Rebuilding the sense of community

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

Rebuilding the Sense of Community

Tuesday, September 20, 2022, by Matt Cavicchia and Vicki Stylianou

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) is one of the three professional accounting associations in Australia, with 75 percent of our members being either advisers to Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) or SMEs themselves. The IPA’s reason is to improve small business quality of life, supported by a vision for every small business to have one of our members by their side. 

Following a year memorable for isolation and social distancing, the IPA decided it was appropriate to rejuvenate and restore the sense of community within our membership base for 2021 and beyond. This was signified early in the year when it was decided to redefine one of our strategic themes to reflect this revised direction:  

Build a professional community for the SME and SMP sectors.

The IPA has always been committed to making the small business count. This strategic shift to focus on creating and maintaining a professional community reaffirms the magnitude of the IPA’s passion to enhance the longevity and well-being of MSMEs. In addition, in 2021, the IPA strengthened its strategic focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), selecting the following eight Goals as being the most relevant to our vision, strategy, and stakeholders:

  • SDG 3:   Good Health and Wellbeing
  • SDG 4:   Quality Education
  • SDG 8:   Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities (including a focus on SDG 5 – Gender Equality)
  • SDG 11: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 13: Climate Action
  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

This report will look closely at our chosen Goals, highlighting how the IPA has contributed to them in 2021 from the perspective of MSMEs and thereby reinforcing and rebuilding our sense of community.  

SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

Before the pandemic, mental health was already recognized as a significant issue facing small business people, including professionals and many accountants. The IPA has an existing partnership with a clinical health provider to offer initial clinical support to members with mental health concerns. To do more and help more small business people, including the clients of members and members themselves, the IPA partnered with Deakin University (based in Melbourne, Australia) to research the role played by accountants and other professional advisers in improving the mental well-being of small business people. Preliminary research indicated that using a business professional helped to improve the mental well-being of small business owners and operators. It was decided that it was worthwhile to extend the research and develop a training program that could be scaled for use in other jurisdictions and across various economic sectors. 

The program known as Counting On U was born with a host of partners, including other professional associations, mental health groups, and highly regarded medical professionals from Deakin and other universities. It attracted the attention of the Australian Government, which provided grants of over AU$3 million. At this stage, Counting On U offers mental health training for accountants, financial planners, bookkeepers, and other business advisers, providing tools to identify signs and assist their SME clients with accessing professional support. It has also been designed to help the adviser themselves, as they are often vicariously impacted and can develop anxiety and other mental health concerns.   

While the Covid-19 response in Australia focused on protecting physical health and our hospital system, there is widespread acknowledgment of the challenges that ensued for mental health. This, in addition to the IPA’s existing awareness and promotion of mental health, led us to compile numerous additional resources and tools dedicated to mental health and resilience, including access to a range of Corporate Social Responsibility partners, free education and training, and materials from (amongst others) Australia’s RUOK, an organisation dedicated to asking the simple question – “are you okay?”.  

Mental health is not only a medical issue but also an economic one with broad implications for the whole economy. The IPA has been vocal on many fronts, including advocacy, where we have promoted recommendations to enhance the mental well-being of small business people. The effects of mental health can impact a person’s ability to participate and prosper in the community and workplace. For business owners and operators, it can affect their employees and the ongoing viability of their business (business failure/ exit also has a negative health impact). Reforms must extend across workplaces, education institutions, the judicial system, the health system, and the community.

SDG 4: Quality Education

The IPA is undergoing an ‘education transformation’ by designing future education aligned with a sustainable accounting and finance profession. The rate of change occurring within most sectors of the global economy is unprecedented, significantly outpacing the adaptability of units and courses offered by many higher and vocational education institutions. The outcome of the transformation will be a relevant approach to education that supports lifelong learning and focuses on competency. 

Identifying the role of short courses and micro-credentials in the future of education, the IPA released its first digital short course in 2021: Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Accountants. The course introduces the principles and ethical considerations underpinning AI and machine learning, focusing on the challenges and opportunities for small-to-medium practitioners and SMEs. 

The course is delivered online with live workshops, promoting engagement and a sense of community between peers and educators. This is one example of the IPA’s investment in new learning platforms and systems which promote sharing and questioning. This has been enabled by partnering with progressive and experienced educators and encouraging more involvement by members and other professionals in the learning experience.    

