A Queen’s University enterprise expert has written a Christmas story with a difference, to encourage anyone facing professional or financial difficulties to turn their lives around through entrepreneurship.
The Enterprise Secret by David Gibson is a fictional story set at Christmas time. It follows the fortunes of an unemployed graduate, a struggling small business owner and a redundant executive as they attempt to create their own destiny using enterprise skills.
David, from Ballinderry, Co. Antrim, was recently named one of the world’s top three enterprise educators, by the United States Association of Business Educators. The Enterprise Secret is his fifth book, but his first work of fiction.
He said: “The Enterprise Secret is aimed at anyone who wants to take charge of their life and turn their fortunes around, in the face of the recession. I wrote it for a friend who was experiencing some difficulties. It helped him so much he insisted I make it available to the wider public.
“The economic downturn is affecting people from all walks of life. Perhaps you thought you were in a job for life, but now you are facing redundancy. Maybe you are a young person or a graduate finding it difficult to get a foot on the career ladder, or a business owner trying hard to make ends meet.
“While it might be tempting to bury your head in the sand and hope that everything will be ok, the best thing you can possibly do is to look for the opportunities in your own situation and make things happen. In other words, find your inner entrepreneur.
“Being entrepreneurial is not necessarily about making millions; instead it is about having a mindset which is geared towards making a contribution, and the skills to turn opportunity into reality. This is what I teach my students at Queen’s, and it is the foundation for The Enterprise Secret.
“The story is deliberately set at Christmas time. This is the ideal time for people to take stock, put their difficulties behind them and realise that anything is possible. So this Christmas, get hunting for the business opportunity in your life and have an enterprising new year!”
David is one of the leading figures in enterprise promotion in the UK. He works with individuals, companies and governments around the world to help them be more enterprising and to deal with the challenges of the recession.
David is Senior Teaching Fellow in Enterprise Education at Queen’s University Management School. He has led the introduction of the ‘E-Factor’ into courses across Queen’s, particularly those not traditionally associated with entrepreneurship, such as nursing and the arts. His pioneering model of enterprise education is now embedded in Queen’s curriculum, in 116 pathways, reaching 11,000 students across the University.
David concluded: “At Queen’s we believe it is vitally important to give students an injection of the E-factor to give them the edge in the highly competitive job market. There is a need to nurture the enterprising behaviour and employability of students at all levels, not only to encourage small business start-ups but also to develop a culture of enterprise and innovation.”
The Enterprise Secret is available for download (£5) or to order in hard copy (£10 including postage and packaging) from www.theenterprisesecret.com All proceeds go to Northern Ireland charities.
(L-R) Chris Henry, Randox Laboratories, Professor Richard Harrison, Director Queen’s University Management School, Victoria Leonard from Castlerock winner of Randox Laboratories Prize, Best student in Winning Markets module MSc Management
(L-R) Neil McCullough, Oxford Economics, Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen’s University Management School, Shirin Jamshidi from Belfast winner of Oxford Economics Prize, Best MSc Business Economics dissertation
(L-R) Dr Youwei Li, Programme Director MSc Finance, Queen’s University Management School, Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen’s University Management School, Catherine McClelland from Belfast winner of ICAP Prize, Best student in Options, Futures and Other Derivative
(L-R) Shane McCullough, First Derivatives, Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen’s University Management School, Ross Geddis from Bangor winner of First Derivatives Prize, Best overall student in MSc Risk Management and Financial Regulation
(L-R) Martin Murphy, Ulster Bank, Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen’s University Management School, Julie Murray from Belfast winner of Ulster Bank Prize, Best Executive MBA Dissertation
Steven Hadley, Julie Murray, Roland Moore, winners of Queen’s University Management School Prize, Group Prize for Best Business Plan in the New Venture Creation and Entrepreneurial Management Module, MBA, pictured with Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen’s University Management School
(L-R) Mark Donaghy, Biznet, Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen’s University Management School, Kathryn Rankin from Newtownards winner of Biznet Solutions Prize, Best student in Operations Management in the New Economy module MSc Management
(L-R) Donna Blythe, Citi Group, Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen’s University Management School, Catherine McClelland from Belfast winner of Citi Group Prize, Best overall student in MSc Finance
(L-R) Chris Henry, Randox Laboratories, Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen’s University Management School, Lisa O’Neill from Belfast winner of Randox Laboratories Prize, Best student in Fundamentals of International Business Strategy MSc International Business
(L-R) Tom Doran, Chartered Management Institute, Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen’s University Management School, Julie Murray from Belfast winner of Chartered Management Institute Prize, Best overall Executive MBA student
(L-R) Wendy McCulla, Excelus Ltd, Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen’s University Management School, Steven Hadley from Belfast winner of Excelus Ltd Prize, Best student in the Leadership module, MBA
The first set of graduates from a new course in financial risk management will graduate from Queen’s today – and all have secured high quality jobs.
