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Forbes Media Innovator of the Year praises Lancaster University Management School

Ajaz Ahmed

Ajaz Ahmed

11 July 2013

The co-founder of the multi-million pound global digital creative agency AKQA has congratulated Lancaster University Management School on becoming 'the best'.

Ajaz Ahmed is the Forbes Media Innovator of the Year and was named by the UK government as one of the most influential people to drive the growth of e-commerce. His clients include Audi, Ferrari, Virgin, Nike, Nissan, and Gap. From a paper round at the age of 12, Ajaz now has 1,160 employees across the world, recently selling his majority share in the company, valued at £350m.

He was speaking before an audience of more than a hundred SME delegates at the LUMS leadership networking event on 9 July.

“It's fantastic to see all these entrepreneurial businesses working with Lancaster University in this great networking session… I can see why Lancaster was voted the Times Higher Education Business School of the Year in 2012. So congratulations to you on becoming the best.”

The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development at LUMS has so far worked with over 1,500 businesses and their owners. Senior staff running the programmes are themselves longtime owners and directors of successful SMEs who use their experience to benefit others with programmes including:

LEAD: A ten month leadership programme for the owner/managers of SMEs. Over 1,700 businesses across England and Wales have completed LEAD with their mean annual turnover increasing in the order of £360,000, equal to a 13.8% annual growth rate.

GOLD: A strategic growth programme which allows owner/managers to experiment with having a non-executive director (NED) in their company and to practice being a NED in several other businesses.

TOP TEAM: Growth orientated entrepreneurs need senior managers who are not only competent in their area of expertise but also able to contribute towards the strategic direction of the company. Top Team uses the expertise at LUMS to develop such future leaders.

Ian Gordon, Head of Leadership and Management Programmes, said: “Our record of making a real difference to so many SMEs over the last nine years is something we are really proud of and it’s great to have the endorsement and involvement of world leading entrepreneurs such as Ajaz Ahmed.”

Phil Coatesworth, Director of GOLD said: “LEAD, GOLD and Top Team are for the owners and managers of serious businesses with ambitions to both grow and keep on doing things better.”

Anyone interested in finding out more should contact the Leadership and Management Team.