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Dinah Bennett

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​​Chair of the SIEF Organising Team

Founder/Director of International Consultants for entrepreneurship and Enterprise ICE


Global Lead, Enterprise Development


Honorary Fellow, St Aidan’s College, Durham University


Dinah works at both policy and practice levels internationally.  Her work ranges from developing gender sensitive policy reform to the design and development of entrepreneurial capacity building programmes. She works in partnership with agencies such as the UN, EBRD, International Labour Organization and the British Council.

Over the past 18 years, Dinah has worked extensively with the banking community in the UK and overseas developing and delivering capacity building programmes to over 5,000 bank managers and decision makers assisting them to support their SME customers more effectively.

Dinah was awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2005 and an OBE for services to Women’s Entrepreneurship in 2011. She was made an Honorary Fellow of the UK Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs in 2016.

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Dr Susan Frenk

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Susan Frenk is Principal of St. Aidan’s College, Durham University, Chair of Durham City of Sanctuary and a Co-Founder of the Societal Innovation and Enterprise Forum (SIEF).


As a Scot who has lived in several countries, Susan shares Allan’s understanding that being locally grounded and embedded is no obstacle to cultural exchange and global perspectives. Her PhD studies at Cambridge and subsequent work as an academic prompted a strong interest in the emergence of models which value and promote diversity, creativity, an enterprising spirit and the potential for universities to help bring about a better world.


Leading St Aidan’s College, she has brought a global community together to engage across a range of projects, including collaborations with organisations like the Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI), the College’s Enterprise and Innovation Forum, local charities/NGOs and their increasingly internationally-based alumni to explore and model new modes of social exchange. For Susan, Allan Gibb was an inspiration, mentor and friend for ten years, not least in the ways he combined laser sharp analysis with profound humanity, remaining optimistic about the capacity for change.

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Professor Andrew Atherton

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Andrew is Professor of Enterprise, Global Director of Transnational Education for Navitas, a leading global education business. He was previously Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lincoln. Andrew joined the Small Business Centre (SBC) at Durham University in 1995, setting up the Policy Research Institute, and was Director of the Foundation for SME Development, the successor to the Small Business Centre, until 2002.

During that time he worked closely with Allan Gibb and SBC colleagues on a range of projects focused on policy research and enterprise development. He was involved in setting up a new School of Engineering at Lincoln with Siemens, and in creating the Health Innovation campus at Lancaster University. Andrew's book ‘Entrepreneurship in China’ makes the case that the emergence of China as the 2nd largest global economy has been the result of the emergence of entrepreneurs & private enterprises in what is still formally a communist state.

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Professor Ted Fuller

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Ted holds the UNESCO Chair on Responsible Foresight for Sustainable Development at the University of Lincoln, UK and Editor-in-Chief of Futures Journal. He spent about twenty years at Durham University Business School working with Allan Gibb and colleagues, starting in the Small Business Centre, working closely with Allan as Deputy Director, and then founding two research centres in Knowledge Systems and Foresight Research. The influence of Allan on Ted’s academic work and career has been profound, as a mentor, friend, critic and role model. It is important that Allan’s legacy of ideas, theories, questions and overall approach to humanity are built on for the future.

Ted’s current academic work reflects responsible enterprising behaviour as a key element of societal futures. The practice of the UNESCO Chair is to work with international partners to help imagine and create sustainable futures. Such prospection uses imagination, anticipation and aspiration to inspire what should be done and what can be done in each specific context to improve human flourishing. The UNESCO Chair involves a team of people from Lincoln International Business School.

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Yolanda Gibb

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After beginning her career in the private sector setting up an export department for a medium sized biotechnology company in the North East of England, she spent almost a decade (1989-1998) working at the Small Business Centre in Durham University Business School before moving to Geneva to take up a post with the International Trade Centre, a UN Agency focusing on enhancing the capacity of developing and transitional economies to engage in international trade.  At the beginning of 2003 she moved to Cairo in order to become part of the senior management team of an initiative to modernise the Egyptian industry.


For the last ten years Yolanda has combined her research and teaching interests with running her own business, based in the South of Spain, though her work continues to take her around the world.  Projects cover entrepreneurship, internationalisation, the impact of various aspects of ICT on enterprise competitiveness, enterprise cooperation and the management of intangible assets.  Clients range from governments and local authorities, universities and small business service providers, international organisations, to NGOs and the small business sector.