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

This Goal is directly linked to the IPA’s advocacy, policy, and research work, which is heavily centred on economic policy.  Underpinning this effort is the work of the IPA Deakin SME Research Centre, a joint venture between the IPA and Deakin University. The Centre produces a diverse range of research exploring issues that impact small businesses and SMEs. 

The recent and current work program covering impactful research and academic papers includes: 

  • Productivity: Small Business White Paper 3.0 focuses on innovation policy, including the most effective levers to boost Research & Development (R&D) (see below under SDG 11).
  • Sustainability: Looking at the SDGs with a focus on defining and measuring outputs and capturing intangibles; and how these apply to SMEs. 
  • Innovation: This project focuses on patents filed by SMEs and small businesses as a measure of innovation. The outcomes can be used in several ways to promote small business innovation, including matching the different players in the innovation/ patent ecosystem, such as patent attorneys, investors, government, and others.  
  • Exporting: The Research Centre has explored the linkages between innovation, exports, and productivity, including the role of intangible resources in SME export performance. The research report notes:

“Results suggest SME firms that innovate and have the required technical [or] managerial ability skills have a greater propensity to export. Indeed, technical skills are relatively more important for propensity to export than business skills. Furthermore, when SMEs are incentivized to innovate by using either government support or R&D collaboration, the propensity to export by SMEs increases significantly. Results also show that Australian small business exports and innovation are significantly reliant on five industry sectors. At the same time, SMEs with foreign ownership have a higher propensity to export compared to SMEs with no foreign ownership.”

These five industry sectors are:

  • Mining
  • Manufacturing 
  • Wholesale trade
  • Information media and telecommunications
  • Public administration and safety.

 

  • Funding: Research has been undertaken based on an international comparison of small business agencies, focusing on the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the United States. The objective is to identify and apply the most compelling features and elements worldwide to design an appropriate model for Australia. The centralised capital access assistance programs are of particular interest given the lack of this feature in the Australian landscape. This research has translated into policy recommendations that the office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) should evolve into a centralised small business hub comparable to the SBA.   

The ASBFEO is an independent government agency that advocates in the best interests of the small business community. However, limitations of the model have been identified by the Research Centre as follows: 

“Indeed, the Ombudsman is unable to “… duplicate the operations of other agencies … [, and] must transfer a request for assistance to another Commonwealth, State or Territory agency, if that agency could deal with the request” (ASBFEO Act 2015, Division 2, Sections 66-70).  These limitations mean that the Ombudsman’s office can only advocate for the small business sector. Still, it is unable to administer and thereby provide centralised and widespread support to the small business sector in Australia.”

  • Alternative funding: Other avenues for funding, both public and private are being examined, including their efficacy with small business performance. Developing a viable venture capital sector is a particular focus of the research.

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

Various research and commentary over many years have focused on the systemic socio-economic challenges and institutional barriers which limit opportunities and pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia to build sustainable businesses or to enter professions. Recognizing the problems that exist, the IPA began its ‘Reconciliation’ journey through the compilation of our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). A RAP is a corporate document that marks a commitment to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Within our sphere of influence as a professional accounting body, we have identified the following as the key objectives of our RAP:

  • Conduct cultural awareness training and other education to address unconscious biases within our organisation and membership. 
  • Increase awareness of the inequality faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and explore ways to create opportunities to increase equality. 
  • Review perspectives on Australia’s history, including the barriers that prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from establishing a sustainable business or pursuing a career in the professions. 

SDG 11: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

This Goal is linked to SDG 8, and the work and outputs which we have noted above are also relevant to the achievement of SDG 11. This is especially concerning industry and innovation, which are critical to achieving decent work and economic growth. 

The year 2021 marked the release of the IPA’s third Small Business White Paper, titled Post COVID Policy Options to Enhance Australia’s Innovation Capabilities. As stated in the executive summary:

“…the White Paper presents a series of recommendations on how some judicious fine-tuning of government policies and regulations aimed at encouraging world-class innovation and R&D – particularly in the lagging small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector – could unlock this potentially rich future source of growth and prosperity, and ultimately help to secure the Australian economy against over-reliance on its currently narrow and potentially unstable foundations.” 

The eight recommendations of this flagship thought leadership project informed various policy positions of the IPA in 2021 and leading up to the Federal Election in May 2022. The main focus has been increasing productivity growth through boosting innovation by changing tax levers; promoting more effective collaboration between SMEs and universities, including more significant investment in Co-operative Research Centres; increased data availability, policy experimentation; and regulatory reform. Australia lags comparable OECD economies on private sector innovation and research by most metrics. It is imperative to turn this around if Australia is to build a sustainable and diversified economy and maintain its living standards.  

