News from Cass Business School

Official launch of the Peter Cullum Centre for Entrepreneurship

Wednesday, 8 July, 2009

The Right Honourable Lord Mandelson gave a keynote address and officially opened The Peter Cullum Centre for Entrepreneurship (PCCE) at Cass Business School last week in the presence of senior figures from business, politics and education. During the course of the evening the audience also heard speeches from the Chair of the Centre, Nick Badman; Peter Cullum and Cass’s Dean, Richard Gillingwater.

After in introduction from Richard Gillingwater, Peter Cullum, founder and Executive Chairman of Towergate, who contributed a £10 million seed fund to establish the Centre, began proceedings by providing a short history of his entrepreneurial journey. He emphasised that although he had enjoyed his 16 years in the corporate world after he had run his own business he couldn’t go back Once you taste the drug of entrepreneurship you don’t want to be the paid help again.

It is providing the opportunity for talented, dedicated individuals to start their own entrepreneurial journey, coupled with the belief that it is a necessity for successful individuals to give something back that motivated Mr Cullum to so generously support the Centre. However, Mr Cullum warned this isn’t philanthropy, this is about investing in sound business ideas... The Centre will look to support people who have the skills to run successful businesses.

Mr Cullum, closed by addressing critics who have questioned if, given the current economic climate, this is the right time for an initiative like this In fact I think this is exactly the right time, times are tough and people need exactly this kind of support

Next to the podium was Nick Badman, the Chair of the PCCE. He gave the audience an insight into some of the initial activities of the Centre Our plan for the first year is to develop inter-linked offerings of practical education, early stage funding and support for our fledgling entrepreneurs. He also endorsed Mr Cullum’s comments about the timing of this launch At a time when some institutions are in retreat about entrepreneurship and enterprise Cass is not. Cass is the place to come for education and support if you wish to create an excellent business in the future.

The current government has prided itself in encouraging business start-ups since 1997, but Lord Mandelson, the final speaker of the night, argued that both entrepreneurs and government need to consider new challenges in the form of current social and economic trends; a changing global economy, changing attitudes to lifestyle and the new digital communication technologies will change the way both entrepreneurs and government think about entrepreneurialism.

Lord Mandelson closed by joining Messrs Badman and Cullum in encouraging any would-be entrepreneurs to take their chance now There’s no point in waiting until after the upturn has begun to start thinking about creating a business. In closing Lord Mandelson remarked My core role is to defend and promote enterprise in the widest sense, not just existing businesses, but the businesses that don’t exist yet, but are going to exist tomorrow, next month, next year and it is with that in mind that I can say how pleased I am to inaugurate the Peter Cullum Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Professor Malcolm Gillies, Vice-Chancellor of City University London, who was in attendance at the launch, said At City University London we pride ourselves in providing students, the professions and business with the knowledge and skills essential to the success of London as a world city. I think the Peter Cullum Centre for Entrepreneurship is yet another example of the practical manifestation of that commitment.

More information about the Peter Cullum Centre for Entrepreneurship

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Left to right: Peter Cullum, Lord Mandelson and Richard Gillingwater

Lord Mandelson, First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Lord President of the Council

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