A big welcome to another of our new arrivals the SME Centre of Excellence!
The SME Centre of Excellence is the leading SME support hub which aims to use their programs to provide businesses with the right tools they need to survive and thrive in enterprise. Since joining us as our most recently approved IOEE Centre of Excellence we spoke to Chief Executive Ammar Mirza CBE to discuss his enterprising journey and why he decided to join the IOEE community.
It seems that there is no better man for the enterprising mission than Ammar Mirza. Starting his first job at aged 10 and never stopping since, the desire for entrepreneurship came to him early on. Ammar stated that
“Even when I was studying, I recognised that enterprise and entrepreneurship provided the most significant opportunity for us as individuals to realise our ambitions and aspirations”
It was this kind of entrepreneurial spirit that led him to support hundreds of new start-ups and eventually establish the SME Centre of Excellence in 2016. However, Ammar’s passion for enterprise education is not just limited to SME’s. In 2013 he founded his own charity dedicated to introducing it into primary schools. The charity brings local business owners into schools to teach students about the business life cycle. The schools then set up real small businesses, with children interviewing for positions in the company, from which they are judged to see which are the most profitable, with the winner earning some prise money and ongoing support from Ammar and his team. Like Ammar we are extremely passionate about enterprise education and the power it holds, it is such an amazing tool for entrepreneurs of all ages to achieve their goals and aspirations.
The SME Centre of Excellence supports businesses with all the core business disciplines they need, whether it be financial support, market validation, business model creation or marketing. Additionally, the importance of innovation in business remains a core belief throughout their teaching. It was because of these core innovative beliefs that they were able to adapt quickly to the changes the corona virus brought. From speaking with Ammar Mirza, it is clear that the principles of innovation and digital transformation are embedded throughout the programmes. As a result of this the company were able to take their delivery of learning online very successfully and have supported hundreds of SME’s who were struggling over the last 12 months. Now Ammar and his team are looking at the future of their business and how they can effectively use digital education in a meaningful way. With the huge success of their online programs, Ammar has suggested that in the future they may take a blended approach to learning. Although we all love to interact face to face, it may not be feasible for everyone, and the SME Centre of Excellence recognises the importance of tailored learning for businesses.
So why was becoming an IOEE Centre of Excellence so important for the SME Centre of Excellence? Ammar Mirza answers this by stating three key factors. The first was to give a clear recognition of the value of their programs and offer the course participants the currency that they need to thrive in the enterprise industry. Secondly, Ammar wishes to further develop their offer and increase what his company can do to support SME’s. Finally, a key factor was to cultivate a partnership with IOEE, so both companies can assist SME’s in the understanding of emerging threats, trends, opportunities, and work with them to develop business support programmes.
What is apparent is that the SME Centre of Excellence is completely dedicated to the support of small business enterprise. Especially in the aftermath of the pandemic, it is important to recognise that SME’s and entrepreneurs are, as Ammar states, “at the heart of our recovery”. We are extremely excited to begin our partnership and collaborate in teaching entrepreneurship to support businesses and the people in them in an impactful way.
If you’d like to join our enterprising network of centres and academies go to our website today! http://centres.ioee.uk