Association of Business Executives: Upskilling Leaders for the Future

The Association of Business Executives (ABE) is a global professional association for business managers and leaders. Founded in 1973 in the UK, ABE has expanded over the years to support executives and aspiring managers in over 100 countries worldwide.

ABE aims to promote excellence in business management and provide opportunities for professional development. The organization has a long history of helping managers enhance their skills, knowledge, and employability through qualifications, events, publications, and online resources.

Over the past 50 years, ABE has expanded from a small UK-based institution to a truly global membership organization. What began as a national vocational training initiative has grown into an internationally recognized community of over 70,000 members. ABE’s growth mirrors the increasingly global and interconnected nature of business over the past few decades.

Today, ABE continues working towards its founding goal – to raise the standard of business management worldwide. The organization provides support to business leaders at every stage of their careers, from students to CEOs. Through its comprehensive range of learning, development, and networking opportunities, ABE enables executives to boost their performance and progress in management roles.


The Association of Business Executives (ABE) offers membership to business professionals across all industries and at various career stages. Membership is open to anyone who holds a management or leadership role, as well as business owners, entrepreneurs, and aspiring leaders.

There are three tiers of ABE membership:

Standard Membership

This level is designed for professionals new to leadership roles or those at the start of their management career. Benefits include:

  • Access to online networking groups
  • Entry to local networking events
  • Member pricing on training courses
  • Quarterly digital magazine subscription
  • Ability to post on ABE’s job board

Premium Membership

This mid-level membership is suited for experienced managers looking to advance their skills. Additional benefits include:

  • Access to advanced training courses
  • Access to mentorship program
  • Ability to join Special Interest Groups
  • Discounts on conferences and seminars

Elite Membership

The top tier membership for senior executives and enterprise leaders. Further benefits:

  • One-on-one executive coaching
  • Exclusive access to online resources
  • Voting rights in ABE elections
  • Priority access to industry research
  • Eligibility for ABE awards and recognition

ABE members at all levels gain valuable professional development, networking opportunities, and a community of like-minded peers. The tiered structure allows members to choose the level of engagement that best suits their career stage and goals.

Events and Networking

The Association of Business Executives (ABE) hosts a variety of events and networking opportunities for its members. These events allow members to connect with each other, share ideas and best practices, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in business.

The flagship event for ABE is the Annual Conference, held each year in a major city in the UK. The multi-day conference features keynote speeches from top business leaders, educational workshops and seminars, and plenty of networking events. Members can learn from experts in various fields while also meeting peers from diverse industries.

In addition to the Annual Conference, ABE hosts regional events and seminars throughout the year on topics relevant to executives and business owners. These events provide more intimate networking opportunities as well as the chance to gain specific skills and knowledge. Workshops may cover leadership, marketing, finance, HR, and other core business functions.

ABE also facilitates peer-to-peer networking through local chapters. Members can connect with other executives in their geographic area for informal meetups, office tours, speaker events, and more. These ongoing local interactions help members build their network and find mentors or partners outside of the larger conferences.

Whether attending the Annual Conference or a local networking event, ABE members have excellent opportunities to meet and engage with fellow professionals. The association’s events calendar ensures members always have access to current information and connections that help them succeed as leaders.

Training and Qualifications

The Association of Business Executives offers a wide range of training programs and qualifications to help business leaders and managers develop their skills and advance their careers.

The ABE Level 4 Diploma in Business Management is the association’s flagship qualification. This comprehensive program covers topics like operations management, marketing, human resources, accounting and finance. Learners develop analytical and leadership skills while gaining an in-depth understanding of core business functions. The diploma is accredited by Ofqual and equips graduates for middle and senior management roles.

For those new to business, ABE offers the Level 3 Certificate in Business Start-Up. This qualification provides the knowledge and capabilities needed to start and run a successful small business. Subjects covered include business planning, budgeting, marketing, sales, HR, operations and more. The certificate gives entrepreneurs the confidence and expertise to launch their ventures.

ABE also provides short courses and workshops tailored to the needs of working professionals. Popular training topics include digital marketing, project management, strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, negotiation and presentation skills. These targeted programs allow managers to build capabilities in key areas to improve their performance and productivity.

Training is delivered through online courses, virtual classrooms, in-person workshops and blended programs. ABE has an international network of accredited centers, making its qualifications accessible worldwide. The flexible learning formats allow busy executives to upskill without taking extended time away from work.

By providing rigorous, practical and globally-recognized training, ABE enables managers and business leaders to continue strengthening their expertise throughout their careers. The array of programs and qualifications offered caters to diverse needs, from those starting out to senior executives pursuing mastery.

Mentoring and Coaching

The Association of Business Executives offers mentoring and coaching programs to support business leaders in their professional growth and development. These personalized services provide members with guidance from experienced mentors and coaches who can share insights and advice.

