Nominations for Celebrating Enterprise 2016 are now open and we want to know who you think deserves to win. We caught up with Peter Harrington of SimVenture, one of last year’s winners, to find out what’s been happening since his business was named Most Enterprising Learning Product 2015.
Each year, the IOEE hosts a prestigious awards event at the House of Lords. Celebrating Enterprise is our chance to shine a spotlight on the individuals and organisations really innovating and excelling in enterprise and education. Peter Harrington and his brother Paul are the team behind SimVenture, an interactive software product that allows learners of all ages and backgrounds to develop and test their enterprise skills in a safe but realistic environment. We asked Peter what winning the award meant to SimVenture. He said:
“It was a surprise just to be nominated! We were so busy working on a new project at the time and it came out of the blue. I had no expectations of winning but when we did I was absolutely delighted.”
In fact, the original SimVenture product, or SimVenture Classic as it has latterly been rebranded, has won four national awards altogether; the Celebrating Enterprise award was the fourth. However, Peter says that winning the title of Most Enterprising Learning Product has had the most positive impact on the business:
“In part that’s because of the high-profile, prestigious location where the event is held. But it’s also because the award we won is very specific to the market we operate within. That meant that all the people we interact with – our customers, our influencers, the people who really know us – were in that room when our name was announced.”
Being named Most Enterprising Learning Product is recognition of the way SimVenture supports enterprise learning. Products winning the award, whatever form they take, must be designed to facilitate key aspects of enterprise learning and help individual learners develop the broad skills base they need to become more enterprising in pursuit of employment or to start, run and grow their own businesses. This is exactly what SimVenture achieves and, Peter tells us that winning the award was just the first piece of good news:
“The ripple that went out from the event was terrific. The feedback and the congratulations we’ve received has been just brilliant. Critically, we ‘ve just signed a huge deal in China and I believe the Celebrating Enterprise award was an influencing factor in securing that contract.”
In fact, since winning the award, the business has gone on to create and publish a new product – SimVenture Evolution. This online enterprise simulation tool, along with SimVenture Classic, is destined to be rolled out across Chinese universities, colleges and schools, as well as British ones. To keep up with the volume of new work, Peter and Paul have undertaken something of a recruitment drive:
“We’ve taken on a number of new staff in the past six months and enlisted a few new contractors too. In all, another six people have joined the company since we won the award.”
Winning a Celebrating Enterprise award is often the catalyst for real growth and refreshed success, whether it is an individual, an educational organisation or a business who wins. Perhaps you would like to make a nomination for Celebrating Enterprise 2016. Have you been impressed by a product that goes above and beyond in enabling enterprise learning, like SimVenture? Or, do you know of a learner who has completely dedicated themselves to expanding their mind through enterprise? It could be that you believe a particular enterprise educator deserves public praise, or that you’ve witnessed an enterprise in education team excel in its field.
Let us know who you believe should be a Celebrating Enterprise nominee, and why you think they qualify, and we’ll take it from there.
To see the full list of award categories and find out more about making your nomination, visit http://awards.ioee.uk