Twelve students will graduate from the MSc in Risk Management and Financial Regulation, equipped with the cutting-edge risk management tools and strategies used by leading financial firms.
Anne Holland from Dungannon is among today’s graduates. She said: “Completing the MSc in Risk Management and Financial Regulation has been a challenging but extremely rewarding experience.
“Through the course, I completed a four month internship in the Life Actuarial department of Avivia Insurance in Dublin, the company asked me to stay on and I am now working there on a longer term contract.
“In today’s economic climate, many financial firms are expanding their risk management functions. This degree has opened a wide range of new and exciting career opportunities for me and my fellow graduates, and has given me the best possible start for a career in any aspect of financial services.
“One of the main attractions of this Masters programme was the option to undertake a work-based dissertation and gain experience in my chosen career path before undertaking a full-time job. My work in Aviva is largely dependent on changing market conditions with regard to the term and risk of investments in various life policies. Coming into this type of work with the knowledge and experience I gained during my studies has been invaluable.”
Professor Donal McKillop from Queen’s University Management School said: “Risk management is, and will be for the forseeable future, an employment hotspot for graduate recruitment to financial institutions, regulatory bodies and government agencies.
“Students on this course have the opportunity to undertake a salaried four-month internship in a risk management environment. Last year, our students went to multi-national companies such as CitiGroup, Bank of America, the New York Stock Exchange and Allstate Insurance.
“This work experience, along with the fact that the course is accredited by the Institute of Risk management and the Professional Risk Managers International Association, has given today’s graduates an impressive head-start in the job market.”
For more information about Queen’s University Management School visit www.qub.ac.uk/mgt
For more information about the MSc in Risk Management and Financial Regulation visit http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/QueensUniversityManagementSchool/ProspectiveStudents/PostgraduateTaughtProgrammes/MScRiskManagementFinancialRegulation/
Media inquiries to Queen’s University Communications Office on 028 9097 3087/3091 or email@example.com
Queen’s University Management School, the School of Earth & Environment at the University of Leeds, Euromed Management School Marseille and Berlin-based Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT) have launched a new online tool that tracks coverage of issues in sustainability across the world.
The Trends in Sustainability (www.trendsinsustainability.com) project tracks coverage of issues such as climate change, poverty and human rights in 115 leading broadsheets newspapers from 41 countries over a 20-year period from 1990 until 2010. To date the research has looked at approximately 69,000,000 articles in 410,000 newspaper issues. The results can be found on the new website Trendsinsustainability.com.
The research shows that while attention to sustainability-related issues has increased overall during the last 20 years, the media agenda in this area has changed considerably. In general, coverage of environmental problems like acid rain and the ozone hole, which have been successfully addressed, has diminished since the early 1990s.
On the other hand, articles on climate change have increased more than 10-fold since this time, amounting to an average of more than two articles per newspaper issue across the overall sample of 115 newspapers. The analysis of levels of broadsheet newspaper coverage on sustainability-related issues sheds light on levels of public attention to specific issues.
