April 24, 2002
Professor Michael Quayle, Director of the University of Glamorgan Business School, has said more should be done to create a climate in Wales that encourages wealth-creating talent to stay here, rather than move out of a country that desperately needs risk-takers and individuals with real entrepreneurial spirit.Professor Quayle was speaking at the launch of the Business School Alumni Association, designed to create a pool of business talent by enabling graduates of the School to keep in touch and share ideas and experiences. He said that the creation of intellectual and financial capital in Wales was crucial at a time when inward investment was fading.
“We have to use our heads”, he said. ” A knowledge-based economy is replacing the declining manufacturing base, and Wales lacks the commercial animals and the entrepreneurial climate essential to adapt to the new economic landscape. We must stop exporting the best brains and focus on providing the next generation of managers and business people with the wealth-creating skills they need to flourish in the new environment”. The Business School was showing its commitment to this by providing business education for the real world, and by going into the schools to encourage youngsters to recognise that Higher Education was accessible and attainable in the Valleys.
Vice-Chancellor Sir Adrian Webb highlighted Glamorgan’s position as the only University in an area of South Wales devastated by economic and social change. “If we are to fulfil our vision of widening participation in Higher Education, the economic climate has to be vibrant enough to give young people opportunity, hope and motivation to succeed”, he said. The Business School’s reputation for teaching excellence and relevant applied research, and its commitment to on-line learning demonstrated the University’s determination to make a difference to the economic and social future of Wales. Also speaking at the launch were Angela Gidden of Attic 2 in Cardiff(a former Welsh Woman of the Year and successful furniture designer), and Shelim Hussain of Eurofoods (UK) in Newport, who recently won the Young Achiever of the Year Award in the Asian Business Awards 2002.
ngela Gidden stressed the importance of networks such as the Alumni Association in making a business work. People were essential to business success, she said. “When I decided to set up my second company, two years ago, my sofa designs alone were generating £60m a year”, she said. “However, I felt frustrated and bored: I was designing with my eyes closed. And one of the most important factors in taking the plunge and setting up a new company was the inspiration I was being given by a team who wanted to rise to a fresh challenge.”
Shelim Hussain said that, although his company’s turnover for 2002 is expected to be around £50 million and he was considered a success, he had been aware throughout his career of the “missing education” he never had. “I knew about keeping one step ahead of the competition, but I had no idea of how to do the books on a computer”, he said. “The skills provided by the Business School are essential for young entrepreneurs in Wales: the spirit to succeed is there, but only education can provide them with the tools with which to build their empire.”
University of Glamorgan Business School graduates who are interested in joining the Alumni Association should contact Lyn Daunton on 01443-483426.