Professor John Breen, Director of VU’s Centre for Tourism and Services Research, has won the prestigious national Business and Higher Education Round Table award for Best Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year.
His award, presented by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a ceremony in Melbourne earlier this month, was for his involvement in the support and development of entrepreneurial activity in young people in the western region of Melbourne.
Professor Breen has been involved in teaching and research in entrepreneurship and the small business sector for 21 years, and most recently steered the inaugural VU ‘I Plan A Business’ (iPAB) competition for high school students in the western suburbs.
The competition asked students to put together a business plan for a new enterprise: “We’ve found this is an excellent way to focus students’ minds on bringing together all the elements of developing a successful business, doubly important during an economic downturn such as we have experienced during this year,” he said.
Professor Breen, from the School of Accounting, has been guiding local students and business people through the elements of entrepreneurship for many years. In 2007 he helped put together a successful tender to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry that delivered an entrepreneurial program for young rural leaders.
He sits on many advisory boards, including the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI), the Small Business Leaders Panel and the Small Enterprise Research Journal editorial board.