Published on 24/11/2023
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Aston Centre for Growth launch
  • New enterprise hub is based at Aston University’s corporate headquarters at John Cadbury House in Birmingham city centre
  • The hub will support entrepreneurs and innovators with a range of leading expertise in small business growth and provide access to a range of new facilities
  • The event included an ‘in conversation’ session with Professor Mark Hart and Sunny Araf, managing director of a multimillion pound security business. 

Over 80 representatives from the city and region’s businesses celebrated the launch of Aston Centre for Growth’s new Enterprise Hub in Aston University’s corporate headquarters at John Cadbury House in Birmingham city centre. 

The event on 21 November was hosted by Mark Hart, professor of small business and entrepreneurship and associate director of Aston Centre for Growth and Paula Whitehouse, deputy dean enterprise and engagement in the College of Business and Social Sciences at Aston University and director of the Aston Centre for Growth. 

Professor Hart was joined by Aston Centre for Growth alumnus Sunny Araf, managing director of ISA Support Services, for an ‘in conversation’ session during which he described his journey from police officer to the leader of a multimillion pound national security and support services business. 

Sunny completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme with Aston Centre for Growth in 2015 followed by the Productivity Through People programme in 2021. 

He was named as a Times Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leader in 2022 after founding the ISA Foundation in 2018 to help families going through hard times.

The event also provided an opportunity for guests to learn how Aston University will be supporting entrepreneurs and innovators through the Enterprise Hub and other new initiatives as part of its new Aston 2030 strategy.

Paula Whitehouse said:

“With the Enterprise Hub and Aston 20230 Strategy we are proud to be building on Aston University’s long history of support for entrepreneurship. 

“The exciting new initiative in our strategy will increase our impact in line with our purpose to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, be enabling our students to success in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

“I am delighted that the first event in our brand new home for enterprise was about celebrating entrepreneurship in the company of so many people from our wonderful Centre for Growth network."
 

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7446 910063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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