I am six weeks into my tenure as Chair of EEUK and wow, time does fly! I was immensely proud of the Directors and the team behind EEUK that worked so hard to organise and deliver the largest International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference EVER last week at Leeds Beckett University. This was our first year flying solo in running the conference and we were delighted that it was the biggest and the best yet! (Probably the best conference in the world). If you were not there then you won’t understand the famous beer reference, which isn’t completely random. Our Patron Lord Bilimoria was kind enough to organise some complementary Cobra beer for Thursday lunchtime to ensure the conference had an international flavour. We also had over 40 international delegates and speakers from across the world in line with our IEEC theme of “enterprise and entrepreneurship on a global stage”. We have many interesting international opportunities to expand the reach and influence of EEUK, which I hope to report on later this year.
On Thursday evening, we held our annual National Enterprise Educator Awards, this year with over 250 delegates in attendance. Congratulations to the winners and the highly commended finalists in this year’s award. Celebrating our practice and its impact is hugely important and here at EEUK we want to ensure you have the recognition you deserve.
EEUK has made huge strides over the past few years. We have launched our Ask KEN exchange fund, the Richard Beresford bursaries for the professional development of early career enterprise educators (open now!) and undertaken a complete re-branding exercise to ensure EEUK has a purposeful and professional image. We have a much greater focus on sharing and shaping policy for the benefit of our members. At the conference we heard from our Head of Policy Alison Price about our most recent and ongoing work to ensure the voice of enterprise educators is heard loud and clear.
One of my personal highlights was the great pride I took in launching our new EEUK Fellowship. We recognise that there is not one role of an enterprise educator; we all come in different shapes and sizes. The roles of the academic teacher, the practitioner working outside the curriculum and the influencer working across their institution or community are equally valid and all act to support and deliver enterprise and entrepreneurship education. The EEUK Fellowship has been designed to acknowledge the contributions of enterprise educators and reward you for your professional practice by gaining Fellowship of EEUK (letters after you name!). So why wait, register your interest now.
Next year IEEC will be hosted by Oxford Brookes University. I hope to see you there but if you cannot attend then please make sure you get involved with the network and attend one of our upcoming events. Our next events include Enterprise in the Arts at London South Bank University on the 7th November and Developing Social Entrepreneurs in UK HE at Plymouth Marjon University on the 28th November.
Finally a big thank you to everyone that made IEEC possible this year, the sponsors, the speakers, the exhibitors, the award winners and the delegates. I’m looking forward to #IEEC2019 at Oxford Brookes University, 4th – 6th September 2019 already!
Chair. Enterprise Educators UK