Suffolk Business Festival 2016 Kicks Off!

Staff and students from the Suffolk Business School at the University of Suffolk will be celebrating diversity in business at this year’s Suffolk Business Festival to be held from the 24th to the 28th October. During the week, 15 activities will encourage participants to rethink gender issues, celebrate the contribution of Suffolk’s BME businesses and embrace the potential of enterprise as a force for good and a welcome is extended to all those wanting to participate in these events. A‘mystery tour’ completes the week, where students will  travel across the County to visit local businesses and meet the people that run them.


James Hollings, now in his second year studying BA (Hons) Business Management says “Last year’s Business Festival was a great way to hear more from local businesses – it’s a great innovation and really adds value to my course.” Dr Will Thomas, Deputy Head of the Suffolk Business School adds “We believe that management education cannot happen without partnership and cooperation between the University and Business. The Festival is a wonderful way to celebrate this work and to bring students, staff and the business community together to discuss topics of mutual interest.”

The University will be hosting Suffolk’s first Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Business Awards, providing the County with a chance to recognise and celebrate the contribution and successes of businesses owned and operated by those from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. Another highlight of the week is the Gender Re-agenda lunch, ‘#GROW’, co-hosted with the Institute of Directors, which aims to revisit the issue of gender in the workplace focussing on developing talent and supporting business growth.

Laura Locke, Senior Lecturer in the Suffolk Business School, has organised the GROW event: “It’s important that the University plays its part in proposing solutions and supporting change in the workplace. Gender balance has been identified as supporting success in every organisation so we hope that this event will help to shape a new agenda for discussion and action.”

Businesses and members of the public are welcome at events throughout the week, all of which are free-of-charge. For more information and to book  please visit


Suffolk Business Festival @ UCS comes to a close

What a week! We had a fantastic inaugural Suffolk Business Festival @ UCS last week, with two dozen different events and workshops, three business networking events, almost 200 students participating, and over 50 different business from across East Anglia in attendance.

We also officially launched our Graduate+ programme, a value-added achievement that students can attain through their extra-curricular activities while at University. Students document and reflect on their activity, to develop their self-confidence, self-efficacy, and self-esteem, helping to create more employable, business ready graduates.

Will Thomas and Laura Locke from UCS

We’ve already had great feedback from students and businesses alike on the Business Festival:

One student wrote:

I really enjoyed the lectures last week – they have really helped me put things into perspective and refreshed my writing skills!

Stephen Guy-Clarke, from Trident Vehicles Group said:

I live in Ipswich and have a keen interest in support for budding entrepreneurs and established businesses alike. What I experienced at the networking events was a good mix of students and business owners with well delivered highly relevant content. Not forgetting the obvious passion for developing business and confident rounded students displayed by all the UCS staff.

John Tingle presenting on why exporting is great!
John Tingle presenting on why exporting is great!

Special thanks go to our speakers: John Tingle, from the UKTI; Dr Atul Shah; John Lennon, from the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development; Kurt Janson, director of Tourism Alliance; Chanel Olding, from the Eastern Enterprise Hub; Josh Turner, founder of Start-up-Box; William Millar, from the New Anglia Growth Hub; Justin Grainger, from CrowdFundMe2; and the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce for their support.

Also to our organisers and those who delivered workshops: Laura Locke, Will Thomas, Robert Price, Suzanne Nolan, Gwenda Palmer, John Arnett, and Mark Illman.

Here’s to another great event next year – #SBSFest16!



Suffolk Business Festival in the news – East Anglian Daily Times

Live updates: #SBSFest15

Suffolk Business Festival @ UCS

#SBSFest15We’ve released a preliminary programme for our Suffolk Business Festival @ UCS – #SBSFest15.

Information can be found in the #SBSFest15 tab (above), and on the UCS website.

We have an exciting programme of events, include study skills sessions for students, workshops on business skills by external facilitators, and business networking events on: international trade; tourism and KTP’s; and finding funding.

We look forward to welcoming business from across the region, both at our networking events and as facilitators for afternoon sessions with students.

There will also be an official launch of the Graduate+ | Graduate Management Development Programme, where students will find out more about the programme, and how to develop a portfolio demonstrating their employability skills.