As the tool shows climate change has emerged as a defining issue in the context of sustainability in recent years. Climate change successfully gained general public acceptance of and attention to sustainability. At the same time it may have significantly changed the sustainability agenda itself – possibly at the expense of attention to socioeconomic problems such as malaria and HIV/AIDS or even corruption, human rights or poverty. All of these issues have seen a stark decline in media coverage in recent years, in particular since early 2006 when media attention devoted to climate change started to pick up markedly.
Looking at generic differences between the agendas that are reflected by newspaper coverage in developing and developed countries shows that there are distinct ‘Northern’ and ‘Southern’ sustainability agendas, with the latter tending to revolve around issues commonly associated with socioeconomic development rather than climate change.
The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under grant number 01UT1005, and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra).
For more information please contact Professor Frank Figge, Tel: +44-28-9097 1363, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The United Kingdom should urgently establish 'angel academies' for private investors in order to grow this critical source of funding for new ventures.
The call has been made by leading academics from Queen's and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, following the findings of a new study which offers a deeper insight into the decision making process of business angels.
The study, entitled Business Angel Investing as a Learning Process, was conducted by Professor Richard Harrison of Queen's University Management School, Belfast, Professor Colin Mason of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde and Donald Smith, a Director of the Discovery Investment Fund Limited, an angel group in Dundee.
According to the researchers, would-be and novice angels need to be urgently provided with opportunities to actually "learn the art" of angel investing.
Professor Harrison said: "Our recent report for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills revealed that business angels currently account for between £400 million and £500 million of early stage investment in the UK, making them the single largest source of early stage capital in the country.
"Business angels are recognised as pivotal to the stimulating entrepreneurial activity. Not only do they provide the risk capital that is necessary for growth of early stage, high potential start-ups, but their hands-on involvement in the businesses in which they invest also strengthens business capacity to manage and absorb growth.
"Our study makes it clear that angels are on a steep learning curve, gaining knowledge from their very first investment, and learning from every subsequent one. It is vital that they are given opportunities to share these experiences so they are not put off making further investments, and also to learn from other investors about how to focus and discriminate in order to make the quick, effective, business decisions needed in future."
The study, which was based on data collected from 12 business angels, with a mix of experience, indicates three major ways in which angels learn:
Professor Mason said: "The importance of business angels as a source of finance for entrepreneurial businesses is well-recognised, especially at the present time when bank lending is so much harder to secure. Quite simply, we need to do all we can to encourage more business angels.
"The benefits of developing a strong, vibrant 'angel academy' type culture can clearly be seen in the United States, where in contrast to Europe, their angel market currently benefits from annual investment by business angels of some $23b. In Europe, our current business angel market is currently some 15 per cent of the size of that of the United States.
"Our study emphasises the importance of providing would-be, and novice angels, with the opportunity to learn the art of angel investing in order to grow private investment in businesses in the UK. To ensure business angels have the confidence to continue to invest at current levels, and to encourage growth, our policy makers urgently need to recognise that we need to follow the example of some other European countries which have established angel academies."
Donald Smith, of the Discovery Investment Fund, said: "One of the most interesting aspects of our research is that more experienced business angels emphasise the people involved in the business rather than business models or technology. It also emphasises the importance of angels being focused and discriminating in order to make quick, effective, business decisions."
The study Business Angel Investing as a Learning Process was presented at the recent Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference in Lausanne, Switzerland and isavailable as a Working Paper from Queen's University Management School and the Hunter Centre at the University of Strathclyde: http://www.strath.ac.uk/huntercentre/research/wp/.
The full report is available here http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/QueensUniversityManagementSchool/Research/WorkingPaperSeries/Management/2010/
Media inquiries to the Communications Office at Queen's University on +44 (0)28 9097 3087/3091 or email email@example.com.
A leading Queen’s University Belfast academic has said that an urgent policy review is needed of the Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) that build many of the UK’s roads, hospitals and schools.
Ten per cent, or £70 billion, of total Government expenditure since the inception of the PPP policy in the 1990s to the end of 2008, was spent on such projects. The schemes have been vital to the economy in terms of building infrastructure and providing much needed employment.
