Chair of NACUE Trustees Retires

After a successful five years, NACUE bids a fond farewell to Professor Alan Barrell, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Since joining NACUE in 2009 as an advisor, he has worked tirelessly to support NACUE, championing student enterprise and nurturing an entrepreneurial generation.


Alan is one of the longest serving members of NACUE and has been an invaluable source or knowledge, guidance and support. Speaking about Alan, NACUE CEO Johnny Luk said:

'Alan has been a huge supporter and key player for NACUE since almost the very beginning. He has worked with three CEOs and has given so much to us, including mentoring the team and myself. NACUE has helped plant the seeds of enterprise to tens of thousands of students and Alan was crucial to that success. On behalf of generations of staff - I would like to thank him. We wish him all the best on his well earned retirement, although I suspect he will still be very busy - as I am delighted Alan remains deeply involved in our internal training and being our constant champion.'

Alan’s achievements have been widely recognised. In 2006 he received The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion and in 2011 he was awarded the Honour of Knight First Class, Order of the White Rose of Finland.

Timothy Barnes, Chairman of NACUE’s Board of Directors, has had the pleasure of working with Alan for many years. He said:

“I have known Alan for nearly 25 years, first as an entrepreneur in his own right and more recently as an enthusiastic supporter of startups and entrepreneurs in many forms. He worked from NACUE’s early days to establish the company and then the charity that makes up NACUE, today. Alan has held posts at the University of Cambridge and the the University of Bedfordshire and frequently travels around the world to encourage student entrepreneurs from China to Canada. He is a wonderful ambassador for the cause of student enterprise and I know that he will not be ceasing his crusade anytime soon! On behalf of the board of NACUE UK Ltd, we wish him the very best for the future.”

Although Alan has retired, he certainly has not stopped. He has been asked by the UK government to undertake work relating to new business startups and he has also been appointed by the Ministry of Education in China to advise and work more actively in the field of entrepreneurial education. Beyond the UK he is working with five universities in China and three in Finland on transformational enterprise education. No small undertaking for a retiree.

Speaking about his retirement, he says:

“It has been an honour, a privilege and largely a pleasure to remain part of the vibrant next generation of entrepreneurs which NACUE serves. I have seen the trunk of the Oak Tree thicken as the acorn finished sprouting underground. It has been exciting -including the roller coaster moments. Most of all it has been a delight and very fulfilling to see so many of YOU create, invent, innovate and make a difference. Entrepreneurs change the world. NACUE supports positive world change and long may it do so. Thanks to the super NACUE Team and ALL university and college societies. ”

Upon Alan’s retirement, we are thrilled that former Vice Chair of the Trustees, Professor John MacIntyre, will become the new Chairman of the Trustees. We are also pleased to announce that Tony Cassidy will take his place as Vice Chair, alongside David Moore.

John is the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Sunderland and is a great champion of NACUE. He says:

'I would like to take this opportunity to thank Alan, on behalf of both the Trustees and the Directors, for his magnificent efforts as Chair, bringing wisdom, expertise, and of course his wonderful personality to bear on making NACUE a success. He is a very hard act to follow, and I can’t pretend to be able to fill his shoes – so I won’t!

Professor Alan Barrell’s tenure as Chair of NACUE has been marked by the significant expansion of the organisation, and increasingly important role that it is playing in stimulating students and graduates across the country to develop their entrepreneurship knowledge and skills. The success that NACUE has experienced in recent years is, in huge measure, due to Alan’s skilful and shrewd leadership, and of course his incredible body of knowledge and expertise. We will miss him greatly, and are proud that he will continue to be an ambassador and advocate for the NACUE vision and our ambitious plans. I would like to add my personal thanks to Alan, and I will do all I can to build on the foundations Alan has built for NACUE.’

Alan’s ability to apply academic insights and knowledge within a commercial environment has been invaluable for NACUE and his passion for enterprise education is unrelenting. NACUE would like to unreservedly thank Alan for all he has done and we wish him all the best in his future pursuits.

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