SDG 13: Climate Action

The urgency around climate action reached an all-time high in 2021, driven by the delayed COP 26 conference and updated science, as released in the Fifth Assessment Report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

The accounting profession has been responding accordingly, and in 2021, the work of various organisations over the past decade culminated into the formation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). Housed within the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation (based in London, UK), the ISSB aims to create a standardised, consistent, and comparable global baseline for sustainability reporting that is held to the same rigour as financial reporting. Given the momentum around climate change, climate risk has been identified as the first topic of focus for the ISSB. The IPA has contributed to the consultations, expressing support for the ISSB, with a specific interest in scaling reporting developments designed for large companies into the MSME context.  

To demonstrate a commitment to action on climate, the IPA has signed as a supporter of the Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter (PBCAC). This Charter acknowledges that no single profession has the resources and expertise to deliver an adequate response to climate change. Therefore, the PBCAC creates a collaborative forum for aspirational professional associations to innovate and support members with Paris-aligned and SDG-focused business models and strategies. 

In addition, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) (based in New York, USA), and representing over 3 million accountants worldwide, has anchored its strategy in the SDGs and has encouraged all accounting bodies to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030. The IPA strongly supports the role of accountants, business advisers and businesses in general in contributing to achieving the SDGs. 

On a more localised level, the IPA has introduced bespoke ESG courses and discussion groups for all business advisers, to raise their own awareness and capability to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, with a specific focus on small business and SMEs.

SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

While creating and delivering value for members is our crucial responsibility and vital for continuity, the IPA’s central reason for being is to improve the life of small business. Accordingly, the IPA’s advocacy and policy platform aim to serve the needs of our members, the profession, and the best interests of the small business community and the public interest. This can only be achieved in the presence of strong institutions. 

The IPA takes a collaborative and consultative approach to its advocacy; however, more recently, the IPA has adopted an approach of ‘net positive advocacy.’ This is described by Polman and Winston (2021) as “a natural step” for a business with a clear understanding of its purpose and how this interlinks with its values. 

“Companies have long viewed ‘government relations’ as a way to resist regulation or fight for tax breaks and other special treatment. We propose, instead, that businesses approach governments openly and transparently, to improve the rules, help policy makers reach their goals, and solve larger problems for the benefit of all. We call this approach net positive advocacy.”

  • Paul Polman & Andrew Winston (2021)

We believe that this concept and approach suits the governance (especially transparency and accountability) aspect of ESG and is, therefore, vital to building strong institutions. The IPA’s work in partnership with other organisations, described below concerning SDG 17, has contributed to building strong institutions in other countries in our region.  

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

The IPA strongly believes that the achievement of the SDGs relies on partnerships, as reflected in our activities and outcomes discussed throughout this report. In addition to our advocacy work, we have also undertaken practical activities to put these policies into practice, both domestically and internationally. One example is our work which contributes to capacity building in the Pacific, including the development and implementation of education programs over the last 12 months in the Solomon Islands and Fiji. The Australian Government is partnering in some of this work. The objective is to make the education programs scalable for implementation in other Pacific nations. 

Specifically, we have entered into a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) between the IPA and the Fiji Institute of Accountants. The main objective is to ensure the transfer of skills and knowledge between the bodies and other support and development opportunities. This reflects that the accounting profession plays a pivotal role in achieving solid institutions such as those governing the financial sector.   

We should also mention the IPA’s partnership with ICSB, which has grown over several years. This includes the establishment of a Knowledge Hub and the exchange of ideas and information, as well as participation in a range of ICSB activities. This recently culminated in co-hosting the virtual thought leadership event entitled, Why do we measure economic success through unicorns? This event brought together global experts to examine: Our social, economic, and natural environments have all changed, but our thinking about measuring success has not kept pace. How will we conduct and measure financial success to ensure our impact on nature and economic development becomes more realistic, responsible, and sustainable? Will it be possible to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation in line with the United Nations’ 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production.  

Concluding Remarks

While 2021 introduced the IPA’s strategic intent to foster a professional community for MSMEs, the work is certainly not over. The IPA hopes to enhance member engagement and community spirit by aspiring to increase member value. By leveraging this spirit, we also hope to contribute to achieving the SDGs by 2030. As we continue to learn and celebrate the diversity of our member base, inclusion and well-being initiatives are being prioritised in 2022 and beyond. MSMEs will always remain central to the IPA’s advocacy and activities, supporting our ultimate reason for being – to improve the quality of life of small businesses.