A new study led by Professor Istemi Demirag of Queen’s University Management School, however, reveals a policy review is urgently needed to reassure private financiers that the risks involved in continuing with such projects are worth it, in the face of an unstable financial climate.
Professor Demirag’s research Public Private Partnership: Financiers’ Perceptions of Risks is the first major study to examine the risks involved for those who actually pump the money into these important schemes and how they perceive the risks, in comparison with the perceptions of their public sector partners.
The research decodes the complex network used in PPP schemes and looks at how the credit crunch has impacted on the whole process.
Professor Demirag explained: “Previous research focused on the risks to the construction industry or the risks for other stakeholders including government funders, rather than the private financiers. This research aims to contribute to an understanding of how PPP operates in practice. It points to the need for a policy review that would help reduce the vast costs associated with minimising and spreading the risks involved.
“The financiers’ indicated that these risks can include issues around securing funding. As the credit crunch bites banks are not as keen to invest and have increased margins. Uncertainty is also a factor concerning them, and in order to minimise these risks, financers increase costs by buying in insurance, using consultants or paying for technical and legal advice.
“Ultimately this dispersal of risk adds to costs for the procurer and the taxpayer. But an understanding of how risks are dispersed is important in order to inform future policy.”
The report recommends that any review of PPP policy should include:
The study also states that it is possible to transfer risk back to the public sector after contracts have been settled. But the impact of this on value for money to the public sector and the taxpayer needs to be assessed.
The report was co-authored by Iqbal Khadaroo, Essex Business School; Pamela Stapleton, Manchester University, and Carol Steven, Oxford Brookes University
The report is available at http://www.icas.org.uk/site/cms/contentviewarticle.asp?article=7146
Further information on Queen’s University Management School can be found online at www.qub.ac.uk/mgt/.
Media inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 00 44 (0)28 90 97 3091.
QUMS in partnership with CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) and the Chairs’ Forum (an influential group of Chairpersons of public bodies in NI) were delighted to host a debate between local schools and senior public sector leaders on 5th November, 2010. The motion was entitled,
‘Given the drop in ethical standards by its leaders and their ability to manage public finances, public services would be best provided by the private sector’.
The winning team from RBAI with Lembit Opik
A team of students from Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI) submitted a paper supporting the motion and won the competition to lead the debate against Sean Hogan (Chairman of the Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute), Rick Hill (Chairman of the Consumer Council) and Brian Rowntree (Chairman of Northern Ireland Housing Executive). The debate was chaired by Lembit Opik, MP and previous RBAI student, and students from several local schools including Ashfield High School and Holy Trinity College in Cookstown as well as students from QUMS attended.
Lembit Opik with QUMS students who attended the event
Dr. Shirley-Ann Hazlett, Director of Education for undergraduate programmes in QUMS, welcomed everyone to the event noting that this was an excellent opportunity for the voice of our young people to be heard and for them to challenge our public sector leaders. Lembit Opik then opened the debate proper, providing an entertaining and humorous description of his time at RBAI, his love for debating and his role as an MP.
Christopher Coyle from Holy Trinity College in Cookstown
runner-up in the CIPFA/Chairs'
In an often animated and boisterous debate, many key issues were put forward by the RBAI team and immediately rebuffed by the public sector leaders. The RBAI team suggested that the public sector was ‘rarely open to change and reform’ and that it was ‘costly, inefficient and unproductive’. They suggested that they were the ‘pragmatists of the debate’ recommending that the private sector should provide more of our critical services. In their good humoured presentations, the public sector leaders drew on their wealth of experience to reject the suggestions put forward by the RBAI team, reminding the audience that they did not ‘push the social responsibility agenda, they practiced it’.
Stephen Mungavin (CIPFA), Rick Hill (Chairman of Consumer
Council), Lembit Opik (chair of the debate), Sean Hogan
(Chairman of the Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute) and Brian
Rowntree (Chairman of NI Housing Executive)
When the audience were invited to give their views, many students reprimanded the public sector leaders for some of their remarks. However, when invited to vote for or against the motion, the audience supported the views of the public sector.
