Category Archives: Uncategorized

Leigh Sear to speak at 2013 ISBE Conference

Leigh Sear, from SFEDI Solutions, will be speaking at the ISBE 2013 Conference in Cardiff today. Leigh will be reflecting on how the relevance of enterprise research to policy, process and practice can be enhanced. One of the key messages that Leigh will be highlighting in his keynote address to the conference is the challenge in retaining some form of institutional memory around what we know about enterprise learning and skills development. For more information on the presentation, please contact Leigh at

SFEDI at the ISBE 2013 Conference

SFEDI, in partnership with the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University), are running a series of three sessions at the ISBE 2013 conference on the relevance of enterprise research to policy, process and practice. The sessions look at what do we mean by relevance, for whom should enterprise research be relevant and how do we make research relevant. For further details on the sessions and the conference visit: Click Here

Graduate recruitment to small businesses – Making the Breakthrough

A number of recent headlines in the daily newspapers have highlighted that businesses do no think that graduates are ready for work. In the Telegraph, a couple of weeks ago, there was an article about the reluctance of smaller businesses to recruit graduates.

The day this article was published coincided with Leigh Sear, of SFEDI Solutions, co-facilitating a workshop with Tracy Scurry from Newcastle University Business School, on graduate recruitment to small businesses at the 2013 AGCAS Conference in Exeter. The workshop focused on how we can address some of the long-standing challenges in bringing SMEs and graduates together.

The workshop built upon the research undertaken by Leigh and Tracy for the UK government and concluded that there is a need to tell more positive stories around the value of graduates to learning and skills development in small businesses and encourage businesses to get involved in co-creating the educational experience so students have an opportunity to work with small businesses whilst in education.

The research report undertaken by Leigh and Tracy can be downloaded from (see For further information on the AGCAS workshop, please contact Leigh on

SFEDI Solutions at the ISBE 2013 Conference

SFEDI Solutions, in partnership with the Centre for Enterprise Research and Development (Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University), will be running a track at this year’s ISBE Conference in Cardiff. The track explores the relevance and contribution of enterprise and entrepreneurship research to policy, practice and process. There will be a number of inputs from academics, policy makers and practitioners focused on the notion of relevance from different perspective and Leigh Sear will be presenting on how we can make enterprise research relevant.

For further details on the track and the conference, visit or contact Leigh on

Review of the Business Support NOS – Have Your Say

SFEDI Solutions has recently been commissioned by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to undertake a review of the business support NOS.  As part of the review we are undertaking an extensive consultation and we are keen to get your views on the draft standards and the implications for the learning and skills development of individuals and organisations providing business and enterprise support. The supporting documents to this review can be downloaded below (including a copy of the draft standards):

Business Support NOS Draft

Business Support NOS Functional Map

There are two ways you can let us know what you think of the standards:

- Clicking on this link ( and completing the online survey which contains a set of questions around the clarity, consistency and coverage of the standards

- Arranging a mutually convenient time for a telephone discussion with us.

We are keen to make sure that the standards make a positive contribution to learning and skills development amongst those individuals and organisations providing business and enterprise support.  Therefore, your views are important to us.

For further information on the review please contact Leigh Sear (

CEDAR receives national stamp of approval

Anglia Ruskin University’s entrepreneurial talent has been recognised after its Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (CEDAR) has become the first university enterprise centre in the UK to be awarded IOEE Centre of Excellence status.

The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) is the professional institute dedicated to recognising the profession of enterprise, entrepreneurship and enterprise support.  It is a not-for-profit company led by the government-recognised Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI).

This year the IOEE, in partnership with SFEDI Solutions, is recognising a small number of organisations that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in enterprise education and CEDAR, based within Anglia Ruskin’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School, will formally receive its award at the House of Commons in October.

Ruth Lowbridge, Executive Chair of the SFEDI Group, said: “CEDAR has done an extraordinary job of embedding enterprise into Anglia Ruskin’s curriculum and post-curricula activity, and has demonstrated best practice when it comes to engaging entrepreneurs and business owners from their local business community.

“The activities of CEDAR show a clear commitment to promoting and developing enterprising learning and skills amongst different groups of learners, both within the UK and internationally.  The IOEE Advisory Council was keen to recognise CEDAR’s achievements in this area and is delighted to recognise the centre as the first IOEE Centre of Excellence.”

IOEE Centre of Excellence Status demonstrates CEDAR’s commitment to supporting enterprise and entrepreneurship to potential and current students, as well as collaborators around the world.

Current CEDAR projects include Antreman, which is working with Romanian partners to establish a new school of entrepreneurial management at the University of Bucharest, and Bridge International – in partnership with ABSA bank and Stellenbosch University in South Africa – which aims to build a pipeline of investment-ready ventures to launch into new international markets.

