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New beneficiary on the TGE online giving platform : Engineers in Business Fellowship

The TGE team interviewed David Falzani MBE, President of Engineers in Business Fellowship and Professor of Practice in Sustainable Wealth Creation at Nottingham University.

Publication date: 15 Apr 2021

Could you introduce Engineers in Business Fellowship in a few words?

David Falzani MBE: Engineers in Business Fellowship is a non-profit organisation that champions business education for engineers and other technologists at different life stages; from undergraduate engineers through to working professionals. Our mission is to enable professional engineers and technologists to acquire vital business skills that enable them to help the UK and global economies grow.  For students studying engineering and other technical subjects such as computer sciences and biomedicine, we run a programme that inspires a passion for business and innovation, providing young people with key skills for the world beyond university.

Could you give us some examples of programs or actions you have recently led or implemented? Where are they taking place (in the UK/abroad?)

David Falzani MBE : Operating primarily within the UK, EIBF supports engineers and technologists working in allied fields through the Sainsbury Management Fellows MBA Scholarship Scheme for working engineers, mentoring for any engineer who requires our support, and the Engineers in Business Competition, a university-wide programme. 

Sainsbury Management Fellow Imoni Akpofure gained her MBA at INSEAD.  Imoni is an independent consultant specialising in sustainable investment, sustainability in business, community development and building infrastructure in developing countries.  Imoni also holds non-executive directorships at Africa50 Infrastructure Fund and GTBank. 

Sainsbury Management Fellows Scholarships: Each year young engineers who can demonstrate their potential to become a future captain of industry can apply for a Sainsbury Management Fellows scholarship to assist them in studying an MBA at one of 14 top international business schools.  Since the scheme was set up in 1987 by Lord Sainsbury of Turville, £11 million worth of scholarships have been awarded and there are now 385 Sainsbury Management Fellows.  For many of these talented young people, who have gone on to make important contributions to society, the cost of doing an MBA without the scholarship would have been prohibitive.  To give just one example of the impact Fellows have made to society, 180 of them have founded or co-founded businesses valued at more than £5 billion and created 20,000 jobs.

Mentoring: Mentoring is at the heart of our work with engineers and is one of our charitable objects.  Not only is there a mentoring culture amongst the Sainsbury Management Fellows  Alumni, we also provide mentors to professional and undergraduate engineers outside our network.  Our mentors are knowledgeable in their fields and willingly pass on wisdom gained through their own business experiences.  Mentees can talk about their vision for their future and how they get to their next step or even the destination!

Engineers in Business Competition – Enterprise Education Prize Fund: Seven years ago we introduced the Engineers in Business Competition prize fund for university engineering departments.  We started with just a couple of universities and today that number has grown to 32 universities and we are hoping to grow this to 50 plus.   Each year universities can apply for a £3,000 prize fund to reward students who develop ground-breaking ideas that solve problems in society.  There are many benefits of working with universities in this way, the most important of which is instilling a passion for business and innovation in young engineers and technologists.  However, we are also able to work closely with universities, share knowledge and jointly promote their student innovations. In addition to the university competitions, each year we run the Champion of Champions grand final in which the university student innovators compete for coveted titles, mentoring and further prize money that enables them to invest in their innovations. 

Why did you decide to use the TGE Network and its platform?  Was there a need to answer a specific challenge your organisation is facing?

David Falzani MBE : Exploring new ways of fundraising is important because we want the Sainsbury Management Fellows scholarship Scheme to continue in perpetuity, which will enable us to continue to support talented young engineers.  Having high powered individuals who understand technology and engineering working in business is essential because technology is increasingly important for the global economy.  Technology will help us solve big societal problems such as sustainability, climate change, water security and other global challenges.  Our Sainsbury Management Fellows Alumni has already donated more than £2 million of our £10 million target to protect the future of the scholarship scheme.  Presently, we are working to build relationships with corporate and institutional donors.  TGE will help us to reach our network and new audiences.

What do you think about the concept of a TGE Online Giving Platform? How does it fit with your fundraising efforts?

David Falzani MBE, President of Engineers in Business Fellowship and a Professor of Practice in Sustainable Wealth Creation at Nottingham University.

David Falzani MBE : The TGE Online Giving Platform is very accessible and easy to use.  It is a one-stop solution for our Sainsbury Management Fellows to donate at the touch of a button.  There’s no need to fill out paperwork, arrange bank transfers or post forms internationally.

The pandemic is a terrible situation but it’s also an opportunity for innovation and rethinking how things can be improved in the future.  Many of our Fellows are innovators who contribute to making things better.  It is part of our charitable objects to coordinate our Fellows involvement in different initiatives and we are pleased to use TGE as part of that.

How is your organization dealing with the current pandemic situation? Do you have some specific initiatives happening for the moment?  

David Falzani MBE : The current situation has been difficult for everyone and we have offered our support to all our Sainsbury Management Fellows should they need it.  We have moved all our events online and we are pleased that we have been able to reach an even greater number of Fellows worldwide because of this easy option to engage with us online.  Most of our Engineers in Business Competitions at participating universities have continued in an online format as well.   Also, we hosted our first online Business Education & MBA Clinic and 40 professional engineers who are interested in the topic and applying for our scholarship participated.

What are the next steps for Engineers in Business Fellowship?

David Falzani MBE: We continue to offer ten £50,000 scholarships each year to qualified engineers to study for MBAs.  We have expanded our advertising campaign to enable us to reach a broader diversity of applicants.  We are delighted that our Engineers in Business Competitions are continuing, and we are adding new universities to our roster of partner universities. 

To contact Engineers in Business Fellowship

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: +44 (0)1590 673404 

Websites:  Scholarship Programme & Mentoring –  www.smf.org.uk  / Engineers in Business Competition – www.eibc.org.uk

Want to make a donation? Do it here : https://donate.transnationalgiving.eu/landing/engineersinbusinessfellowship?lang=en_EN