The Suffolk Business School at the University of Suffolk and the Bangladeshi Support Centre have worked together to organise and hose this first event. The aim was to celebrate, encourage and promote businesses across the County to show something of the range of organisations originating in the BME communities of Suffolk. Over the coming years, we hope that this evening will become a highlight of the business calendar and we will see more and more nominations from innovative and enterprising businesses.
We would like to thank everyone that took part in this awards and who nominate businesses for an award. We would also like to thank those that sponsored an award or have given their time to this project.
Special thanks to the award sponsors:
Ipswich Borough Council, sponsors of Business of the Year
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. sponsors of Business Person of the Year
Suffolk Constabulary, sponsors of Start-up/New Business of the Year
Inspire Suffolk, sponsors of Community Business of the Year
University of Suffolk, sponsors of the Judges Special Award
Professor Simon Halsworth, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Arts, Business and Applied Social Sciences, University of Suffolk
Boshor Ali, Chairperson, Bangladeshi Support Centre
The weather was with us, and we were able to enjoy the start to a fantastic evening outside, meeting and greeting the familiar and the new. It was a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and associates, and make new contacts outside the normal ‘business networking’ event. Everyone was dressed to the nines in tuxedos and ballgowns, and the whole event had the air of celebration.
Suffolk Business School Honorary Graduate Karen Hester, Executive Director at Adnams, gave an inspiring and entertaining keynote speech, entitled ‘From Mop to Top’, extolling the virtues of organisations that nurture and develop their staff, encouraging them to reach their potential. Suffolk offers so many opportunities to such a wide variety of people from different backgrounds, and Karen’s was a fitting story to tell in the uncertain times we now face. Anyone can achieve great things – they just need the drive and opportunities to do so. It is an ethos that we at UCS promote county – and country – wide.
UCS was proud to present the Outstanding Achievement Award at this year’s event. Provost and Chief Executive Richard Lister presented the award to Paul Winter, CEO of Ipswich Building Society for his contribution to Ipswich and the surrounding area since he started working for Ipswich Building Society in 1982. Unfortunately, Paul was not able to join us all on the night, so Richard presented the award in a short video filmed last week.
Once the fourteen winners of the various awards were announced, it was time to wrap up the celebrations and head home. A full list of the winners can be found here.
Overall, it was an amazing night, celebrating the great talent and entrepreneurial spirit of Suffolk. UCS and the Suffolk Business School were proud to be a part of such a well established and prestigious event, and we all look forward to seeing what the year ahead has in store for businesses across the county. Thanks also to Trinity Park for hosting such a fantastic event.
The Suffolk Business School at UCS has developed a new extra-curricular award for our students: Graduate+. Graduate+ is our Graduate Management Development Programme, designed to help students enhance their employability. Here at the Suffolk Business School, we are dedicated to creating Business Ready Graduates – business professionals who are able to contribute to their organisation and community from the moment they start their course.
The Suffolk Business School offers a unique student experience, blending academic study with practical experience with the industry. Graduate+ supports that learning experience, by helping to develop self-efficacy, self-confidence, and self-esteem (Darce Pool & Sewell, 2007) among its students.
What do the students do for Graduate+?
When recruiting new staff, there are a set of core skills that employers usually look for: communication, organisation, teamwork, flexibility, commercial awareness, critical thinking, motivation, drive, and confidence (among others).
Graduate+ helps students become more aware of these skills, and helps them develop and communicate them to others. Students are encouraged to get involved in extra-curricular activities, such as academic and employability workshops, business networking and employer events, internships and work experience. These are documented on a Professional Development Record (PDR), and students are encouraged to reflect upon how these have helped in their personal and professional development.
At the end of the year, students submit the PDR alongside a Professional Development Plan (PDP) for the following year, a CV, and a short reflective statement discussing how they feel they have engaged with their chosen career and industry throughout the year.
The Graduate+ award will then appear on a students HEAR: Higher Education Achievement Report:
The recruitment process can be long, and differentiating between good candidates difficult. The purpose of our Graduate+ award (and the HEAR) is to help make it easier for businesses to find the right person for the job. You will have a clear and concise record of a graduates abilities beyond the academic – their communication, motivation, initiative, and organisation.
Graduate+ helps students to demonstrate their skills and strengths. It offers them a chance to document their achievements, making them easier to talk about in applications and interviews, while also building their self-confidence – making them more likely to be motivated to succeed in your organisation.
How to get involved
There are a number of ways that employers can get involved with Graduate+.
Sponsor a Graduate+ Award: Recognition for exceptional achievements is an important part of building the self-confidence of our graduates, and we already offer a number of awards at Undergraduate level, including ‘Best Dissertation’ and ‘Best Overall Degree’. We are always looking for businesses to help us recognise talent, and would greatly appreciate offers of sponsored awards for Graduate+
Offer work-placements, internships, and shadowing experience: Graduate+ requires students to engage in industry relevant work experience, and we are always happy to help facilitate paid work-placements and internships, and shadowing experience
Seminars, workshops, and talks: Part of the development programme involves students networking with businesses, learning more about the industry, and gaining commercial awareness. UCS hosts a number of employer events throughout the year. If you would like to become involved, or run your own event, please get in touch.
Contact: Suzanne Nolan, Lecturer in Employment Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01473 883 507.