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.

Kath Preston

BSEEN Enterprise Consultant, Aston University

Kath Preston has been the Enterprise Consultant for Aston University since May 2018.

Her role is to promote the BSEEN opportunity to students and graduates and then work with them over the 12 months to help them grow their businesses and thrive as entrepreneurs. She loves being a connector, encouraging young people to recognise both the value of enterprise skills to their future careers and the opportunities available in Birmingham.

Prior to working at Aston University, Kath has spent the last 8 years working with entrepreneurs in Birmingham in various forms, particularly the tech start-up community having been part of the founding team of Silicon Canal and Oxygen Accelerator. She’s also worked as the Marketing Lead for award-winning digital product studio 383 Project, running the nationally renowned product event Canvas Conference.

Zhenya Parnell

BSEEN Project Coordinator, Aston University

Zhenya Parnell is an Aston University Marketing graduate and a BSEEN alumna who set up her own photography business four years ago.

Zhenya is enthusiastic about helping people reach their potential and have a fulfilling career, where they make a positive difference in the UK market.

In her free time Zhenya volunteers at a local homeless charity, reads books and is very involved in church activities.

Richard Leighton

Enterprise Manager, Birmingham City University

Richard Leighton is an entrepreneurial, creative and innovative individual with a track record in the design, development, implementation and management of projects, programmes, initiatives and enterprises.

Having worked with and lead projects for charitable, social, educational and commercial organisations gained skills in research, written and visual communication, business support, mentoring and lecturing, project and programme design and development, business planning, support and consulting, funding and investment, financial management and reporting, relationship and partnership development, stakeholder, project and programme management and operations.

Birmingham City University

Anastasios Tapeinopoulos

BSEEN Programme Officer, Birmingham City University

Anastasios Tapeinopoulos is an experienced project manager and proposal developer. He has expertise in EU policies on research, innovation and sustainable development. He holds a Master in European Politics and Policies from KU Leuven, Belgium. Since 2006 he has worked in programme structures that are co-funded by European Union funding mechanisms. In his career, he has implemented a large number of projects in the sectors of ICT, Health, Entrepreneurship, Research and Innovation, Tourism and other cross-discipline issues.

He enjoys fine dining and cycling.

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.

Joe Margetts

Enterprise Adviser, University College Birmingham

Joe Margetts MCMI is an Enterprise Adviser at University College Birmingham’s Enterprise Hive. The Enterprise Hive is an internal incubation centre where students can seek
consultation and support in turning their business idea into a reality.

Joe is training to become a lecturer at University College Birmingham and currently teaches
on the BA (Hons) Business Enterprise course at UCB – a course that Joe completed himself. Alongside this, Joe is completing his postgraduate degree in Enterprise Management MSc.

In line with UCB’s strong affiliation with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Joe has
completed his Level 5 Award in Management and Leadership with the CMI and is on track to
complete a level 7 award in Strategic Management and Leadership.

Nethan Punj

Enterprise Adviser, University College Birmingham

Nethan Punj MCMI is an Enterprise Advisor at Enterprise Hive at University College Birmingham. The Enterprise Hive is an internal incubation centre where students seek consultation and support in turning their business idea into reality.

Nethan’s experiences include attending the Leading in Managing Change in Higher Education (LA MANCHE) A Funded European Conference in 2015 attended by over 14 nations to improve higher education structure within countries with Belo-Russian dominance. Nethan has also been involved with many different enterprises including a family venture in Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Canada named Pizza2Go which is a small pizza store with the biggest and best toppings, with an Indian twist.

In addition, Nethan was involved within the first ever business competition entered by UCB Business School called FLUX500 which the team received runners-up and while training to become a lecturer in enterprise and marketing at University College Birmingham, Nethan is experienced with taking students to national finals such as CIM: The Pitch and University Business Challenge. In line with UCB’s strong affiliation with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Nethan has completed the Level 5 Award in Management and Leadership and level 7 award in Strategic Management and Leadership with the CMI.

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