Inaugural IOEE Fellow Summits are great success

For the very first time, the IOEE’s dedicated Fellows have come together at two fantastically productive and inspiring Fellow Summits, which were held in Leeds and London in October.

Sometimes we need to meet face-to-face to achieve real progress and really connect with one another. That’s why, last month IOEE Fellows came together at two separate events to share ideas and knowledge directly. The events took place at the University of Leeds, Devonshire Hall on the 13th October and at the Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation at London South Bank University on the 25th October. All of the committed individuals who act as Fellows for us are in fact representing our broad membership, providing them with a voice whether they’re business advisors, business mentors or business owners in their everyday lives.

The Summits’ agendas updated our fellows on what had happened within the IOEE in the last twelve months, what projects and initiatives the organisation is currently involved with and our long-term plans for the future. A large part of each summit was also devoted to exploring and debating the New Skills Plan (Guide to Enterprise Standards). The IOEE Fellows learnt about the Skills Plan during a presentation by IOEE team members who then led discussions. Conclusions and thinking that resulted from this process were then fed into our autumnal Advisory Council meeting.

Overall feedback on both events was very positive. Elsa Caleb, a business advisor with over 25 years of experience, as well as being a mentor, coach, speaker, trainer and assessor, is a proud IOEE Fellow. Over the years, she’s assisted numerous small business owners to start and grow their businesses and she continues to advise small businesses and assist them with applying for loans. Elsa attended the London IOEE Fellow Summit, which she found to be extremely informative. Speaking about the experience, she said:

“It was great to be around like-minded business people with a keen interest in a subject that’s very dear to my heart, knowing that the outcome of this summit will have an impact on various initiatives around young people, enterprise and individuals seeking more knowledge in this area. Individuals need the enterprise option, especially if they have a creative mind-set and want to explore and build their own businesses in the future, having received the correct learning and skills development prior to starting.”

Like all of the IOEE Fellows, Elsa takes her role very seriously both as a way of contributing to the wider enterprise community and as
a representative of our diverse and ever-growing memberships. She says:

“Being a Fellow of the IOEE is very important to me, because I get the opportunity to meet and share my passion with like-minded individuals. It gives me the opportunity to give back to business owners with less experience through mentoring, speaking engagements and training and it allows me to contribute to the future of enterprise through an organisation that understands its subject well.”

It’s hoped that the IOEE Fellow Summits will become a regular fixture in our events calendar, possibly taking place annually or biannually depending on other developments across the organisation. SFEDI Executive Chair Ruth Lowbridge MBE, who attended both summits, said:

“This is the first time we’ve brought the IOEE Fellows together in this way and it has been an all-round success. The way our Fellows shared their experiences of enterprise reminded me of what entrepreneurship is all about. Debating the ins and outs of the Skills Agenda was also really interesting – the results of which went on to inform our Advisory Council discussions and policy statement. Having set such an impressive precedent, we’re looking forward to staging the events again in the future.”