Professor Lester Lloyd-Reason, Director of CEDAR, said: “To be the first UK university enterprise centre to be awarded IOEE Centre for Excellence status is quite amazing.  This is a great honour for all of us here and is a fantastic recognition of what we are seeking to achieve at Anglia Ruskin.

“At CEDAR, we seek to help all those who engage with us to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, to do things differently, to be courageous, and to tread a different path.  So this tremendous award, which recognises the ‘value added’ delivered by Anglia Ruskin, means a great deal to us.

“It gives us the courage to continue to challenge the orthodoxy, through seeking to inspire all those who work with us to get the best out of themselves and out of everyone around them.  We are very grateful to IOEE for this recognition of our work which will inspire us to go on to even greater things.”

Development of Enterprise National Occupational Standards – Consultation and Review

SFEDI Solutions, in partnership with the CFA, is currently developing a set of standards related to enterprise skills.

These standards outline what individuals need to do to make a positive, proactive and sustained difference to the development and management of businesses and organisations. In so doing, the standards will be used by employers to review and enhance the enterprising skills of current members of staff, as well as in the development of programmes of learning and skills focused on enterprise and employability.

In order to ensure that they meet the needs of both employers and providers of learning and skills development, we are keen to get your comments and thoughts on the draft enterprise standards. There are two ways you can let us know what you think of the standards:

Clicking on this link ( and completing an online survey which contains a set of focused questions around the clarity, consistency and coverage of the standards

Given the current emphasis placed by employers on the need for enterprising skills amongst potential and current members of staff, we are keen to ensure that the standards make a positive contribution to the development of enterprise in the labour market. Therefore, your views are very important to us. The deadline for responses to the consultation is the 20th February 2012.

A copy of the standards and functional map can be accessed from

For any further information, please contact Leigh Sear or Jo Lee on 0845 467 4928.

Minister Announces 15,000 Business Mentors Milestone

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk has announced key milestones in mentoring support for entrepreneurs as the first Global Entrepreneurship Congress to be held in Europe gets underway.

The week-long Congress in Liverpool will see a range of activities to champion the entrepreneurial spirit of business people in the UK and around the world. Today, Mark Prisk has announced that the Get Mentoring initiative to recruit 15,000 volunteer business mentors has now passed the halfway mark with more than 7,500 signed up.

Once trained, they will join 11,000 mentors already available through the portal launched last year. 4,000 of the Get Mentoring volunteers have already been trained meaning that there are now 15,000 mentors available through the portal.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

“The Government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

“We have already launched a new BusinessLink website to provide a single comprehensive place for people to get the information they need to start a business and will be providing coaching opportunities for high growth potential businesses.

“Creating a network of thousands of business mentors will give SMEs access to a wealth of knowledge from entrepreneurs who have been there and done it before. It’s encouraging that so many people are signing up to be business mentors and that we are continuing to get the support of influential entrepreneurs who are joining our campaign to boost business mentoring across the UK.”

In another step forward for the programme, prominent entrepreneurs Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, Mike Southon, Carl Hopkins and Penny Power will take on the voluntary roles as mentoring ambassadors, throwing their support behind plans to create a network of tens of thousands of business mentors and promote the Get Mentoring initiative and mentorsme portal.

Entrepreneur and founder of Ecademy, Penny Power said:

“Mentoring has been a critical aspect of my personal journey, often informally provided in conversations with business friends, when I have talked through challenges, opportunities and how to achieve goals and execute my vision. I am delighted to be supporting the Mentorsme programe and look forward to encouraging many more people to ask for help and receive it from people who have been there and care about their success.”

Entrepreneur and founder of The Black Farmer, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones said:

“I am a great believer that anyone serious about starting a business should make sure they have a mentor they can turn to, especially someone who has trodden the same path before them because the advice that they give will be borne out of a similar experience to their own. I am a huge supporter of the Get Mentoring scheme and pleased to be a part of it.”

The total number of volunteers signed up to the Get Mentoring initiative is now 7544.

This year the Government is running the Business in You campaign to encourage more people to start or grow their business throughout 2012 using a range of existing support services, including mentoring. More information is available at

QAA Guidance Note on Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education Published

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) have published new guidance for universities and colleges on enterprise and entrepreneurship education.

The guidance was developed by a working group which included Leigh Sear, Chief Executive of SFEDI Solutions.  The guidance encourages higher education providers to work with students to develop their skills in enterprise and entrepreneurship across different disciplines and provides practical advice on approaches to enterprise and entrepreneurship learning and teaching.

Further details on the guidance can be accessed