Strengthening connections between business schools and ethnic minority businesses

14:00-16:30, 23 February, virtual workshop via Zoom

The interactive, practical workshop will explore the mutual value that can be derived from business schools working with ethnic minority businesses, and the practical challenges that need to be overcome if the relationship is to benefit the entrepreneur, the business school, the wider university and the broader business community. By the end of the session participants will have:

  • A deeper understanding about the contribution that ethnic minority entrepreneurs make to the UK’s economy and society
  • New ideas and perspectives on how business schools can more effectively work with ethnic minority businesses
  • A new network of colleagues in other business schools and the ethnic minority business community

This workshop is part of the Regional Liaison Network's series of events and is co-hosted by the Small Business Charter and the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) at Aston Business School.

Speakers include:

Ammo Talwar MBE
CEO, Punch Records

Emelia Quist
Senior Policy Manager, Federation of Small Businesses

Fuad Mahamed
CEO, Ashley Community Housing (ACH)

Professor Monder Ram OBE
Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), Aston Business School

Paula Whitehouse
Associate Dean for Enterprise, Aston Business School

Ryan Cartwright
Senior Manager, British Business Bank

Saidul Haque Saeed
Lead Organiser, Citizens UK

Simon Redgrave
Head of Creative Development, Punch Records

14:00   Welcome and introduction

An overview of the contribution that ethnic minority entrepreneurs make to the UK’s economy and society.

Professor Monder Ram OBE, Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), Aston Business School and Workshop Chairperson

14:10   Panel discussion: Nurturing the relationship

In this session we will explore the mutual value that can be derived from business schools working with ethnic minority businesses, and the practical challenges that need to be overcome if the relationship is to benefit the entrepreneur, the business school, the wider university and the broader business community.

Paula Whitehouse, Associate Dean for Enterprise, Aston Business School
Ryan Cartwright, Senior Manager, British Business Bank
Fuad Mahamed, CEO, Ashley Community Housing (ACH)
Emelia Quist, Senior Policy Manager, Federation of Small Businesses
Moderator: Professor Monder Ram OBE, Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), Aston Business School

15:00   Break

15:10   Ethnic minority business / business school collaborations in action

In this session we will hear two case studies of how business schools are working with ethnic minority businesses. At the end of the two presentations there will be the opportunity for Q&A.

First Case Study: Punch Records

Ammo Talwar MBE, CEO, Punch Records
Simon Redgrave, Head of Creative Development, Punch Records
Tarik Ross-Cameron, Development Coordinator, Punch Records

Second Case Study: Citizens UK

Saidul Haque Saeed, Lead Organiser, Citizens UK

15:40   Group discussions

In the final section of the workshop we will break into 2-3 groups for in-depth discussion about practical ways in which business schools can work with EMB’s. Participants will be invited to choose the session they want to join and each breakout will be facilitated by a Chairperson who will feedback to the main group afterwards

16:10 Feedback and forward planning

In this session the chairpeople of the breakout sessions will feedback about what was covered. Participants will consider the actions that they can take back to their institutions.

Facilitated by Professor Monder Ram OBE, Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), Aston Business School

16:30 Close

Ammo Talwar MBE
CEO, Punch Records

Biography to be supplied

Emelia Quist
Senior Policy Manager, Federation of Small Businesses

Emelia is a Senior Policy Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). She oversees Employment, Pensions and Immigration policy at the FSB. Emelia has led on detailed research reports: Small Business, Big Heart: Bringing communities together, a A World of Talent: Building an immigration system that works for small businesses and supported the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) in the report Unlocking Opportunity: The value of ethnic minority firms to UK economic activity and enterprise. Before joining FSB, Emelia worked in legal services at LexisNexis and prior to that for a financial services organisation, Copal Partners, a Moody’s Group Company. Emelia is also a trustee of Mary’s, a youth charity in Islington, London. Emelia holds a BA (Hons) degree in History from the University of Cambridge.

Fuad Mahamed
CEO, Ashley Community Housing (ACH)

Fuad Mahamed founded ACH 11 years ago to support the resettlement and integration needs of refugees and migrants. Throughout the following decade, he has built the organisation into one of the leading providers of integration support, training and housing for excluded and marginalised people. Today, ACH spans across 4 cities, employs over 70 people and works with over 2500 individuals a year. Fuad first came to the UK as a refugee from Somalia with no knowledge of English and went on to obtain a first-class degree in Engineering from Bath University followed by an MSc in Management from Lancaster Business School. Fuad has since graduated from executive programmes at the Cranfield School of Management, Aston Business School, SAID Business School of Oxford University, was a 2016 Clore Social Fellow for Refugee and Migrant communities and is currently a 2018 Churchill Fellow. Sparked by his personal journey and together with his colleagues at ACH, Fuad is campaigning for a different approach to refugee and migrant housing, support and training based on individual development rather than humanitarianism. Fuad and ACH are campaigning for systemic change, where refugee, BAME & migrant communities can access meaningful employment and skills, where diversity becomes normalized, and institutions are founded on inclusive policies.

