senior research roles.

Applications to the scheme are now open and will close on Friday 13 January 2017.

This mentoring scheme provides support to female staff to develop and strengthen their research portfolio, thereby making them more able to compete for senior research roles alongside their male counterparts. It also aims to address the imbalance of male and female staff in senior roles. In the longer term, it is anticipated that such a scheme will help to achieve the strategic aim of increasing the number of women in senior research roles across the University.

The scheme offers a specified number of mentoring opportunities which aim to provide mentees with encouragement, support and advice from a more experienced colleague, and to help them realise potential and fulfil their research career aspirations. The scheme will entail a nominated woman researcher being matched to a mentor, who can be a woman or man.

The scheme is available for all women in academic and research roles, employed by UWE Bristol who wish to develop their research careers. Professors, Associate Professors and other experienced researchers are invited to take on mentoring roles.

PhD students, staff seconded from other institutions, staff in receipt of the current Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Researcher Award and new members of staff who are being mentored as part of their probation period are not eligible to apply as mentees.

Applications are now open for both mentors and mentees. It is important that we gain as much information as possible on each applicant and their reasons for applying to the scheme in order to enable us to make the most suitable mentor/mentee pairing. The WRMS team will strive to match everybody that applies, so we welcome as much details as possible on the application form.

More information and the application form for mentors and mentees can be found here.