After the debate, presentations were made to the winning RBAI team and to Christopher Coyle from Holy Trinity College, runner-up to the CIPFA / Chairs’ Forum competition.
On the evening of 26 October, QUMS was delighted to host a very successful event featuring senior executives from the City of London who shared the secrets of their business success with students from QUMS and other parts of the University. All of these business leaders have a strong connection to Queen’s and are either graduates of the University or current members of University Senate or the Foundation Board.
The evening was chaired by TV personality, Lynda Bryans, and the panel was made up of:
Patrick Magee, a Managing Director in the JPMorgan Cazenove Industrials Corporate Finance Team; Aiden McKeown, a Structurer for StormHarbour Securities; Declan Tiernan, a Managing Director at UBS Investment Bank Sean Hunt, a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank. Garrett Curran, a member of The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation Board and a Managing Director of Credit Suisse, Caroline Pyers who graduated with BSc Finance in July 2010 and won a place on the prestigious graduate scheme of Japanese bank Nomura International.
The guest speakers provided an excellent insight into the factors that led to their successful careers, and gave advice and guidance on the job-related skills and abilities that students need to succeed in the corporate financial world. More specifically, they encouraged students to clearly identify their areas of interest, thoroughly and carefully prepare and research all available opportunities and make sure that they are able to demonstrate both an interest and ability to do the job.
Students asked many searching questions of the panel and the feedback at the networking session afterwards was very positive. The students found the advice from panel members both inspirational and practical, as summed up in the following quote:
‘I found the talk extremely worthwhile and informative. I left with a lot of motivation to apply for graduate roles in these top banks. I took great heart from seeing such influential profiles from the city originating from Queen's.... One tip that all members agreed on was the experience you gain from travelling. Also, they stated that the economy is cyclical, so although it was extremely tough for us to find placements for our degree now might be a good time to enter the industry. ... Overall I was extremely impressed by the structure of the event, I felt it was a resounding success and I really enjoyed the opportunity to listen and network with such recognised people’ (Francis Mallon).
In his concluding remarks, Professor Richard Harrison, Director of QUMS, reminded the audience that ‘what you can’t do is ‘nothing’’ and encouraged students to aim high and realise their potential.
The remainder of the evening provided opportunities for students to network with the panel, something which they found to be particularly beneficial:
‘I found the City event to be a fantastic evening of advice and networking. The Q&A session had an excellent line up of leading business figures in the panel and was both interesting and informative. I got to note down some particularly good advice in relation to what these top companies want to see at interviews. The networking was also very good in that I got to talk one-on-one with a few of the panellists and to ask their advice on how to get into their line of work. Overall it was great evening, really helpful and enjoyable and I’m glad I attended’ (Ciaran Malone).
Speaking after the event, Professor Harrison commented on its success: ‘we are very grateful to the panel for giving so freely of their time and sharing both their advice and experience with our students. This was a unique opportunity for our students to gain an insight about what it takes to succeed in the City of London and for senior executives to meet with our high calibre students.
Left to right:Sean Hunt, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank; Aiden McKeown, Structurer, StormHarbour Securities; Patrick Magee, Managing Director, JPMorgan Cazenove Industrials Corporate Finance Team
Lynda Bryans, Television Presenter and Journalist; Professor Peter Gregson, Pro-Vice Chancellor; Norma Sinte, Director of Development and Alumni Relations; Garrett Curran, member of The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation Board and Managing Director of Credit Suisse; Declan Tiernan, Managing Director, UBS Investment Bank; Professor Richard Harrison, Director Queen’s University Management School
Lynda Bryans, Television Presenter and Journalist Professor Richard Harrison, Director Queen's
Professor Peter Gregson, Pro-Vice Chancellor University Management School
Norma Sinte, Director of Development and Alumni
Garrett Curran, member of The Queen’s University Aiden McKeown, Structurer,
of Belfast Foundation Board and Managing Storm Harbour Securities
Director of Credit Suisse
Sean Hunt, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank Caroline Pyers, Alumni BSc Finance
Professor Richard Harrison, Director Queen's Student and staff audience
University Management School
Student and staff audience
Student and staff audience
Student and staff audience
Professor Kaddour Hadri has been invited to participate in the IMF Institute-Bank of Algeria High Level Seminar: Natural Resources, Finance, and Development 4-5 November 2010.
