Aston University

Carolyn Keenan

BSEEN Project Manager, Aston University

Carolyn Keenan has been the Project Manager for BSEEN (Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network) for the last four years. BSEEN, an innovative business start-up programme developed to encourage entrepreneurship among students and recent graduates, has helped to create jobs and retain the valuable skills of graduates in the West Midlands region. Over the last three years, BSEEN has supported more than 200 businesses and created more than 60 new jobs. Carolyn wrote the new bid which will see the project run until May 2019 with £1.5m of ERDF funding.

Carolyn has worked at Aston University since 2007 as the Placement Manager in the Business School, supporting students to secure their placement year and working with UK businesses. She has a Post Graduate Diploma from Warwick University in Managing Student Work Experience.

Previously, Carolyn worked in the private sector for over fifteen years, specialising in advertising and recruitment consultancy. Outside of work Carolyn is a keen photographer and enjoys cooking and learning French.

Sandra Benbow

BSEEN Enterprise Consultant, Aston University

Sandra Benbow is passionate about enterprise education and has over four years’ experience in supporting start-ups on the BSEEN programme. She is studying for an MBA and has experience in running a marketing and publishing company. Sandra is actively involved in student enterprise activity across the university, as the University Adviser for Enactus Aston, a student-led social enterprise society and a Trustee of Aston University Students’ Union.

Sandra has worked for Aston University for over 8 years, previously as Marketing Manager and Business Development Manager for Graduate Advantage, supporting students and graduates to find placement opportunities with local employers.

In her spare time, Sandra enjoys running half marathons, learning Spanish and volunteering for a local homeless charity.

Leadh Woolley

BSEEN Project Coordinator, Aston University

Leadh Woolley is BSEEN’s Project Coordinator supporting with the development and marketing of the BSEEN programme. She has a degree in Psychology where she discovered her passion is to support young people and young adults to reach their potential and raise their aspirations through leadership development programmes in education and community settings.

Through delivering enterprise programmes during her time at youth engagement agency Beatfreeks and educational charity UFA, Leadh has developed her skills and knowledge to support young adults to start up their own enterprises. Leadh’s main skills are programme coordination and management, workshop facilitation, working with young people and young adults and mentoring.

Outside of work Leadh is a gym enthusiast, currently training to be in mentor in education and enjoys practising her Djing.

Birmingham City University

Richard Leighton

Enterprise Manager, Birmingham City University

Richard Leighton is an entrepreneurial, creative and innovative individual with interest in entrepreneurship, enterprise, and innovation. He has a postgraduate degree in Fashion from Birmingham Institute of Art and Design and an undergraduate degree from the University of Leeds as well as a Masters in Social Enterprise Development from the Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship.

Away from his academic commitments, Richard has four years’ voluntary experience running projects with The Big Issue, Oxfam, Salvation Army, Homeless World Cup and Age UK. He also has twelve years’ work experience in charitable, social and educational organisations – as a Social Entrepreneur in Residence, Project Manager and Enterprise Manager.

Hannah Jacob

BSEEN Programme Officer, Birmingham City University

Hannah Jacob is currently a Business Student on her placement year and has a keen interest in all things business – especially entrepreneurship, and has found that working on the BSEEN programme has given her invaluable experience in working with young entrepreneurs and the steps involved in starting up a business.

Hannah is really enjoying her role and can’t wait to see how individuals involved with the BSEEN programme continue to progress in the future.

Newman University

Kevin Griffiths

Employer Engagement Coordinator, Newman University

Kevin Griffiths leads the Enterprise and Entrepreneurship agenda at Newman University and chairs the Newman Enterprise Group which brings together staff and student interests on enterprise-related matters.

Responsible for introduction of the Newman Enterprise Challenge, this has developed into a suite of services to support students and staff in their enterprise and entrepreneurship journeys. He also engages externally with employers and leads Newman Health & Wellbeing, a new outward facing service and business venture, providing professional development for Newman students.

Kevin is a qualified performance coach and enjoys supporting people who are re-entering and transitioning in the workplace.

Melissa Clarke

Senior Careers and Work-Related Learning Officer, Newman University

Melissa Clarke’s role involves strategically leading and managing the careers service within the context of the institutional mission. She manages a diverse careers team, providing high-quality careers education information, advice and guidance through a variety of avenues including one-to-one support, workshops, lectures, curriculum development, careers fairs and a volunteering award.

Melissa is really excited to be part of the BSEEN team not only to support students to set up their own businesses, but also to develop enterprising skills in order to become more employable.

Simon Bicknell

Senior Lecturer in Work-Related Learning, Newman University

Dr Simon Bicknell has been working in higher education for the past 21 years. His current role as a Senior Lecturer in Work-Related Learning at Newman University includes the management of work placement experiences for undergraduate students, and the development of work-based learning opportunities for postgraduate students.

Simon is also involved in supporting the development of enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities for students at Newman University, a big part of which is the promotion of the BSEEN programme.

University College Birmingham

Dilshad Sheikh

Dean of the Business School, University College Birmingham

Dilshad Sheikh has over 15 years of teaching experience in the Higher Education sector and is currently the Dean of the Business School at University College Birmingham (UCB). In addition to overseeing the strategic management of the Business School at UCB, Dilshad is also a member of the Curriculum Quality Committee and Professional Development Committee at UCB.

Her previous appointments have included Retail Manager for a leading supermarket in the UK and International Marketing Manager for a multinational confectionary organisation where she was based in the south of France for two years.

Being of Asian origin herself, Dilshad’s most recent research interests have focused on the diversity in leadership and management across the Higher Education sector. She has delivered several keynote presentations both locally and nationally advocating the benefits of a diverse leadership and management team, is a mentor for the 30% Club and continues to engage with audiences across a variety of sectors in her endeavours to encourage more females, especially from minority ethnic backgrounds, attaining senior leadership roles.

Beverley Compaore

Assistant Dean of the Business School, University College Birmingham

Beverley Compaore has worked at University College Birmingham for 22 years. Whilst in the hospitality school she was instrumental in developing the block mode delivery of programmes off site in numerous destinations, including the Maldives, Jamaica, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Germany and Ireland. This mode of delivery adopts the flying faculty model whereby staff at UCB go to the destination for a week to 10 days, between 3 and 5 times per year to teach programme modules. It has been very successful and continues to operate although the majority of students on the programmes are based in Hong Kong.

During this time Beverley successfully operated a restaurant in Birmingham from 1988 to 2008; the experience gleaned from this business in addition to the experience within the Hospitality School has been very valuable for the position of Assistant Dean in the Business School which she ventured into in 2012.

The affiliation with the Chartered Institute of Marketing was established in 2013 and then with the Chartered Management Institute in 2016. She has been instrumental in revalidating the Business School Undergraduate programmes and validating the MSC in Enterprise Management. Beverley currently teaches on the Enterprise programmes.

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