New collaboration opportunity in entrepreneurship and innovation research with Vietnam

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Dr. Dzung Vi Ngo, Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Head of International Cooperation and Development from the Hanoi School of Business and Management (HSB) at the Vietnam National University (VNU)- Hanoi, has been visiting Bristol Business School (BBS) between October 15 and November 15, 2017. Dr. Ngo’s visit was sponsored by the UK Academies and National Foundation of Science and Technology Development (Nafosted) Vietnam.

During his visit at BBS, Dr. Ngo has been involved in research and teaching activities at the department of Business Management, more specifically at the Strategy & Operations Management (SOM) Group and the Collaborate Entrepreneurship Research Group (CERG). Dr. Ngo held two seminars entitled ‘‘employment contract and SMEs innovation in emerging and transition economies’ and ‘capital structure of entrepreneurial firms in developing and transition economies’. In addition to this, he held a short lecture on legal environment for doing business in Vietnam for undergraduate students majored in international management.

“I’m truly impressed by the environment at BBS-UWE as well as its ambition for development, especially the plan for AACSB accreditation. A modern and dynamic business school in a lovely city named as one of the best places to live in the UK. I firmly believe that BBS will become one of the top world class business schools in the near future. HSB-VNU hopes to develop further collaborations with BBS in teaching, doing research and consulting in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation”, says Dr. Ngo.

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Part of Dr. Ngo’s visit also focused on working with Dr. Quang Evansluong at SOM Group on a research project which investigates the capital structure, survival, innovation and performance of the entrepreneurial firms in developing and transition economies in Vietnam. The project is financed by Nafosted Vietnam between 2017 and 2019.

During his time at BBS, Dr. Ngo has met many staff members at BBS, namely, Professor Nicholas O’Regan, Dr. Fiona Jordan, Professor Carol Jarvis, Professor Vikas Kuma, Dr. Akin Ojolo and Ms Patricia Voaden to discuss future opportunities to collaborate in teaching, training and research between the two institutions.

HSB established in 1995 is the first business school in Vietnam. VNU ranks number one in Vietnam according to Webometrics.

Five things businesses can do to become digitally savvy

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Author: Tim Hughes, Professor of Applied Marketing 

In recent years, digital marketing has fundamentally changed the nature of communication with customers. This is true of both Business-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business markets. Digital marketing captured 48% of U.K advertising revenue in 2016.

  • Update your website – For commercial and non-commercial organisations your website is your shop window to the world. It needs to reflect your brand values and be easy to use. Websites built on older platforms may be expensive to update. Using a specialist agency may be the best way to create a new website, although building your own is relatively simple.
  • Ensure your customers can find you – Get familiar with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), advertising and email marketing, then use these to direct traffic to your website.
  • Engage your customers and potential customers – Social Media provides a great opportunity to talk to people with particular interests and profiles. Success in this is all about developing stimulating content over a sustained period.
  • Listen to your customers- Social Media, Blogs and Customer Review sites allow you to hear what customers are saying without having to commission expensive research.
  • Use data effectively – Understanding Data Analytics is the key to making the most of the extensive data that is created digitally. Use analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Digital marketing can be daunting for small and medium companies and organisations. Using an agency may be a solution for some, but this can be expensive and does not necessarily provide an integrated solution. Another way is to equip your own staff with the skills to manage your digital marketing. Bristol Business School offers a Digital Marketing Institute qualification to support this (link). The next course runs from February 2018. See here for more information.

UWE Bristol and the BLCC (Bristol Leadership and Change Centre) in the USA-Mexican borderlands as part of a research project

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As part of a research project lead by Dr Hugo Gaggiotti (UWE FBL BLCC) titled “Organising in the borderlands: applying research to support families, children and youngsters in Mexican-USA borderlands (Ciudad Juarez, Mexico)”, UWE Bristol and the BLCC under took a visit to Mexico to take part in a bilateral conference. The project is  supported by the British Academy of Social Sciences and the Newton Fund.

The bilingual conference was celebrated in the borderland cities of El Paso (USA) and Ciudad Juarez (Mexico).

The main discussions moved around the redefinition and creation of new borderlands and frontiers in the context of Brexit and Trump’s administration and what is currently discussed in the academic literature as the “age of post-truth management and organising”.

To find out more about the project, please email

First cohort of Bristol Business School students graduate from Villa College

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On Saturday 7th October, Professor Steve West CBE, Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Officer and Fiona Jordan, Associate Dean External Engagement and Nadine Fry Head of Department – Accounting, Economics and Finance attended the Villa College graduation ceremony in the Maldives.

Villa College is one of our partner universities which offers students the chance to receive a UWE Bristol awarded degree for the following courses: Accounting and Finance; Business and Management; Business Management with Marketing; and Business and Human Resource Management.

This is the first cohort of UWE students to graduate from Villa College since the partnership began. The graduation ceremony also marked the 10th Anniversary of Villa College.

Congratulations to all the students who graduated!

Professor Lukumon Oyedele gives Keynote Speech at CIMA Regional Conference

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Professor Lukumon Oyedele was invited to give the Keynote Speech at the CIMA Regional Conference: “Reflect, re-plan and respond” which was held at Celtic Manor on Friday 6th October.

Professor Oyedele attended the conference alongside Debbie Sturge, several Research Assistants and some PG students.

His Keynote on Big Data, looked at the challenges and opportunities for Businesses.

The conference was attended by a broad range of finance professionals  representing regional companies such as Computershare and  Nationwide.

CIMA Group-001

The Conference also heard from Leo Ringer of Global Counsel who gave a very clear economic analysis of the current state of Brexit,  and Justin Urquart Stewart  of Seven Investment Management (7IM) and radio and TV fame on the current investment environment in the UK.

Thanks to will James, Area Chairman of CIMA, for inviting the Business School to contribute to this event and to Lukemon for an excellent and well received presentation.

Bristol Business School shortlisted for Business School of the Year

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Bristol Business School has been shortlisted for Business School of the Year category of the Times Higher Education Awards 2017.

This nomination is welcomed by the Executive Dean Donna Whitehead who said that making the Times Higher Shortlist is the culmination of a fantastic year.

Donna Whitehead said, “It is wonderful to be nominated for this coveted accolade especially in a year where we have seen our investment in a state of the art building come to life.

“The building is a symbol for the way we approach business education with an emphasis on practice based learning enhanced by the way we relate to and engage with thousands of business partners in the region.

“The new purpose built business school has completely moved away from traditional learning spaces and greatly expanded the use of technology enhanced active learning to allow for greater co-creation and student-led problem solving. We have created an ambitious, creative and inspiring place for our students, staff and the business community.”

The School is distinctive in five areas: engagement with businesses and region; enterprise, practice led teaching and learning, internationalisation and research that is shaping the future of organisations.

The award submission was based around our performance during academic year 2015/16 during which we are especially proud our strong performance in the areas of enterprise and practice based learning, engaging with business and impactful research.

Student satisfaction rates are excellent as evidenced by scores in the 2016 National Student Survey, for example, 100% on BA Business and HRM and 98% on BA Economics; and businesses in the region routinely describe the school as responsive, innovative and engaging.

Donna Whitehead continues, “We have embraced new learning methods, such as the BA (Hons) Team Entrepreneurship, where we achieved an NSS personal development score of 98%.

“Employability rates are impressive with 95% of our students in work and 75% in professional and managerial roles / further study six months after graduation.

“Enterprise is embedded within all of our courses ensuring that all students graduate as resilient, agile and able to deal with a working environment that is constantly changing.

“Students are encouraged to take part in summer internships with financial support and a mentor to develop a business. As part of a partnership agreement with Santander, students can compete in a Dragon’s Den competition with up to £5,000 available to winners.

“A Business Fellows Programme brings together an exclusive network of 40 business leaders, from a range of sectors, working in partnership with each other to mentor our students and work in collaboration with our academics.

“A world-class Bristol Distinguished Address Series is brought to the city twice each year where business leaders are invited to open lectures to provide valuable insight to record numbers of employers and students.