The aim of the seminar starts from “a diagnosis of macroeconomic management and financial sector challenges in resource rich countries, to propose implementable, context- specific solutions with a focus on Africa. The seminar is organised around three themes: macroeconomic politics, role of the financial system, and success stories”.
This high level seminar is attracting speakers from around the globe to include a key note address by Jeffrey Frankel, Harvard University.
Professor Hadri will present a paper entitled: What can we learn from primary commodity prices series which is useful to policymakers? A synopsis of the paper is given below:
On one hand it is well known that many developing countries rely on a small number of primary commodities to generate the majority of their export earnings. Therefore, their budget depends heavily on these earnings. On the other hand, real primary commodity prices are assumed (1) to decline steadily in the long run (2) they follow cycles over long horizons (3) are extremely volatile. If these characteristics are true, they will constitute acute challenges to policy makers when conducting fiscal policies seeking the realisation of stable and sustainable budgets over the long run (avoiding boom and bust) and across generations (lack of equity across generations). Using powerful tests including Hadri & Rao (2008) panel stationarity tests and recent statistical tools we show that real commodity prices are (1) mean reverting (chocks have only temporary effects on commodity prices) and most of them decline steadily in the long run (2) they follow long cycles (stay away from their long run equilibrium prices for a long time) (3) are very volatile and this volatility is time varying. To face these challenges, it is recommended to exporting developing countries (1) to diversify their export by investing in well run and beneficial manufactures and services to counter the secular decline of commodity prices (2) to adopt structural type institutions to obtain stable budget over the long run (3) to organise stabilisation funds, use financial instruments and have access to external finance facilities to protect themselves from the negative effects of high and changing volatility.
IMF Institute-Bank of Algeria High Level Seminar: Natural Resources, Finance, and Development Seminar website http://www.imf.org/external/np/seminars/eng/2010/afrfin/index.htm
Kaddour Hadri is Professor of Economics in Queen’s University Management School. He is the Research Director for Economics Analysis and Behaviour in the School (January 2009-present). Before joining Queen's University, Kaddour Hadri was Professor of Econometrics and Finance at Durham University. Hadri is a visiting professor at The University of Liverpool. He held visiting position in many universities including Fudan University (China), Marseille University (France), University of Sydney (Australia) and Nanjing University (China). He has also been a Chairman of the Liverpool Economic and Statistical Society during the period 2000-2003. He is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the African Econometric Society (2006-2009). He has been elected President of the African Econometrics Society in July 2009. In addition, he is a resource person for the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) to advise researchers and PhD students from Sub-Sahara Africa (2004-present). He is an Associate Editor of the Bulletin of Economic Research and member of the Board of Editors of The German Economic Review. Hadri has published widely in top economics journals, including Econometrica, Journal of Econometrics, Econometrics Journal, Journal of Business & Economic Statistic, Economic Journal, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Time Series Analysis and Economic Letters.
The highly successful Actuarial Careers Fair, now in its third year, was held on the 13th October and attracted a large number of the top actuarial employers in the local market and further afield (Deloitte, Mercer, xafinity, Allstate, Spence & Partners, Invesco, Liberty, Kerr Henderson Hewitt, Boal & Co, Capta, and SIG). The fair provides an opportunity for students to meet with a variety of recruiters to discuss available employment opportunities. This year saw the first opportunity for employers to look for new graduates from the actuarial degree many of whom will have several actuarial exemptions under their belt and so will be highly desirable to the actuarial market. The event is aimed at both students from the BSc Actuarial Science and Risk Management and MSc Risk Management and Financial Regulation programmes.
