Aston awards Visiting Industrial Fellowships

Visiting Industrial Fellows
From l-r: Emma Jennings, Daniella Genas, Ollie Leggett, Paul Little, Indi Deol, Charles Rapson, Prof Mark Hart, Prof George Feiger, Rob Mannion, John Miller, Steph Chamberlain, Byron Dixon, David Lusty, Heather Forrester, Paula Whitehouse.

23 January 2014

Aston University is proud to award Visiting Industrial Fellowships to thirteen Alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme, in recognition of the contribution they have made across the university to the understanding, experience and awareness of business growth and entrepreneurship.

This is the first time that members of the 10,000 Small Businesses programme alumni have been recognised in this way. The selected business owners, who will hold the title for a two year period, come from a broad range of business sectors and through their engagement to date have supported Aston University, its students, research and staff across a range of activities such as KEEN and KTP projects, mentoring through the BSEEN and SERV programmes, social impact projects with MBA students, involvement in policy development and lobbying through the university, recruiting students and graduates to their businesses, as well as acting as live case studies in taught modules.

The Visiting Industrial Fellows were awarded the title at a lunch event held at Aston Business School on 14th January 2014, attended by Professor Mark Hart, Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and Academic Lead on Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme and Professor George Feiger, Executive Dean, Aston Business School.

Professor George Feiger said: “I am delighted that thirteen of the 10,000 Small Businesses programme alumni have been awarded Visiting Industrial Fellowships. We value the contribution these high growth, entrepreneurial business leaders are making to the work of Aston Business School and the key role they play in fostering relationships between the small business community and Aston University”.

Stephanie Chamberlain, CEO of Magic Milestones, a consulting firm specialising in the field of digital product management is one of the alumni to be recognised as a Visiting Industrial Fellow. Stephanie has been involved in a number of consultations involving Lord Heseltine and the University’s Enterprise Research Centre and also acts as a mentor to young entrepreneurs for the BSEEN programme. 

Talking about receiving the title Stephanie said: "I am honoured to be made a Visiting Industrial Fellow by the University. Since joining 10,000 Small Businesses I have valued the support and opportunities I have had to engage with both Aston Business School and the wider University community. As the owner of a growing business within the region I particularly appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the discussion of enhanced government policy support for small businesses and for budding entrepreneurs."

 The University plans to award these Fellowships annually to 10,000 Small Businesses alumni who demonstrate their commitment to supporting Aston Business School and the business community.

The thirteen Visiting Industrial Fellows are:

•             Dan Barber, Standout Design & Marketing Ltd, Leicester (

•             Stephanie (Steph) Chamberlain, Magic Milestones, Birmingham (

•             Inderjit (Indi) Deol, Aidem Digital CIC, Birmingham (

•             Byron Dixon, Micro-Fresh, Leicester (

•             Heather Forrester, Research By Design, Birmingham (

•             Daniella Genas, Aspire4u, Birmingham (

•             Emma Jennings, thestudio Venue Company, Birmingham (

•             Oliver (Ollie) Leggett, IE Design, Birmingham (

•             Paul Little, Coen Ltd, Birmingham (

•             David Lusty, Lightpower Ltd, Birmingham (

•             Rob Mannion, RNF Digital Innovation, Warwick (

•             John Miller, Base Group, Leicester and Birmingham (

•             Charles Rapson, Colebridge Enterprises ( and West Midlands School for Social Entrepreneurs (, Solihull and Birmingham

BSEEN is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 

Notes to Editors

Aston Business School 

Aston University is renowned for the quality of its innovative learning and teaching, world leading research and for having a friendly and supportive culture. The School has strong business links, and offers life-transforming experiences that make a real difference to organisations, economies and the global society. Aston Business School is committed to helping small businesses realise their potential through dedicated services which are specifically tailored to meet their needs. The School also delivers cutting edge entrepreneurial research (especially on high growth firms) and is home to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) UK project and jointly hosts the new national Enterprise Research Centre with Warwick University. 

10,000 Small Businesses UK

10,000 Small Businesses UK is an initiative to unlock the growth and job creation potential of small businesses and social enterprises across the United Kingdom through providing the resources they need to grow, including greater access to business education and business support services. It is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that a combination of education and support services best addresses the barriers to growth for small businesses. 

The programme is based on an innovative and successful approach to supporting entrepreneurs, as developed through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative and the 10,000 Small Businesses programme launched in the United States in 2009. A programme tailored specifically for the UK market was brought to Yorkshire in 2010 and then to the North West of England in 2011, the Midlands in autumn 2011 and London in early 2012. Programme partners include Saïd Business School (University of Oxford), Leeds University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Aston University Business School and University College London. 

10,000 Small Businesses in the UK is funded by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation. 


The BSEEN project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit 

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