The world needs people to feel, act and think in entrepreneurial ways. Our future generations need the skills and mindsets that will enable us to address big social and economic issues as well as enable families to generate income and thrive. This underlying passion is why I believe enterprise education is so critical.
Over the years I have had the good fortune to design or support over 40 courses that inspire, inform and help implement. Examples of these are listed in “my story”.
The most recent developments have emerged from embracing blended learning and new technology to provide online and remote teaching and mentoring. This is probably the way forward and I look forward to collaborations in this field so that we can affect the lives of millions with a can-do spirit and the skills to go forward.
PostDocs to Innovators: University of Cambridge and European Partner Universities.
Designed and developed the framework and content for this course. (Restricted access)
Current Co-design and delivery of a programme for midlife career employees seeking new challenges in Malaysia.
The Summer School in Austria is now in its fifth year. Although this started out as an entirely face to face development modelled on what I had designed in Cambridge, due to the circumstances of 2020 – the programme has moved online. It looks effortless when you have a great team!
Since 1996 I have helped to form and develop three Centres focused on entrepreneurship and Growth. Designed and delivered pioneering courses in Entrepreneurship and helped educate over 30,000 students; 200 educators and hundreds of early stage business ideas.
My interests in going forward are to continue to work with universities, Institutions and Accelerators in designing appropriate interventions that blend practical training, with personal development and skills to support entrepreneurship.
By way of Illustration here are a sample of courses, workshops and events that have been designed and delivered:
While at Cranfield University, first on a campus that focused on Agriculture and subsequently on the main campus with the School of Management I had the pleasure to be part of an Enterprise Group that lead the way in Business Growth and Enterprise Development. We ran courses and programmes like:
My focus was in small and early growth businesses. For example Firmstart – modified to CRED to reflect the change from new venture creation to early stage support. Approx. 540 businesses supported through these programme over 9 years.
Originally entirely funded by Government, the programme was evolved to be self-sustaining.
After the Hands-On experience of running Firmstart and its bigger brother CRED, together with research on why USA companies grew bigger and faster than UK companies I then worked on a programme design that was aimed at entire teams rather than at solo entrepreneurs. I was inspired by my visit to Silicon Valley and wrote a short article on starting big businesses – small rather than starting small businesses!
Business Teamstart and Breakout were delivered through my consulting business Transitions – to approximately 120 businesses over 5 years.
Articles that supported a focus on teams were driven by an Award winning paper presented at the Small Business Conference in 1993
BDO Stoy Hayward Centre for Growing Business (1996 – 2001)
In order to create a focus on research and generate income I formed the Centre for Growing Business with sponand secured sponsorship over three years from BDO Stoy Hayward. Built a team from three staff to seven, secured further funding for five doctoral students. The Centre had an output of over 50 papers in journals and at conferences.
We also established one of the earliest incubators (HIVE) and initiated two conferences (Live the Dream) which brought research and practice together. This was in many ways the prototype for what is now popularly called “Dragons Den”. (1998-1999)
Live the Dream was the first major Enterprise conference that combined academia, business, investors and policy makers in the region. To keep costs under control we hosted the event at the local cinema during the day!
In addition we ran over twenty programmes for owners of small firms within the East Midlands region, called Accelerated Business Development Programme, focusing only on five thorny areas for CEOs of small growing firms. The Accelerated Business Development Programme was a lite version of the Business Growth Programme and ran right across the region (East and West Midlands).
I co-designed and developed entrepreneurship courses at University of Reading, together with Prof Andrew Godley. I started informally in the first year in the student union bar with a dozen students! This initiative has since grown into a flourishing activity at the University. This has been captured by a document written by Prof Godley.
In 2001 I joined the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre, which in 2003 was split into Cambridge Enterprise for technology transfer, and the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning within the Judge Business School. I helped to lead the development of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, creating the vision statement (to spread the spirit of enterprise) and built a very particular teaching model to achieve scalability.
Launching the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning with my team and alumni and with Prof Dame Sandra Dawson of Cambridge Judge Business School.
We experimented with and then developed programmes as summarized below. These were cross-disciplinary and open to influences of entrepreneurs. One of our achievements was to help develop the local ecosystem. These programmes included a portfolio of five pioneering courses and one spin out project dedicated to women entrepreneurs (EnterpriseWise).
Enterprise Tuesday: Speaker series followed by networking positioned as “What is entrepreneurship”. Delivered by entrepreneurs. Open to the whole University and to local businesses. Enterprise Tuesday has spread to other Universities (even if by other names) for example: Oxford: Perth; Krakow; Bristol; Cranfield; Genome Campus.
Enterprisers: This four-day intervention focuses on finding the hidden value in research, to acquire the early know-how of commercialization and to determine self-awareness and motivation to follow a path outside academia based on acquiring skills, knowledge and self-efficacy. This has run over 40 times upto 2019 and began as a collaboration between Cambridge and MIT.
Ignite: Pioneered in 1999 as a one-week intensive programme, building on a mix of plenary sessions, action learning sets and networking with professionals and serial entrepreneurs. Tests the validity and viability of business ideas (aimed at STEM). It has been replicated in Austria and Perth as Summer School models.
It has been replicated in Austria and Australia as Summer School models. And evolved in Cambridge into a popular progamme called Ignite and also created a modular version called Impulse.
Emerging Technologies Entrepreneurship: This course brings very practical lessons for students and provides reports to faculty that are used to develop strategies for moving emerging technologies forward.
Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship: I initiated this course at Cambridge as a way of offering postgraduate enterprise education to potential entrepreneurs while at the same time enabling them to establish new ventures or manage early growth phase of their business. It was the first blended learning-based course in entrepreneurship. It is going from strength to strength, now as a Masters course.
I took over the Directorship of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship which has a track record in the research of SMEs, excellence in case study development and in graduate teaching. To this, we developed the Cranfield Venture Programme to offer courses to inspire, inform and to create new ventures.
These activities have become part of the day to day activities of the Centre in addition to the research and teaching priorities.
One of the courses that has helped to bring students from right across the University is called i2i – aimed at researchers.
2016 – 2018. Co-Director developing courses for quantum engineering based new ventures. These were year long programmes including formal talks, mentoring and active start-up support. My main contribution was to help introduce an amazing Programme Director to help grow this activity.
Another course that has evolved from this engagement has been LaunchPad – which is a 4 day accelerated course for very early stage aspirational researchers who want to explore new venture creation.
Course and module leadership roles over various courses such as Entrepreneurship, Accelerating commercialisation of technology, Managing business growth and Ethical dilemmas in business.
My courses which I have designed and delivered and those that have been copied and replicated have served over 30,000 students in multiple institutions over the years including Cranfield University, Nottingham Trent University, Cambridge University and Reading University together with spill overs into Malaysia, Australia, India and Finland.