Improving lives with Burnley-based social enterprise

Enterprising Habits (E-habits) is a Burnley-based social enterprise that provides a range of services to local communities across the North West. With a commitment to learning and development, E-Habits have seen the value that Degree Apprenticeships bring for their staff and business.

Based in Burnley, E-Habits offer a wide range of services including education and training to individuals and families to help them grow and improve life chances. They have supported hundreds of adults in accessing free or affordable courses, helping them to find employment or enter higher education.

Programmes Director, Ibrar Syed has experienced the benefits of taking a Business Administration (Executive) Senior Leader, Degree Apprenticeship, with his improved skillset allowing him to make business changes. The modules covered in the Degree Apprenticeship provided Ibrar with insight into strategic planning, innovation management, horizon scanning and business finances.

Ibrar became aware of the Degree Apprenticeship at an Open Day where he spoke to a staff member from the University of Central Lancashire who encouraged him to enrol on the course. Talking about the encounter, Ibrar revealed: “The staff member told us that at the end, you will achieve something valuable both in terms of knowledge, skills and behaviour and the qualification which is an MBA.” After this initial conversation, Ibrar spoke with the programme leader who motivated him to take up further study.

Left to right: Anam Zubair, Degree Apprentice, Dharma Kovvuri, Dean at UCLan Burnley Campus, Ibrar Syed, Programmes Director at E-Habits and Senior Leader Degree Apprentice
Left to right: Anam Zubair, Degree Apprentice, Dharma Kovvuri, Dean at UCLan Burnley Campus, Ibrar Syed, Programmes Director at E-Habits and Senior Leader Degree Apprentice

"It helped us to grow our network, make new partners, identify new stakeholders and improve our communication skills"

Ibrar Syed, Programmes Director at E-Habits

When asked about the business benefits of a Degree Apprenticeship, Ibrar commented: “I see multiple benefits to the organisation. First and foremost, it harnesses our strategic planning. It really helps us to find a way to detach ourselves from the business from the day-to-day and enables us to see the bird’s eye view of the business. It helped us to develop the business more strategically and narrow our focus. Before we were trying to do everything and that drained our energy.”

He continued: “It helped us to grow our network, make new partners, identify new stakeholders and improve our communication skills. We were able to explain and promote our brand, not just at a very local level, we started going outside the town to cities like Manchester and started speaking to very different game players.”

For anyone thinking about studying a Degree Apprenticeship, Ibrar advises: “As long as you are prepared to commit a couple of years like we did, it will be worth it. Obviously leaving your family at the weekend and going to the library can be challenging, sometimes difficult. But in the end, it pays off. I feel that it was the best decision of my life.”

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