Article by:
Matt Cavicchia and Vicki Stylianou, 
Institute of Public Accountants

More To Explore

Sonia Krimi

French politician of La République en Marche (LREM)

Bio:

French politician of La République en Marche (LREM), serving as a member of the French National Assembly since 2017

Nizar Damane

General Manager at La Posts Services for Equity

Bio:

General Manager at La Posts Services for Equity

Morad Attik

CEO of Evolukid

Bio:

French Businessmann. He is the CEO of a French StartUp, Evolukid. It offers scientific discovery workshops, initiation to computer programming and robotics for children and adults.

Monica Michel

French politician of La République en Marche, Deputy and Member of French National Assembly

Bio:

Monica Michel (born 16 April 1955) is a French politician of La République En Marche! (LREM). Since 18 June 2017, she has served as the member of the National Assembly for the 16th district of Bouches-du-Rhône.

Laurence Le Ny

VP StartUp at Orange

Bio:

VP Music & Culture at Orange.

 

Based in Paris, in charge of strategy , marketing offers and partnerships for Europe and Middle East & Africa Orange’s affiliates.

 

Member of the French Digital Council (Conseil national du Numérique), Board member of The Orchestre de Paris, Member of the Steering Board CNV (Centre national des Variétés).

 

Previously, she had different positions in the music industry in France as Managing director at Warner Music and Sony’ Epic label. Starting her career in Promotion departments of CBS, Polydor and then at BMG.

Jean-François Copé

Mayor of Meaux

Bio:

Mayor of Meaux, President of CAPM, Former Minster of France, Former Deputy

Jean Charroin

Managing Director of ESSCA Group

Bio:

Jean Charroin is the Managing Director of ESSCA Group.

Guillaume Bigot

Dean of IPAG

Bio:

Guillaume Bigot has been the General Director of Ipag Business School since July 2008. 

Damien Regnard

French Entrepreneur and Politician.

Bio:

French entrepreneur and politician. He is a Senator representing French people living outside France sinceJuly 2018. 

Jordyn Murphy

Board Member, ICSB

Bio:

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled

Jordyn Murphy

Fanny Nusbaum

Author, The Secret of Performers

Bio:

Author of The Secret of Performers

Performers are those people who succeed in whatever they do by catching the light and making their mark. They seem to have something bigger thatmakes them exceptional. Something thatputs them powerfully in the service ofaction and life.

Jeff Alves

Board Member, ICSB

Bio:

Managing Editor, Journal of the International Council for Small Business (JICSB) and ICSB Board member.

Ricardo Alvarez

Board Member, ICSB

Bio:

A seasoned entrepreneur, advertising and marketing professional, Dr. Ricardo Alvarez has more than 35 years of professional experience working in different industries, from advertising agencies to retail marketing to banking and health services. He holds a BS in Advertising and an MBA and DBA from USIU/CETYS University. He is a founding partner of Simó-Bosch Consulting, a business development and strategic services firm. Currently, he is a full-time entrepreneurship professor and researcher at CETYS University Graduate School of Business. Dr. Alvarez has been mentor in several incubators, like MindHub and Endeavor. He is the president of the Mexican chapter of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), where he also serves as a voting board member. His academic research is focused on business innovation, experiential learning, organizational development, change management and entrepreneurship finance.

Amr AbouElazm

Board Member, ICSB

Bio:

Mr. Abouelazm is the Chairman of Tamweely Micro Finance company. Board member of ICSB and President of ICSB Egypt.

Previously Mr. Aboelazm was the vice Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Tanmeyah Micro Enterprise Services before he divested his interest as the company was acquired by EFG-Hermes in a historical transaction that witnessed the highest value of a MF company in Egypt.


Mr. Abouelazm has accumulated 25 years of experience in banking, finance, economic development and investment finance. Mr. Abouelazm was earlier the Deputy Director of the German Development Bank (KFW) in Egypt.


Mr. Abouelazm is recognized as one of the main resource executives in Egypt in the field of management of financial service companies, policy structuring, operational management and corporate structuring.

Mr. Abouelazm has participated in the formulation of the National Micro Finance Strategy for Egypt and is a lecturer on Entrepreneurship development, financial services delivery and Management. He is recognized as a reference in the field by various financial institutions and service-providers. He is also an angel investor in a number of start ups and mentor to a number of entrepreneurs and advisor for Fin tech startups.


