Covid-19 has impacted every sector of the economy in the UK since lockdown began in March, and as each week passes the spread of the virus is affecting economies globally.
Edinburgh Napier has graduates from 170 countries and in the last full academic year alone the Business School welcomed students from 130 countries, who studied with us on campus, online or through our partners in Transnational Education.
To support empowerment, enterprise and employability for all.
As an applied university we study business for the benefit of businesses and entrepreneurs, not as an abstract or theoretical discipline. So in this unprecedented period we have been active across all subject areas to directly support as many business owners as possible.
Read this interview with Gail Boag, Dean, in Holyrood Magazine to see how our vision supports our engagement with business. In an Associate Feature in January 2021, the Dean expanded on how universities can be the springboard for economic recovery.
Here’s a snapshot of recent activity that we hope contains something of value to you and your challenge at this time.
Around 120 alumni of the Destination Leaders Programme (DLP), which is a joint initiative delivered for the past seven years by Edinburgh Napier University and Scottish Enterprise for tourism industry professionals, devised ‘Getting ready for recovery’. It has drawn on the skills, expertise and experience of those in Scotland who were ‘furloughed’, or on a reduced working pattern, to help address some of the challenges that inevitably face Scotland’s tourism sector as it looks towards travel and events post-covid.
The aim has been to provide targeted support and mentoring that can help small tourism businesses identify actions, outputs and outcomes that help them recover. Four projects were taken up, focused on objectives that underpin The Scottish Tourism Strategy to 2030, as well as wider topics that touched on destination leadership, development, management, industry resilience and recovery, and destination promotion.
The initiative was supported by Professor Jane Ali-Knight, working with existing groups such as ETAG [Edinburgh Tourism Action Group] and STERG [Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group]. You can read about the project's impact - including a nationally recognised toolkit for visitor attractions - here.
The Tourism study area also ran a free online course through FutureLearn.com, which helped small tourism businesses understand the power of data they hold or can access in helping them market themselves more effectively at this critical time.
In collaboration with Edinburgh Napier’s start-up hub, Bright Red Triangle, The Business School has been proactive in building links with social enterprise, the business community and the public sector. In 2019, Edinburgh was named the first UK member of Cities Can B, a bid led by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce with other stakeholders including Edinburgh Napier University. The programme delivers solutions to community-led initiatives from the grassroots up, drawing on expertise and resources from city stakeholders. Likewise, we are supporting businesses that want to support of UN Sustainable Development Goals. To build capacity for this, we have launched the “Business for good” research and enterprise thematic area, which Dr Hock Tan wrote about in a recent feature in The Scotsman.
Impact Investment Symposium
Colleagues from across the School hosted the first in a series of online discussions, in May, involving leading investors, philanthropists and social enterprises. It is looking at how bridges can be built between ‘business for purpose’ and the investment community – referred to as impact investment. You can watch the presentation made to the Forum on 5 August by Danyal Sattar, Chief Executive, Big Issue Invest.
In January 2021, The Symposium was delighted to welcome Alex Edmans, Professor of Finance at London Business School, who spoke on the case for purposeful business, using rigorous evidence and real-life examples to show what works – and, importantly, what doesn’t. He discussed practical ways for businesses of all sizes to put purpose into practice, and how investors and citizens can play their part. At a Q&A session hosted by Bob Keiller, chair of the Symposium, Professor Edmans was joined by investment expert Mary Jane Brouwers, to explore the implications for social enterprises in Scotland.
Our colleagues in HR have developed a series of Reflective Papers working with industry practitioners, the most recent focused on recruitment in the voluntary sector.
Follow our blog
The School’s blog has been used to provide advice and reflection on a variety of themes emerging from the impact of Covid-19:
The School also launched a new series of webinars, open to all, with the first on 'Entrepreneurial Leadership', led by Dr Chris Cramphorn.
Over the last few months we have welcomed alumni to talk on various challenges and opportunities that face businesses today. You can watch any of these sessions here:
Dr Gary Kildare, Global HR Director, IBM - answered questions on future prospects for HR and employment in the 'new normal'.
Les Bayne, CEO Accenture Scotland, examined Opportunities in the Circular Economy and asked can businesses reinvent themselves to take advantage of new opportunities?
KO Chia discussed the changing priorities for investors and venture capital, particularly aligned to social enterprises that align profits with purpose.
Euan Jarvie, CEO Dentsu Aegis UK, on the Pendulum Dynamic (or who used digital well during lockdown and what that says about the opportunities for ecommerce).
Russell Dalgleish, chair of Scottish Business Network, talked about networking and the art of 'Making Meaningful Connections'
Professor Lynne Cadenhead, chair of Women's Enterprise Scotland, spoke on the challenges facing female entrepreneurs
Follow Edinburgh Napier on Eventbrite for details of future webinars.
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