Professor Monder Ram OBE
Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), Aston Business School

Professor Monder Ram OBE is the Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME). He is a leading authority on small business and ethnic minority entrepreneurship research and has published widely on the subject, and has extensive experience of working in and acting as a consultant to small and ethnic minority businesses. Monder is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences, and advises the government on the importance and value of ethnic minority businesses through his position on the APPG for BAME Business Owners. He also holds visiting positions at Warwick University and the University of Turku.

Paula Whitehouse
Associate Dean for Enterprise, Aston Business School

Paula Whitehouse is Associate Dean for Enterprise at Aston’s College of Business and Social Sciences, and Director of the Aston Centre for Growth which she co-founded in 2014. Paula leads on the development of growth programmes and other business support initiatives at the Centre which have provided targeted support to over 1,000 SMEs since its inception and takes a strategic lead on Aston’s start-up support for students and graduates.  As a Section Lead for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme Paula has supported hundreds of entrepreneurs through its intensive leadership and management education since 2011.  Paula is a member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Growth Hub Management Board, and a founder member of the Venturefest West Midlands Steering Group, and led a collaboration with University of Birmingham Enterprise and Minerva Business Angels to create Minerva Birmingham, a new business angel investor group, and Pitch Up, a competition for entrepreneurs which has been a key feature of Venturefest West Midlands since 2015.  In 2014, Paula led Aston’s successful application for Small Business Charter status, and in 2018 she gave evidence on behalf of the Small Business Charter to the House of Commons BEIS Committee Small Business and Productivity Inquiry.  Paula is a board member and trustee of Ex Cathedra, a leading UK choir and early music ensemble based in Birmingham, and a Fellow of the RSA.

Ryan Cartwright
Senior Manager, British Business Bank

Biography to be supplied

Saidul Haque Saeed
Lead Organiser, Citizens UK

Mentioned in the Birmingham Post’s Power list of the top ten campaigners in the region, Saidul Haque Saeed (preferred to be called Saeed) is the Lead Organiser for Citizens UK in the West Midlands. Since 2012 he has built a powerful independent community organising alliance of civil society institutions, through which he has trained hundreds of leaders to win notable campaigns on youth mental health, community safety, the real living wage, refugee resettlement and ethnic minority entrepreneurship.

Before joining Citizens UK, Saeed spent 6 years in NHS Primary Care where he was accredited for the quality of public engagement the Trust enjoyed with its local communities. As a local resident with others he led his community’s response to the Lozells riots of 2005 resulting in no incidents in the area during further riots of 2011 in the city. He consequently co-founded an award winning social enterprise still winning change for residents in the area today.

In order to make Regional Liaison Network events practicable we charge a fee of £30 per person.

Attendance is restricted to SBC award holding business schools, members of the Chartered ABS and representatives of their 'parent' universities. If you are unsure about whether you are eligible to attend please contact Meenal Datar meenal.datar@charteredabs.org

SBC award holding schools directory

Chartered ABS member directory

Paying by invoice? Make sure you provide a valid Purchase Order Number when you make your booking.

For each event we can offer a small number of fully funded tickets to representatives of small businesses. These are available on a first come, first served basis. To claim a fully funded place please register via the website.

Launched in November 2020 the primary purpose of the Network is to develop and host a series of events across the UK that facilitate knowledge exchange between SBC schools, and provide opportunities for SBC schools to connect with small businesses and other stakeholders.

Events hosted by the Regional Liaison Network are open to all members of the Chartered ABS and representatives of small businesses. Each event has a strong regional dimension and is designed to reflect the particular needs and areas of interest of local and regional business communities.

Currently there are 18 members of the Regional Liaison Network. Click here for further details.

Co-hosted with:

Put simply, the mission of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) is to ‘make diversity and enterprise everyone’s business’.

Based in Aston Business School at Aston University, CREME delivers leading-edge expertise on business support for ethnic minority entrepreneurs. CREME has transformed the 'perceptions' of ethnic minority entrepreneurs by working with business policy-makers and influential organisations to engage collaboratively with overlooked or disregarded business communities. Headed by Professor Monder Ram OBE, CREME has built up an enviable reputation regionally, nationally and internationally for its pioneering research and business engagement activities, promoting diversity and enterprise.

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