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Gay Haskins

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Gabrielle (Gay) Haskins worked closely with Allan Gibb over many years. In the 1970s and 80s, when Allan was running the Small Business Centre at Durham, Gay was Director of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) in Brussels. Allan was a very active member of EFMD’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business Network and, together with Toy Hubert, Allan and Gay put together the first Guide to Small Firms Assistance in Europe, (Gower, 1986).

Later, in 2009, when Gay was Dean of Executive Education at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Allan was the inspiration behind a very innovative initiative, the Entrepreneurial University Leaders Programme (EULP). Launched jointly with the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE), this programme for senior leaders in universities focussed on entrepreneurship, innovation and change in the Higher Education sector.

Subsequently, Allan and Gay co-authored numerous articles and book chapters on why and how the university sector should become more entrepreneurial and responsive to a broader range of stakeholders than in the past.

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Keith Hermann

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Keith is Director of Higher Ed Research, a research consultancy specialising in higher education policy, graduate employability and strategy development. He also has a strong interest in entrepreneurship education and SME development.

He was previously Director of Employability and Careers at the University of Surrey where he had a university-wide remit as strategic lead on employability, careers and the university’s renowned student placement programme. He also successfully developed the University’s strategy on Degree Apprenticeships.


As Deputy Chief Executive at the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) one of the porjects Keith led in partnership with NCEE (wih Prof Paul Hannon) and NESTA was a global panel on entrepreneursihp education, where Allan was one of the panel members.

Before this he worked at Durham University Business School as Director of Programmes for Small Enterprise Development where he led a team specialising in entrepreneurship education, SME business growth and economic policy research.

Inspired by Allan Gibb and colleagues at the Small Business Centre at Durham University we reimagined the DUBS Business Growth programme to help SME owner-managers in the North East of England and in Ireland.



Associate Professor Colin Jones

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Colin is a Senior Academic Developer in the Office for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (OALT) at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). Located in the Academic Development team, Colin works in-situ alongside academics, supporting, promoting and modelling contemporary approaches to university teaching.


Prior to joining USQ, Colin was a Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at Queensland University of Technology (2016-2020) and the University of Tasmania (2001-2015). During the last 20 years, Colin has been a strong advocate for innovative approaches to enterprise and entrepreneurship education, and education more generally; holding Visiting Professor positions at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David (Wales), Northeast Normal University (China) and Jilin Sport University (China), and visiting research positions at Liverpool John Moores University (England) and Tampa University (USA).

Colin has also taught into several teach the teacher programs in the UK during the past 10 years. Colin’s research has focused on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and Firm Survival. In 2005, Colin was recognised for Teaching Excellence at the (Carrick) Australian Awards for University Teaching and was recognised as a Principal Fellow of HEA (Advance HE) in 2019.

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Professor Emeritus Andy Penaluna

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Now a freelance consultant, Professor Emeritus Andy Penaluna was the Director of the International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (IICED), at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. International clients included the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), The European Commission, the Commonwealth and the OECD. UK clients included Welsh and Westminster Governments.

As chair of Enterprise Educators UK, Andy conceptualised and led the development of the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education’s (QAA) Enterprise and Entrepreneurship interdisciplinary guidance for any subject. He subsequently became part of the EU Joint Research Centre’s team that developed the EU EntreComp Framework. Allan Gibb’s thinking had significant influence in both projects, and it was Allan who introduced him to the European debates.

External Recognition of Andy’s work includes:

  • In 2014 awarded the SFEDI Educator of the Year by SFEDI and the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs.

  • In 2015 received the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion.

  • In 2016 the policy think tank Centre for Entrepreneurs named Andy as one of the UK’s top ‘Maserati 100’ entrepreneurs.

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Associate Professor Kathryn Penaluna

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As a bank manager Kath supported many entrepreneurs to take their ideas forward, and developed a good ‘hands on’ sense of understanding for what made them successful. In 1997 she started to teach entrepreneurial studies to artists and designers.

Having met Allan at a conference in 2005, personal dialogues on the synergies between design education and the entrepreneurial agenda developed, especially during the 2007/2008 pilot of the International Entrepreneurship Educators Programme. Allan encouraged Kath to communicate her practice and concepts with the research community, advancing her understandings with his humour and wisdom.

Allan keynoted at the launch of University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s, International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development in 2014, and remained a sounding board and mentor to Kath. One of her proudest moments is receiving a reference from Allan to support her recognition as an Associate Professor in Enterprise Education.

