Celebrating Enterprise 2015 was held at the House of Lords on Wednesday 4th November, bringing together educators, entrepreneurs and other key figures from the UK’s small business, enterprise and skills sector.

The Awards event celebrated and recognised the very best in enterprise learning and skills, with nine award categories. The Celebrating Enterprise 2015 award winners are:

International Lifetime Achievement Award – Professor Allan A. Gibb B.A., Ph.D., OBE

For over four decades, Professor Allan Gibb OBE has worked in the field of enterprise and entrepreneurship, engaging in practice, undertaking research, changing policy and furthering an enterprise culture both in the UK and in the international arena.

Former Director of Durham University’s Small Business Centre, this is someone who has spent his career striving to bring academic concepts to real world enterprise experiences. Having worked in practice on all continents, in over 80 countries at various levels of economic development, he has gathered and shared a vast and valuable range of experience and insight. His work has defined him as a committed pioneer in the field of SME management practice, research and policy development, particularly with regards to studies that unite international learning. Equally, Professor Allan Gibb has made a significant and lasting impact as an ambassador for both the promotion and the development of enterprise culture and for the embedding of enterprise in education, at all levels. As a world-renowned expert on business start-up and the survival and growth of SMEs, he has made an invaluable contribution both to the resources, support and opportunities available to individual entrepreneurs and to the UK’s broad economic landscape.

In 2009, Professor Allan Gibb gained the accolade of Queen’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Enterprise Promotion and, in 2012 he became the first holder of the European Entrepreneurship Education Laureate Award funded and organised by the Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship in Sweden.

National Lifetime Achievement Award – The Rt Hon. Lord Young of Graffham CH, PC, DL

Politician and entrepreneur Lord David Young is the son of a business man who went on to follow an entrepreneurial path himself and has enjoyed a long, illustrious and high-profile political career. However, in more recent years his work has largely been concerned with creating a landscape and shaping policy to improve the circumstances of his fellow entrepreneurs across the UK.

In 2010, Lord Young was appointed Enterprise Advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron. In this capacity he conducted a comprehensive review of the Government’s relationship with small firms, entitled Make Business Your Business, the first of its kind in almost 40 years. The result of the review was a new Government programme – Start up Loans, which provide both loans and mentoring to UK firms. An estimated £129 million has so far been distributed by the scheme to 25,000 entrepreneurial individuals across the UK.

IOEE Centre of the Year – The Manchester College c/o HMP/YOI Hatfield

Manchester College has an exceptional success story of high-quality teaching and learning in challenging circumstances, with the potential to significantly change lives for the better. In November 2014, Manchester College’s Corporate Business Suite began delivering SFEDI Awards Level 1 and Level 2 Enterprise courses at Hatfield Prison. Committed to reducing re-offending and providing learners with the support they need to develop valuable enterprising skills that can be put to use upon their release, the team also works collaboratively with prison staff.

Judges Special Award – Jared Fryer

Jared Fryer is a young film maker who showed real humility and ambition when he sought mentoring to achieve this objective. Whilst still on this journey, Jared founded Cinema Jam, a community for young film makers that showcases their work at monthly events and hosts technical debates about everything from cameras and lights to locations and casting. This is an exceptional achievement – Jared has created a nurturing environment for the film industry’s future trailblazing talent.

Enterprise Educator of the Year – Sue Poole

Since 2012, Sue Poole has managed the South Wales Regional Enterprise Hub, developing enterprising young people across South West Wales in partnership with two universities and four Further Education Colleges. In her role as Enterprise Education Manager, Sue has developed the entrepreneurial skills of over 300 primary school children and 4,500 secondary school children, winning numerous national and international awards along the way. Sue is also the driving force behind Enterprise Academy Wales, the first initiative of its kind in the country. The Academy supports those aged 18-30 wishing to improve their enterprising skills and start their own business. These are just some of the examples of Sue’s passion and desire to bring entrepreneurial learning to all young people.

Most Enterprising Learning Product of the Year – SimVenture

SimVenture is the brainchild of brothers Peter and Paul Harrington. Peter, who has decades of experience establishing enterprises and helping others to do so, approached Paul, who is a software design industry professional, with the idea of a package that would simulate the challenges of starting and strategically running an enterprise. SimVenture, interactive software that’s flexible enough to be used across sectors, was the result. The combination of Peter’s business knowhow and Paul’s digital capabilities gives SimVenture both authenticity and a great user experience. The product is used in both educational and commercial environments in 40+ countries, helping existing and potential entrepreneurs safely explore the risks and opportunities associated with running a business. Since its launch in 2006, SimVenture has been carefully developed in response to the changing world of enterprise and, along the way it has won a number of prestigious awards.

Small Business Apprenticemaker of the Year – Anne Wilson

Anne Wilson is Managing Director of Numill, a precision engineering company. In 2010, foreseeing an industry-wide skills drought, Anne committed to putting apprentices at the heart of Numill. The business has made a significant investment to employ, teach and support apprentices and safeguard its future. It’s also provided work placements for school-age students via schools and local charity, Workwise. Anne has endeavored to spread the apprenticeship message beyond Numill by supporting other employers through Apprenticemakers. As Chair of the Employer Strategic Advisory Board for a local engineering college Anne provides advice and support for an Employer Ownership Pilot project, which has supported 144 apprentices and provided training to many more. Most recently, Anne has become Governor for Sheffield College to represent small business and industry.

Enterprise Support Champion of the Year – Melanie Bryan OBE

Melanie Bryan, an IOEE Fellow who holds an OBE for her Services to Social Enterprise and Women’s Enterprise, has supported over 1500 small businesses and social enterprises. She founded WhyNotChange in 2009, providing practical support to help enterprises grow sustainably, has led pioneering collaborations with local authorities to help small businesses and social enterprises win public sector contracts, and has operated as a Female Entrepreneurship Ambassador representing women entrepreneurs at European Commission Summits. Among many other achievements, Melanie is also the visionary behind the award-wining North West Women’s Enterprise Day, now in its sixth year.

Enterprise Learner of the Year – Phillip Hesketh

Having left a career as an Environment Manager and decided along with his wife Sophie to pursue a future running a bed and breakfast, Phillip Hesketh attended a Creating and Starting Your Business Course in October 2014. Having committed 100% to his studies, Phillip submitted a business plan to his bank manager, who said it was the best he’d ever seen. Since opening in May 2015, Phillip has show extraordinary entrepreneurial flair running his Whitby B&B -The Belfry, following his vision with absolute determination.

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