Professor Allan Gibb OBE attended this prestigious annual event, which is hosted by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) and the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI). It brings together educators, entrepreneurs and other key figures from the UK’s small business, enterprise and skills sector.
The IOEE International Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2013 to honour individuals who have made a significant contribution to enterprise and entrepreneurship. This contribution, whether it be through research writing, leadership or enterprise support, must have a significant and lasting impact on the enterprise field and must demonstrate a lifetime of commitment to raising the profile of enterprise and entrepreneurship.
For over four decades, Professor Allan Gibb OBE has worked in the field of enterprise and entrepreneurship, engaging in practice, undertaking research, changing policy and furthering an enterprise culture both in the UK and in the international arena.
Former Director of Durham University’s Small Business Centre, this is someone who has spent his career striving to bring academic concepts to real world enterprise experiences. Having worked in practice on all continents, in over 80 countries at various levels of economic development, he has gathered and shared a vast and valuable range of experience and insight. His work has defined him as a committed pioneer in the field of SME management practice, research and policy development, particularly with regards to studies that unite international learning. Equally, Professor Allan Gibb has made a significant and lasting impact as an ambassador for both the promotion and the development of enterprise culture and for the embedding of enterprise in education, at all levels. As a world-renowned expert on business start-up and the survival and growth of SMEs, he has made an invaluable contribution both to the resources, support and opportunities available to individual entrepreneurs and to the UK’s broad economic landscape.
In 2009, Professor Allan Gibb gained the accolade of Queen’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Enterprise Promotion and, in 2012 he became the first holder of the European Entrepreneurship Education Laureate Award funded and organised by the Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship in Sweden.
Professor Allan Gibb said:
“For me the occasion was a celebration of the fact that if we are to have a vibrant entrepreneurial economy we need to do much more to recognise and support the self employed and micro business community not just for their ’employment’ and ‘growth potential’ but in recognition that they represent an increasingly important ‘way of life’ for many millions of people throughout the world.
Those who came together in London were all ‘doers’ each with their own track records reflecting accurately the heterogeneity of the owner managed business population’ and the way it contributes to and works with a wide range of stakeholders. It was great for me to meet with them.
The importance of the award for me was that it came from an organisation that is very actively engaged with the small business community and its learning and committed to engage all partners in this process. There is a lesson for academe in that.”
Ruth Lowbridge MBE, Executive Chair of the SFEDI Group, said:
“For many years now I have watched Professor Allan Gibb extend his academic influence and practice to positively impact the entrepreneurial learning experiences of people around the globe. Very few individuals could match Allan’s scope of understanding when it comes to either the everyday nurturing of individual SMEs or the broad-reaching, complex policies required to support them. Equally, his commitment to embedding enterprise in education and his capacity to unite academia with practice across international borders are exemplary.”