Kath has contributed to policy development for organisations such as the OECD and United Nations, and keynoted alongside the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

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Jane Rindl

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Jane has spent twenty five years in the field of enterprise and business development, first at Durham University Business School's Small Business Centre, and subsequently for 13 years with the consulting firm SQW in Cambridge. Jane now runs her own consultancy, working with a network of close associates, including colleagues from the SBC.

She has led a wide range of research, policy, programme development and evaluation studies both in the UK and Eastern Europe. Most recently she has undertake over a dozen studies for the University of Nottingham, including evaluations of business-facing ERDF-funded initiatives, and providing support to their Midlands Energy Consortium on the development of Masters Programmes for the Energy Sector.  Other recent clients include the Arts Council, the Design Council, Scottish Enterprise and authoring two chapters for a university textbook prepared by NCEE for the Chinese market.

Her international focus started at the Small Business Centre where she ran a large development programme in Slovakia for Regional Advisory and Information Centres.  Since then, she has worked in Russia (Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow), Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Ukraine on SME infrastructure development projects and regional preparation for EU accession.

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Pat Richardson

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Pat undertook a PhD in SME planning and went on to become a business adviser in central London, and to the same role in West Lothian, Scotland.

In the late 1980s Pat went back into the university sector at the Scottish Enterprise Foundation - the Small Business Centre of Stirling University. A decade later she joined the SBC at Durham University Business School.


After a six year stint there in 2002 she set up a consultancy and have been doing that in partnership with Rhona Howarth - an SBC associate ever since. They work primarily looking at business development in the third sector and evaluation of enterprise development initiatives in the UK and internationally. She is part of WISE Development Ltd a network of consultants working on women's equality internationally.

Pat Richardson has developed a global reputation as an expert in evaluation, impact assessment and enterprise development. Over the past 30 years she has developed and implemented a robust evaluation methodology that has enabled organisations of all shapes and sizes to make sense of the past by being clearer about their achievements, and to improve their performance through integrating lessons learnt into ongoing practice.

In 1998 she was awarded a European Woman of Achievement award for her European work in supporting women’s enterprise development.

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Professor Slavica Singer

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Slavica Singer is the Professor Emeritus at the J.J. Strossmayer University in Osijek, Croatia, and the UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship Education. Experiencing two mega changes in the political and economic life of Croatia (a new country after the war), she was aware that universities cannot run business as usual. In 1996 she approached Allan Gibb because of his work on the entrepreneurial university and asymmetry of the knowledge needs of small businesses. Her work with Allan resulted in: (a) the first university-based educational programme in entrepreneurship in Croatia in 2000; (b) the first training programme for growth-oriented small business owners in 2005 (using the Small Business Centre Growth Model); and (c) a new doctoral programme in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2010 (a joint partnership with Durham University, Turku School of Economics, the University of Klagenfurt and the University of Maribor). Slavica will always remember and value Allan’s interest in other people’s problems, willingness to share his knowledge and experience (and jokes), his kindness and above all, in his commitments he never failed.

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Profesor Mike Thomas

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Mike is currently the Chair of University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation and co-Chair of the Bay Integrated Care Partnership and is active in a number of healthcare related projects. He is the co-founder of the North West NHS Chairs Forum and co-founder of the College for Military Veterans and the Emergency Services.


Previously Mike was Vice-Chancellor of one of the largest English universities and held a number of senior academic posts in five universities. He was a participant in the first Entrepreneurial University Leadership Programme where he met Allan Gibb. Allan was hugely influential in his thinking and approach to entrepreneurial endeavours and encouraged Mike and a colleague, Paul Kirkbright, to develop the initial ideas and planning for the Shrewsbury University Centre in Shropshire and later for an innovative new University Campus in Burnley, Lancashire. Both completed in partnership with the Local Authority and local stakeholders.

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Marju Unt

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Marju Unt is a founder and CEO of Estonian Euromanagement Institute in Tartu, Estonia.

Marju became Allan Gibb’s student in Durham in 1991, as a young trainer of entrepreneurship. Estonia, still part of the Soviet Union at the time, regained independence shortly after the Durham course. Free enterprise became a new way of life in the free state of Estonia and Marju started to train small business owner-managers as creative people to make Estonia a more smiling and friendly society.

She founded her school for entrepreneurs, to empower them to find their own path in life, developing their talents, creating value and growing their enterprises via kind co-operation.

Allan Gibb has been Marju’s great exemplar. Her school has always been inspired by Allan’s warm human spirit – enlightening and empowering entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders of universities. Allan’s human approach in solving great problems, facing humanity, continues to be needed now and in the future.

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