“In April 2016 our BA (Hons) International Business was accredited by EPAS, a highly regarded international accreditation system enjoyed by only the world’s best business courses.

“During 2015/16, Bristol Business School received £1,121,000 income for Business and Management research – exceeding that of all Alliance University Business Schools and a significant number of Russell Group Business Schools.”

Professor Steve West, President and Vice-Chancellor, said, “The Bristol Business School deserves to win Business School of the Year. Our strategic objectives are bold and distinctive and we are proud to open up opportunities to thousands of students who go on to become business leaders.

“I am proud of what the staff team has achieved and grateful to the hard work from across the university that has led to this recognition by making the Times Higher Education awards shortlist in this important category. Good luck to us!”

The awards dinner and ceremony when the winner will be announced will take place on Thursday 30 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.

Stephen Robertson awarded Honorary Degree for contribution to Bristol Business

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Stephen Robertson is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration (HON DBA) by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) in recognition of his contribution to Bristol Business and academic business engagement.

Stephen Robertson is Chairman of Retail Economics (bespoke research consultancy), Non-Executive Director: Timpson Group (privately held services retailer), Hargreaves Lansdown plc (FTSE 100 consumer financial services), Sofology (furniture retailer) and Clipper Logistics plc.

Stephen is a Visiting Professor at Bristol Business School at UWE Bristol.

Stephen’s career started in marketing roles in fmcg businesses – Unilever, Alberto Culver, Mars Inc, Mattel – before serving on the boards of major UK retailers.

Stephen spent seven years as Marketing Director at B&Q before leading the acquisition of Screwfix Direct which he then chaired through a period of strong growth. He went on to become Director of Communications at Kingfisher plc and took the helm of the Ellen MacArthur sponsorship programme. Subsequently, he served on the boards of WHSmith and Woolworths.

Stephen was Director General of British Retail Consortium for five years to the end of 2012. The BRC represents UK retail, large and small, lobbying governments and near-government organisations, as well as producing key retail data. Through this role Stephen appeared frequently on TV, radio and press to discuss business issues.

Previously he was a non-executive board member at National Portrait Gallery Company, Fresca Group (fresh produce supplier) and Chairman, Business West and West of England LEP.

He is a fellow, and former chairman, of the Marketing Society, a fellow of Royal Society of Arts, a fellow of Chartered Management Institute and a member Emeritus of the Marketing Group of Great Britain.

Stephen Robertson said, “It is both a pleasure and an honour to receive this recognition from the respected and innovative Bristol Business School.”

Stephen lives with his wife, Sue (who is the elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset Constabulary), in North Somerset.

The Honorary Degree will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law on Thursday 13 July at 17:00 at Bristol Cathedral.

UWE Bristol appoints new Director for Bristol Business Engagement

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Dr Noordin Shehabuddeen has been appointed Director of the newly created Bristol Business Engagement Centre at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Dr Shehabuddeen has worked at the interface between industry and academia, at Cambridge and Liverpool universities and had a stint as an advisor to two cabinet ministers on innovation and knowledge transfer. A Mechanical Engineer by training, he later ventured into innovation and entrepreneurship, completing a masters and doctorate at Cambridge University.

His most recent role was at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, where he played a founding role in the development of a multi-million dollar initiative called the Innovation Precinct – which brought together various innovation infrastructure and activities across the University under a single industry-facing umbrella.

He also led the development of an incubation/acceleration facility for start-ups, has authored a practitioner handbook and developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on innovation – which has seen over 21,000 students going through it from around the world.

Speaking about his new role at UWE Bristol, Dr Shehabuddeen said,

“The scope for extending our engagement is tremendous. Regionally, Bristol is a happening place in terms of sectors such as creative and digital media, music and events, professional and financial services, and new technologies generally. It is also an exciting start-up scene.

“UWE Bristol has an important role to play in all aspects of business support and creation, be it around our entrepreneurship initiatives, or student advice clinics for business, or indeed through cross-disciplinary offerings.