Mr. Abouelazm received a B.A in Economics from the American University in Cairo in 1993 and an AUC Masters Degree in Development specializing in Commercialization and Development of Micro Enterprises in 2004.

Mr. Abouelazm is a board member of the International council for small business (ICSB) , President of the Middle East Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (MCSBE).

He is a Board Member and Member of the restructuring committee, HR and MF committee of Nasser Social Bank. Mr. Abouelazm is also a board member of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA).

Hermawan Kartajaya

Board Member, ICSB

Bio:

Hermawan Kartajaya, the President of World Marketing Association, is one of the “50 Gurus Who Have Shaped The Future of Marketing” appointed by The Chartered Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom (CIM-UK).

Alex DeNoble

Board Member, ICSB

Bio:

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled

Alex DeNoble

Ahmed Osman

Board Chair, ICSB

Bio:

Chairman of the Board at International Council for Small Business (ICSB) & CEO CHROME

Ki-Chan Kim

Professor, Chairman at Korea Testing Certification

Bio:

Dr. Ki-Chan Kim is a Professor of Management at the Catholic University of Korea. 

 

Professor Kim envisions a world where SMEs and established companies work in partnership.

Professor Kim teaches various MBA tracks including Humane Entrepreneurship, Platform Strategy, and Korea Management (K-Management). He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University and before that, he served as the Dean of the Business School.

Professor Kim advised numerous startups, SMEs, as well as more established enterprises such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motors. He continues to advise these companies – for them to achieve a sustainable business model and eco-system. He believes with the right humane partnership model, the business will attract the most qualified workers, which will bring longevity to the industry.

More recently, Dr. Kim served as the Chairman of the Innovation Economy Division at the National Economic Advisory Council (NERC) for the President of South Korea, as well as the President of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) and much more.

During his presidency at the ICSB, Professor Kim emphasized the happiness of employees in small and medium enterprises. From his extensive research in the automotive production line, he has found an undeniable connection between the worker’s satisfactory level of work and commitment to the product. Hence why Professor Kim estimates Employee’s dedication level as the ultimate asset of the company. With Dr. Kim’s initiatives (along with ICSB colleagues), the United Nations have declared June 27 as the UN MSMEs Day.

Dr. Kim’s most recent publication: “The Joy of Innovation (2019)” has been selected as the National Book Award of South Korea, King Sejong Book Collection 2020. The book highlights how businesses can stay competitive through innovation in a fluctuating market.

Ki-Chan Kim

Winslow Sargeant

Incoming Board Chair, ICSB

Bio:

Winslow Sargeant is the Senior Advisor for Globalization and Head of Capital Markets for Genaesis. In this role, he syndicates opportunities with unaffiliated third-party capital partners – both domestically and internationally – facilitating optimized valuations and deal structures. He is also incoming Chair of the Board with the International Council for Small Business (ICSB).

 

From 2017-2020, Dr. Sargeant served as the President-Elect and Senior Vice President for Development and ICSB Vice President for Partnerships, respectively. During his tenure, he has work to educate government and non-profit organization leaders on what is required to build sustainable ecosystems for small businesses. With ICSB, he worked with select group to nations for the establishment of the Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized (MSMEs) ratified by the United Nations General Assembly on April 6, 2017. Dr. Sargeant help organized the annual Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) forum at the United Nations, held since 2017. From 2010 to 2015, he was the Chief Counsel for Advocacy with the United States (US) Small Business Administration (SBA)Office of Advocacy. Appointed by the President of the United States (POTUS) and later confirmed by the US Senate, the Chief Counsel for Advocacy directs the office. The Chief Counsel advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policy makers. Economic research, policy analyses, and small business outreach help identify issues of concern. Regional Advocates and an office in Washington, DC, support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. From 2006 to 2009, he was the managing director at Venture Investors, LLC (VI), and early stage venture capital firm, headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin and $200M under management, VI invested in innovative research from leading universities in the upper Midwest. From 2001 to 2005, he was the program manager for the Small Business Innovations Research (SBIR) program Electronics topic in Industrial Innovation, a new office in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Engineering Directorate. The SBIR program invests more than $100M per year in seed and early stage technology companies.

Winslow Sargeant

Analia Pastran

Analía Pastran

Bio:

Analia Pastran, Founder and Executive Director of Smartly Social Entrepreneurship on the SDGs, New York and Buenos Aires.


