Business leaders appointed to inspire industry’s future generation

Thursday, 04 March 2021

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Business leaders from across the region and UK are joining Oxford Brookes Business School to share their expertise and insights, and further enhance the career prospects of current students.

An initial appointment of 11 Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) and Visiting Industrial Fellows (VIFs) will support students and aspiring entrepreneurs at Oxford Brookes Business School and through the University’s Enterprise Support programme. They will provide business insight, knowledge and experience to boost the success of students and recent graduates.

Professor Tim Vorley, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of Oxford Brookes Business School said: “I’m delighted to welcome our Entrepreneurs in Residence and Visiting Industrial Fellows to Oxford Brookes Business School and look forward to working together over the coming months.

“Our experts will strengthen ties with local, national and international entrepreneurs and businesses, building on the Business School’s long-standing links with industry. They’ll share valuable real-world knowledge and experience to those entering the business world.”

Experts give back to future business leaders

John Steel, CEO of CafeDirect, has been appointed as a Visiting Industrial Fellow. Having studied at Oxford Brookes himself, he sees the opportunity as a chance to give back:

“I am excited and energised about being appointed as a Visiting Industrial Fellow. My education at Oxford Brookes has been fundamental to my business success and I am very keen to give back from what I have subsequently learned and achieved.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my experience and perspectives on the role of business in the 21st century, challenging and being challenged by engaging with the university and those associated with it, and helping to shape the educational agenda to be progressive, distinctive and relevant.”

Fran Boorman, award-winning entrepreneur and founder of mentor training and programme design company Goal 17, has been appointed as an Entrepreneur in Residence, she said: “Having worked alongside some of the incredible staff from Oxford Brookes University in the last couple of years, I have always been so impressed by their high standards of ambition and achievement. To be able to support and contribute to this is very special.

“I am a big believer that in today’s fast-changing world, strength and resilience comes from forming strong partnerships. I look forward to finding new ways to dovetail my areas of expertise with the depth of knowledge and actioned curiosity within the walls of Oxford Brookes.”

EIRs and VIFs will work with students and staff within the relevant Business School subject or research area and have the opportunity to contribute towards future project developments, offer guest lectures, take part in graduations and other events, provide mentoring, and support students with placements or other learning opportunities.

EIRs and VIFs will be able to access Oxford Brookes Business School resources, including its research centres, expertise, seminars and consultancy.

Supporting aspiring entrepreneurs

Oxford Brookes’ Enterprise Support team offer students and staff from all across the University, plus recent graduates, opportunities to develop their business ideas.

Lydiah Igweh Director of Enterprise Support at Oxford Brookes University said “Having the support of entrepreneurs and experienced business leaders through this scheme will be invaluable and extremely complementary to the work we are doing to support aspiring entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses. It also strengthens the entrepreneurial community further to which I am grateful.”