“One of our first projects will be the launch of a business club facility – a sort of business class lounge with co-working spaces to create a strong ecosystem of industry stakeholders and practitioners. Some of the benefits of club membership will range from discounted access to our short courses to accessing student talent, relevant research expertise, and specialist facilities.

“We have a superb new building with state-of-the-art lecture theatres, innovative training suites, Bloomberg trading room, and moot courts. We would like to see businesses of all sizes and sectors making use of our facilities and engaging with our staff and student body. The future looks very exciting for us.”

Donna Whitehead, Executive Dean of Bristol Business School, said,

“We are delighted to welcome Dr Shehabuddeen on board. He has an outstandingly strong track record and will help us to shape some exciting new projects that take UWE Bristol’s business engagement activities into a new stratosphere.”

The Hire Association Europe and Event Hire Association work with UWE Bristol on developing an ILM Leadership and Management qualification for the industry

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The Hire Association Europe and Event Hire Association (HAE, EHA) have selected UWE Bristol for a partnership to help them develop an ILM Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification for the Industry.

Part of the partnership enables the HAE and EHA  to use the facilities at the new Bristol Business School. On June 13th, HAE and EHA committee member representatives hosted their Technical Health and Safety and Training group meeting in the Bristol Business School.

Richard Whiting, Commercial Manager for HAE commented:

It was a real pleasure for Hire Association Europe to be able to hold our  Technical Health and Safety and Training group meetings at the state of the art and somewhat futuristic new Bristol Business School at UWE.  The facilities and warm welcome we received were first class and the tour of the facilities further outlined what a fantastic venue this is.  I’d encourage anybody to visit if they get the chance

The HAE and EHA are the industry leading trade association for plant, tool and event hire across their sectors. They assists businesses, from sole traders to larger independent and privately owned organisations, by providing operational resources, services and benefits to support the hire and event industries.

UWE Bristol will continue to work with the HAE and EHA to produce the ILM Level 5 qualification that will be eventually rolled out and offered to all members.

Graham Arundell , Managing Director of HAE  commented on the partnership:

Equipping people with qualifications , transferable skills and knowledge will undoubtedly develop professionalism and competence ultimately improving and driving the hire sector forward.

For more information on working with UWE Bristol to develop courses for your employees please contact

Successful first year for the Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School pro bono Business Advice Clinic

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The pro bono Business Advice Clinic has had a successful first year of operation. Since October 2016 until the last clinic on 10 May 2017, a group of undergraduate and post-graduate law students has conducted interviews, provided advice and drafted documentation for a variety of business clients.

Work undertaken as part of the clinic includes preparing a new set of Articles of Association for a Bristol charity, drafting consultancy agreements for a start-up based in UWE’s Enterprise Incubator, providing a tailored due diligence questionnaire for the acquisition by an ex-UWE student of a local business and drafting a supply agreement for a beauty product start up based in the Enterprise Incubator at Future Space.


The pro bono clinic was set up by Marcus Keppel-Palmer, head of pro bono legal work in FBL. The clinic has been run in collaboration with lawyers from two Bristol firms: Osborne Clarke and Gregg Latchams. At each pro bono clinic clients were able to make appointments to see a student team with at least one external lawyer present. Work undertaken between clinics was supervised by UWE law lecturer and solicitor, Diana Johnson, in addition to the Osborne Clarke solicitors; Natasha Grant, James Taylor, Victoria Lewis and Clare Lim (trainee) and Gregg Latchams lawyers; Chris Hayward, Ed Boal and Shalini Jagmohan (trainee).

All students who participated in the clinic found it extremely rewarding – comments from some participants are set out below:

Shifrah Walker-Abidoye, LPC:

“I enjoyed being able to contribute the knowledge that I have learnt throughout my undergraduate study in a practical way to start-up companies”

Stefano Pianigiani, LPC:

“I really enjoyed working with solicitors from Osborne Clarke and Gregg Latchams. Seeing how they run interviews has been an invaluable experience.” 

Hannah Walkeden, undergraduate Law:

“The clinic has been a great way to interact with start-up businesses, legal professionals and fellow UWE students”