Going for gold: turning an opportunity into a business


The East of England Skills and Competitiveness Partnership (EESCP) has teamed up with the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) to host an Enterprise Tuesday seminar tonight (22 January 2008, 18:30 - 20:30) with guest speaker Karren Brady of Birmingham City Football Club.

Success in business, as in sport, calls for skills and strategies to outplay the competition. And, with the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games on the horizon, there will be new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Often called ‘The First Lady of Football’, Karren has been managing director of Birmingham City FC since 1993. She has demonstrated remarkable business leadership skills in turning round a company that was in administration into a highly respected Premiership club. In other words, her experience of seeing something that was in difficulty as an opportunity and turning it into a success is an impressive management story.

When Karren took over at Birmingham the club was in liquidation but within her first year it recorded a financial trading profit. In 1997 the club launched on the stockmarket, valued at £25 million. Karren has increased the average gate from 6,000 to over 25,000 and it is now one of the best-run clubs in the Premiership, having regained promotion in 2007.

Karren has made many constructive changes and her community projects such as the ‘Kids a Quid’ scheme, the Family Stand, the Community Classroom and other initiatives have been widely emulated. The Club now offers a comprehensive range of services such as mortgages, saving accounts and training. Karren is actively involved in the media and is a board member of Sport England, the organisation that advises, invests in and promotes community sport.

By sharing her experiences, Karren will encourage the audience to make the most of opportunities such the ones offered by the London 2012 Games.

Dr Shai Vyakarnam, director of CfEL, comments: “It is a great coup to have someone of Karren’s calibre and profile to speak at Enterprise Tuesday. She will share invaluable management lessons and promote opportunities in the region. I am also pleased that we are creating stronger links between the University and East of England Skills and Competitiveness Partnership.”

The event - on 22 January 2008, 18:30-20:30  - is open to all and free of charge. Enterprise Tuesday has attracted record numbers this year and we expect this event to be popular so attendees are advised to arrive early in order to secure a seat in the lecture theatre. Please register online prior to the event via the CfEL website: www.cfel.jbs.cam.ac.uk/programmes/enterprise/enterprise_form.html

Enterprise Tuesday: 22 January 2008, 18:30-20:30

Venue: University of Cambridge Engineering Dept, Trumpington Road, Cambridge

Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL)
CfEL, based at the Judge Business School, aims to spread the spirit of enterprise to the University of Cambridge and beyond by delivering a range of educational activities to inspire and build skills in the practice of entrepreneurship. The Centre collaborates with over 200 experienced entrepreneurs, innovators and other practitioners to provide relevant, credible and practical training. For further information about CfEL, visit www.cfel.jbs.cam.ac.uk

Enterprise Tuesday is a series of free evening lectures and networking sessions run by the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) from October to February each year. The aim is to inspire people to pursue entrepreneurial ambitions and build basic business skills. It is also coordinated with the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE) business creation competitions.


The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School aims to inspire, enable and research entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge