Alumni event explores leadership in small business and start-ups

On Wednesday 22nd March 2023, the Business School held an alumni event entitled "Leadership in Small Businesses and Start-Ups: What They Don't Teach You at Business School".

The event was organised by Dr James Roberts, Lecturer in Strategy and Organisation, and featured a panel discussion with four distinguished Leeds MBA alumni.

The panellists included James Waggott, owner and managing director of Boutique Barge Company and Antiques Centre York; Richard Baker, entrepreneur and director of Leading Thinking (Consultancy) and founding member of MetroBank; Aqila Choudry MBE, founder and registered manager of Love in Care, an award-winning inclusive service provision; and Arian Dervishi, founder and director of Best Bar Harrogate.

James Waggott Alumni

Alumni James Waggott shares his experiences with the students.

During the discussion, the panellists shared their experiences and insights into leadership in small businesses and start-ups. They explored various topics such the importance of communication in leadership and the increased focus on the need to deliver social impact. In particular Aqila Choudry shared experiences of creating an inclusive service provision at Love in Care, which won the "most inclusive service provision" award at the Leeds Quality in Care Awards 2022.

Many of the panellists spoke about how the Leeds MBA allowed them to cut through the buzzwords of corporate settings, as well as highlighting how the multi-disciplinary nature of the MBA programme helped facilitate career changes and allowed them to leverage transferrable skills across various industries. As well as highlighting the importance of building your network with fellow MBAs and shared their own experiences of calling on former classmates throughout their careers following their MBA programme.

MBA students ask questions at alumni event

MBA students get the opportunity to ask questions.

The event was attended by a diverse group of Leeds MBA students who engaged in a lively discussion with the panellists, and provided valuable insights into the challenges and rewards of leadership in small businesses and start-ups. 

Find out more about the Leeds MBA.