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’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.

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.”

Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School host alumni networking event in their new building

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In late May, the Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School hosted an alumni networking event in their new building.

The event was an opportunity for alumni to see first-hand the new state of the art facilities that the new Bristol Business School has to offer including a Bloomberg trading room and three fully equipped Law courts.

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The alumni at the event were given a brief talk from faculty Dean Donna Whitehead, before getting the opportunity to take part in guided tours around the building. Tours were led by academics from both schools.

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The Bristol Business School opened in April to staff and students. The £55 million project will now house staff and students from the Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School, as well as providing office space for local businesses. More on the building can be found here.

More photos from the event can be found here.

Hugo Gaggiotti completes successful research, partnership and recruitment trip to South America and Jordan

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In early May, Bristol MBA Programme Director Hugo Gaggiotti visited South America and Jordan as part of a research and recruitment trip.

Whilst in Chile, he lectured at the  at the EQUIS-AACSB accredited Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUUC) and the triple crown (AMBA-EQUIS-AACSB) accredited Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

He also held recruitment and partnership meetings at Universidad Chileno-Britanica de Cultura and Universidad Central de Santiago.

In Jordan, he presented the MBA and interviewed potential students at the American University of Madaba and worked with UWE agents in Amman.

 

UWE Bristol links up with Glastonbury Festival to promote sustainability

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The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has agreed a formal partnership with Glastonbury Festival building on existing collaborations between the university and the festival on sustainability projects, which will last for five years.

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol has visited Worthy Farm with colleagues involved in sustainability projects with the festival, to meet Michael Eavis and see the work of the festival.

The agreement formalises ongoing work between the two organisations which over the past three years has seen UWE Bristol academics and students carrying out innovative sustainability projects and students undertaking voluntary internships to develop their understanding of event management.

Since 2015, a Pee Power’™urinal that turns urine into electricity – designed by researchers at UWE Bristol – has been in operation at the festival. Researchers and workers from Oxfam and Dunster House shelter manufacturers have used the festival as a field trial in advance of planned trials in refugee camps in developing countries.

The urinal has showcased a technology in its relative infancy that has the potential to change the lives of those living in countries where sanitation and electricity are off grid.

Bristol Business School MSc Events Management and MSc Sustainable Development in Practice students undertake research designed to help festival organisers reduce waste in the campsites and encourage campers to take their belongings home. The resulting data and recommendations are used to assist the festival in achieving their environmental goals. This year, two MSc Events Management students have also secured internships to volunteer in the organisational hub at Worthy Farm offering them a fascinating insight into the operation of the world’s largest greenfield festival.

UWE students will also research energy efficiency measures in collaboration with the festival power providers, stage production teams and mobile traders.

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VC Steve West and Fiona Jordan at Glastonbury Festival

Associate Dean for External Engagement, Fiona Jordan who has been heavily involved with the project from start commented:

I am delighted that we now have an official partnership with Glastonbury Festival to work together on a range of sustainability projects. This provides further exciting opportunities for our MSc Events Management and BA Business with Events Management students to undertake research and to get valuable experience volunteering within the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world.

The agreement between the University and the festival states:

‘The parties commit themselves to exploring mutually beneficial collaborative projects promoting sustainable development and providing valuable opportunities for students to gain experience of working in this unique environment.’

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.

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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” 

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.

New £55 million building will change how UWE Bristol does business

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Staff and students working and studying at Bristol Business School (BBS) and Bristol Law School (BLS) at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) have moved in to a new state of the art £55million building.

The building is the jewel in the crown of a significant £300m capital investment programme across all campuses and will enable UWE Bristol to offer a new way forward in Business and Law Education to benefit students and businesses in the region.

Designed to foster formal and informal interaction between businesses the new facility promises to bring many benefits to the regional economy.

Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of BBS and BLS says,

“This will be a live environment where staff and students and business work together – with collaboration at its core.

“We consult with our advisory board of key business figures who challenge us to make our provision meet the needs of employers and the latest developments in the business world.”

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Professor Steve West, President and Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said,

“It is wonderful to see this flagship build fully occupied. But it’s not really about the building, it is about what will happen inside it.

“At UWE Bristol we teach business differently. A UWE education goes beyond getting industry accreditation, important though this is.

“We are harnessing relationships with thousands of businesses across the region, nationally and internationally helping us to shape our courses so that our students develop the skills that are needed to help the economy thrive.”

Donna Whitehead continues,

“Already UWE Bristol students are demonstrating entrepreneurial spirit through our Team Entrepreneur course where a degree is earned by students collaborating in teams to create and run a business over a three year period under the guidance of mentors.

“We foster an enterprise mindset in all our students. Last year Bristol Law School students doing pro bono work gained £1 million in welfare benefits for people wrongly declared fit for work.

“They also advise start-ups and tech businesses though our Business Clinic, which will diversify into digital marketing, finance and tax advice over the next year. This service has been set up in collaboration with Bristol law firm Gregg Latchams Ltd and international legal practice Osborne Clarke LLP and is based at the Future Space Centre on Frenchay Campus.

“Activities like these keep us in touch with what is happening in the region and provides students with relevant work and placement opportunities as they interact with business, owners and developers.”

Features of the new building include two showcase law courts, a city trading room, a 300 seat lecture theatre, two Harvard lecture theatres, an incubator for our Team

Entrepreneurs, technology enhanced and flexible learning spaces, IT suites, meeting facilities and parking for business, an external business engagement space, a central social space and a café.

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Key professional organisations will have a base in the new building enabling barristers, accountants, small business owners and start-ups to mix with staff and students in the learning and social areas.

Throughout the building there are flexible workspaces that staff, students and visitors can use.

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See also a 3D-modelled film showcasing the internal design, layout and infrastructure and also a YouTube 360 degree video visualisation of the new building.

Bristol Business School recently achieved the prestigious European programme accreditation (EPAS), placing it in an elite and internationally recognised group of modern Business Schools.

 

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.