WEConnect Academy: SME Development Programme for Europe

Date & Time: 
Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 08:30 to 12:00

American Express
Belgrave House
76 Buckingham Palace Road


The WEConnect Academy: SME Development Programme for Europe
In order to be competitive in the current business climate, small businesses and large businesses need to work together more effectively to generate societal and economic value. In response to feedback from the 2012 WEConnect International Europe conference, WEConnect International’s corporate members in Europe identified elements of their core expertise, which they would like to share with our women owned businesses in order to help them to strengthen and grow their business and to increase their opportunities and ability to compete for business.

The SME Development Programme for Europe is a unique, practitioner-led, designed and delivered initiative. Our multinational member corporations including Accenture, Coca Cola, Clifford Chance, IBM, Intel and the Royal Bank of Scotland are partnering together to create a comprehensive modular programme, which shares expertise that is core to their own organisational success. After a very successful ‘taster day’ in October 2013 this pioneering collaborative initiative is now, with on-going help and expertise from IESE Business School – our enterprise education partner, being rolled out as a full pilot programme in the UK during 2014/15.

Pilot Programme Rollout 2014/15
Our third session of the pilot programme rollout will take place on Thursday 9th July 2015 at AMEX’s offices in London. Our speaker from the IESE Business School will be Jaume Ribera Segura, Professor of Production, Technology and Operations Management who will be talking to us about successful project management and we will hear from John Collins, Sales Director for Enterprise FLEX E RENT, part of Enterprise Rent A Car, one of WEConnect International’s corporate members. John will be sharing his career experiences with a focus on sales, new ideas for your business and managing a growing team.

Our Presentations

#1 How to succeed in managing projects: avoid the well-known traps in the project life cycle
by Professor Ribera, Professor of Production, Technology and Operations Management at the IESE Business School

Project management has become an accepted body of knowledge to help companies and departments get things done - from strategy definition to execution, launching new products or services to developing international business etc. However many projects fail to achieve the expected results or do so too late or are too costly. Even though every project is different, we have compiled over the years a lot of knowledge about why projects fail and we can conclude that most projects fail in similar ways. The purpose of this talk is to examine the most common causes of project failure so that we are able to detect them and prevent them from affecting our own projects. We will list the common traps experienced throughout the project lifecycle from the selection and definition of which projects to undertake, through to the planning, execution and monitoring phases as well as the closure stage all the while learning from successes and failures in order to develop better ways to do projects in the future.

Jaume is professor of operations management at IESE Business School and holds the Port of Barcelona Chair of Logistics at CEIBS in Shanghai, China. He was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to pursue doctoral studies in the US, holds an MSc in operations research and a PhD in mathematical systems theory from the University of Florida as well as a doctorate in industrial engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Jaume has been active in consultancy in supply chain management and project management and has extensive experience of working with private and public companies in different sectors (textile, pharmaceutical, automotive, electrical components, etc.) He has also participated as a consultant and project manager in health sector management projects in the EU, Central and Eastern Europe and South America with private, public, European Union and World Bank financing. His full bio can be found here.

#2 The importance of new ideas and the importance of cash!
by John Collins, Sales Director at Enterprise FLEX E RENT

John Collins didn’t quite finish school…. But he went on to open a chain of cycle shops before he was 21 and then turned his hand to everything from selling cars, DJ’ing around clubs here and in the Europe, to opening, owning and running a couple of bars. He even managed to get involved in the world of football before starting with a small van rental business that grew from just 500 units to over 80,000 across Europe (with the business eventually ending up a PLC). John’s journey after that led him into the world of civil engineering before he opened his own rental business where he had recognised a “paradigm shift” in the market allowing him to break the mould in how the industry was operated which – this business, at its peak, was turning over in excess of £100m.

John is now the Sales Director for Enterprise FLEX E RENT, part of Enterprise Rent a Car, the largest rental company in the world with a turnover of $20bn, still privately held and a WEConnect International corporate member. John’s business journey has taken him to the very highs and very lows of business ownership and his story and experience is both inspirational and uplifting as well as a cautionary tale and he will take us through all of his challenges and experiences before opening the floor to questions and answers. Please bring along an open mind, a willingness to listen, curiosity and as many questions as you may have! John's LinkedIn profile can be found here.

John’s workshop will:
• Give you a better understanding of how to sell in your business (John has worked with and trained over 1,000 sales people in his time)
• Share a way that a simple idea can be packaged and could revolutionise your business and indeed your industry
• Teach you how to deal with investors, both corporate and private, and how to communicate with them
• Uncover the challenges associated with taking a business from a small beginning (with just three members of staff) to managing communication as the business grows (in John’s case to over 3,500 employees)

Please arrive promptly at 8.30am – the workshop sessions will kick off at 8.45am and run throughout the morning and we'll close at 12pm. If anyone would like to stay on for a lunch locally, please indicate this on your sign up form (lunch costs will have to be covered individually).

If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact Maggie Berry on mberry@weconnectinternational.org or 07776 302 906.

• Places are free for certified women owned businesses - a 100% discount code will be sent to these businesses (if you don't have yours, please contact Maggie)
• Places cost £65 + VAT + Eventbrite booking fee for women owned businesses that are self-registered with WEConnect International
• Places cost £70 + VAT + Eventbrite booking fee for women owned businesses that are not registered with WEConnect International
• Places are limited, and likely to be in high demand, so please register as soon as possible
• Places are only available to owners or other members of the senior leadership team
• One place is available to each women owned business

Please register for the event online here: https://weconnect-international-sme-development-jul2015.eventbrite.com

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