BSc Actuarial Science and Risk Management will see the first cohort of forty-two students graduate in July 2011. Now is an opportune time for these students to start to search for job opportunities. This highly successful and much in demand programme, launched in September 2007, attracts a high caliber of student. The degree is accredited with the Institute of Actuaries and successful students on the programme will gains exemption from the eight CT subjects of the professional examinations.
The Minister for Commerce in the Chinese Embassy, London, His Excellency, Mr Xiaoming Zhou, participated in a seminar jointly hosted by Queen’s University Management School (QUMS) and Invest Northern Ireland. The event focussed on successful business and business education in China, as well as several Queen’s China-related projects. This seminar was supported by the China Britain Business Council.
Professor Tony Gallagher, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning, Staffing and External Relations, opened the event and addressed the importance of the collaboration between the University and China.
Dr Nola-Hewitt Dundas from QUMS acted as Chair and welcomed all guest speakers to the floor. Dr Yu Xiong from QUMS focussed on the benefits of working with China and outlined a number of initiatives the School has been involved in recently including the recent collaboration with Chongqing University and Sichuan International Studies University, as well as the Chink UK Business Competition.
Also speaking at the event was Linda Forte, Trade Division, Invest Northern Ireland. Ms Forte outlined the role of Invest NI and how Invest Northern Ireland can assist organisations to develop their business in relation to the Chinese market: to include: market research, participation in workshops, and attendance at trade missions including pre-publicity and mission brochures.
Dr Yun Bai, from the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPACE) outlined initiatives the School has been involved in including the Science Bridge project.
A director of a successful local company, Delta, shared the company’s experience on how to develop a successful business in the Chinese market. The director, who is an alumni of QUMS, Mr Icarus Tang, highlighted that last year the company’s revenue was £38 million. The company continues to diversify and is going from strength to strength and has also branched into the Indian market.
Professor Richard Harrison, Director of QUMS, said “China is an important and growing market for both companies and higher education institutions in Northern Ireland. We are delighted to be able to host this seminar with the Minister. This marks a continuation of a very strong relationship we have as a School in collaborating with a number of highly ranked Chinese Universities on both education and collaborative research programmes, and we look forward to developing further such relationships in the future.”
It was our pleasure to host a master class with Nicky Kinnaird, founder and creative director of Space NK Apothecary, the UK’s most luxurious beauty chain, on Friday 15th October 2010, in The Auditorium of the McClay Library
Nicky who was born in Belfast and educated at Victoria College before attending the University of Reading opened her first shop in Covent Garden London in 1993. Her focus has been to stock niche high-end beauty products such as Eve Lom, Laura Mercier and Kiehls. Today Space NK has 63 outlets across the UK and 16 in the US of which 12 are shops within shops at Bloomingdales. She is renowned as an exemplary and visionary female entrepreneur and in 2009 was awarded a MBE as a testament to her success and contribution to the UK beauty industry.
In her presentation entitled, ‘From Ideas to Bloomingdales: My Journey to Success’, Nicky spoke convincingly about the successes, opportunities, challenges, tensions and compromises that she had encountered in turning her business idea into a powerful and highly successful brand. Setting up her first outlet at the age of 29, she noted that the ‘story of Space:NK is a story of discovery’ and continuous improvement, commenting that her future goal for the organisation was to exploit the potential offered by e-commerce. Above all else, she emphasised that the success of Space:NK was providing superior customer service, reminding us that it’s ‘all about the customer’ and that building relationships was critical to success in any organisation.
As students and potential business leaders, Nicky encouraged everyone to ‘anticipate success rather than fearing failure’.
In her concluding comments she urged us to ‘always be true to yourself, your beliefs and your principles, whilst respecting those of others around you’ reminding us that a ‘fulfilling life is not found solely in achieving status nor earning money, but rather it is about having integrity in all that you do’.
For UNDERGRADUATE students to view further information, please click here