Smartly is a social enterprise leading the way in coordinating action to communicate and localize the SDGs within the private and public sectors, in Latin America and beyond. It holds three international awards.


Mentor in the Program, Women in Public Policy of Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, Cornell University, New York. Analia was awarded with the Entrepreneurial Leadership award by International Council for Small Business (ICSB) in Salerno, Italy. Professor of Transnational Policy, Political Communication and Strategy & Geopolitics in the Catholic University of La Plata, Argentina. International Speaker. She worked also as the Director of Communication of the International Council of Small Businesses (ICSB), was a consultant at CIFAL Global Network, the Network of Training Centers affiliated to UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research).

Analía Pastran

Katia Passerini

Provost and Executive Vice President of Seton Hall University

Bio:

Katia Passerini, Ph.D., a nationally recognized knowledge management scholar with extensive higher education experience, has been appointed Provost and Executive Vice President (EVP) of Seton Hall University. Passerini currently serves as the Lesley H. and William L. Collins Distinguished Chair and Dean of the Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies at St. John’s University.

Katia Passerini

Vicki Stylianou

Board Member, ICSB

Bio:

Vicki Stylianou is the head of advocacy and policy at Institute of Public Accountants, Australia as well as an ICSB Board member.

Vicki Stylianou

Norris Krueger

Sr. Subject Matter Expert for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems & Learning, OECD/EU

Bio:

Scholar, educator, writer, ecosystem builder, entrepreneur. Consultant to entrepreneurship educators globally, to academics globally, and to world’s best entrepreneurial ecosystem builders, Norris Krueger is proudest of championing entrepreneurs and innovators. How do we grow an expert entrepreneurial mindset? How do we grow a bottom-up entrepreneurial ecosystem? (Both often in the face of entrenched interests.)

 

Dr. Krueger has worked for and been honored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and its landmark ESHIP program, the International Council for Small Business, Academy of Management, OECD, EU, ILO, UN, and for cities, states and countries worldwide. Locally, he proudly champions the Idaho Women’s Business Center, VentureCapital.Org, the Idaho Rural Growth Initiative and more. Learn more at www.norriskrueger.com and on social media @entrep_thinking.

Norris Krueger

Skye Blanks

Project Manager

Bio:

Skye Blanks serves as the Junior Project Manager for the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), and specifically assists in the Knowledge Hubs (KHubs) project, which are institutions or networks, dedicated to capture, share and exchange development experiences with national and international partners in order to accelerate development for micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). He also specializes in the ICSB’s Entrepreneurship certificate programs . In addition to being a project manager, Skye is pursuing a BA in International Affairs with a concentration in International Development from The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and he is also pursuing a minor in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the GW School of Business. Before dedicating his work towards the ICSB, Skye worked abroad as a Research and Development Intern for the Barcelona based NGO, Asociación Bienestar y Desarrollo.

Skye Blanks

Tammy Nguyen

Event Manager

Bio:

Tammy Nguyen recently graduated from San Diego State University, receiving a degree in Business Management with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. While attending SDSU, she worked with the Lavin Entrepreneurship center as the event coordinator to plan and run the California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference two years in a row. Tammy was also the Program and Mentorship coordinator for the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program that has been geared towards providing students from all over the campus entrepreneurship courses, skills, tools, and a valuable network to help develop future and current entrepreneurs. Outside of school, Tammy is President of Streets of Hope San Diego, a non-profit organization that provides food and resources to the homeless weekly. She also volunteers by running 4-6 business events yearly with Awaken Church’s Pathfinders Team.

Hannah Gilroy

Project Manager

Bio:

Hannah Gilroy is a Project Manager at the International Council for Small Business. She works in collaboration with the rest of the ICSB staff within the realms of Marketing, website design and function, and ICSB’s research journals. Hannah has worked with ICSB since the onset of the 2020 global pandemic.

 

In addition to her work with ICSB, Hannah runs a collaborative writing company, called Writing You, through which her team works with clients on visioning plans using her skills in motivational interviewing, writing, and editing.

Hannah Gilroy

Kyle Lyon

Director of Registration

Bio:

Kyle Lyon is the Junior Project Manager at the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), and primarily oversees membership, registrations, and financial activities for the ICSB. In addition to his duties, Kyle is a junior currently pursuing a B.A. in Marketing with a minor in communications at the George Washington University School of Business. Before dedicating his work towards the ICSB, Kyle served as a Legislative Intern for the Office of Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester.

Kyle Lyon