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Birkbeck's Business School holds first graduation ceremony for the Help to Grow Management Course

A cohort of 20 graduating students and their guests attended the event.

A group of people stand smiling looking at the camera. Behind them are banners that read 'Birkbeck, transforming lives for 200 years'

On 14 September, the first graduation ceremony by the Centre of Professional Development, part of Birkbeck’s Business School, was held for students who have completed the Small Business Charter accredited course, Help to Grow.  

The 90% government funded small business course is designed to give senior decision makers in small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) new insights and practical capabilities to help them grow and better manage their businesses. This includes learning in topics such as digital marketing, strategy, leadership, innovation, responsible business and financial management. Lasting twelve weeks, the course includes online and face-to-face sessions, one-to-one mentoring and peer networking.  

Ahead of receiving their certificates of graduation, the students and their guests were addressed by Professor Dil Sidhu, Head of Birkbeck Business School Faculty of Business and Law and Dr Pamela Yeow, Director of Birkbeck’s Help to Grow Management Programme. The ceremony also included a special address by Martina Shwarz, founder of Blackmarket, a business whose aim is to reduce packaging waste through design innovation  

Among the graduating students were Mujahid Malik who is the CEO of iFAST bank, and Yandis Ying, who has set up a bubble tea shop with an emphasis on sustainability, We Are Dot Dot. Yandis said: “As a small start-up, it can be really difficult to get into industry without a network. I feel really lucky that during the course I met some other small business owners who were able to provide me with contacts, which eventually landed me with a partnership with one of my business's biggest distributors now. It’s been amazing.” 

Dr Pamela Yeow commented: “The graduation was a wonderful way to mark the end of twelve weeks of engaged learning by this year's cohort of students. At Birkbeck’s Business School we recognise the unique challenges facing SMEs, and our academics engage with industry to ensure our teaching meets the needs of modern-day organisations. The teaching that occurs on the Help to Grow Management Course reflects this, and we’re excited to see what the graduands will do next.” 

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