Mentoring Programs

The mentoring programs match members with mentors who are seasoned professionals and experts within their field. As a mentee, you are connected with a mentor who aligns with your industry, experience level, and goals. This provides the opportunity to learn from their knowledge and get objective feedback and counsel. Mentoring sessions focus on topics like leadership skills, strategic planning, and career advancement. You can develop a confidential relationship with a mentor who is invested in your success.

Business Coaching

For more targeted development, ABE offers business coaching services. Professional coaches work one-on-one with members to help improve their skills and achieve business objectives. Coaches utilize assessments, active listening, and questioning techniques to provide guidance tailored to the member’s role and organization. Some areas that business coaching can focus on include communication abilities, time management, delegation skills, presentation expertise, and decision-making. Coaches partner with members to create actionable development plans that drive growth and performance.

The mentoring and coaching from ABE provide meaningful support to leaders and executives throughout their careers. Connecting with knowledgeable specialists enables members to enhance their capabilities and leadership impact.

Publications and Resources

The Association of Business Executives publishes a wide range of journals, magazines, and reports that provide valuable insights and resources for business leaders and professionals.

Business Excellence Journal

The Association’s flagship publication, this quarterly journal features the latest business management research, in-depth case studies, expert interviews, and thought leadership articles. Topics covered relate to leadership, strategy, innovation, marketing, HR, operations, and more.

Director Magazine

A monthly magazine focused on corporate governance, board leadership, and issues relevant to directors and board members. It provides news, analysis, and best practices related to board oversight, shareholder relations, risk management, and other key responsibilities.

Global Business Monitor

This monthly report analyzes trends, developments, and data related to international business, trade, and investment. It covers issues such as globalization, emerging markets, trade policies, foreign direct investment, currency movements, and geopolitical risks.

Additional reports and guides

The Association publishes many detailed reports, guides, and thought papers throughout the year on specialized business topics. These are produced by industry experts and provide actionable insights for members. Subjects include everything from cybersecurity to sustainability, diversity & inclusion, digital transformation, and more.

The Association’s publications arm members with leading-edge business knowledge, actionable insights, and a global perspective to help elevate their organizations. The journals, magazines, and reports enable members to stay current with the latest trends, research, and proven best practices across all facets of management and leadership.

Advocacy and Research

The Association of Business Executives conducts research and advocates for policies that benefit business leaders and executives. Some of their key research and advocacy efforts include:

  • Annual Executive Compensation Survey – The association conducts an annual survey of compensation packages and benefits offered to business executives across various industries. The comprehensive report provides valuable benchmarking data for companies.

  • Leadership Development Research – Ongoing studies examine best practices for developing leadership skills in emerging and experienced executives. Research identifies effective coaching, mentoring, and training methods.

  • Policy Positions – The association advocates for public policies that promote business growth and support executives. This includes issues like tax reform, workforce development, and access to global markets.

  • Executive Lifestyle Research – Surveys and focus groups examine the evolving lifestyle needs and expectations of executives. Research provides insights to help businesses attract and retain executive talent.

  • Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives – The association partners with companies to research and promote best practices for diversity and inclusion at the executive level.

The association’s evidence-based advocacy and pioneering research provide valuable insights for business leaders and policymakers alike. The organization is dedicated to advancing the interests of the executive community.

Awards and Recognition

The Association of Business Executives (ABE) has several prestigious awards programs that recognize outstanding achievements in business and leadership. These awards provide valuable opportunities for publicity, networking, and elevating the status of recipients.

The ABE Business Excellence Awards are open to both members and non-members across all industries and sectors. There are categories for Business of the Year, New Business of the Year, SME of the Year, Startup of the Year, Family Business of the Year, and Social Enterprise of the Year. Winners are selected by a panel of judges including business leaders, academics, and policymakers. All finalists receive recognition at the awards gala, which provides excellent networking opportunities.

For ABE members specifically, the ABE Fellows program inducts senior members who have made significant contributions in business leadership and to ABE itself. Fellows serve as ambassadors and advisors for the organization. The ABE Lifetime Achievement Award goes to long-standing members with exceptional accomplishments throughout their careers. Both Fellows and Lifetime Achievement winners are honored at ABE’s annual conference.

ABE’s awards programs offer excellent visibility and credibility for top performers. The recognition distinguishes recipients and provides a venue for amplifying their success stories across the business community.

Leadership and Governance

The Association of Business Executives (ABE) is led by a Board of Directors comprised of senior business leaders and executives. The Board provides strategic guidance and oversight for the organization.

The Board is responsible for setting the vision and direction for ABE. This includes developing the organization’s strategy, governing its operations, and ensuring it fulfills its mission. Board members leverage their expertise and experience to advise ABE on matters such as education programs, membership, financial performance, and advocacy initiatives.

ABE’s Board of Directors includes leaders from diverse industries and backgrounds. They provide a range of perspectives on business, education, and workforce development. Having highly qualified Board members enables ABE to stay aligned with the needs of executives, employers, and the broader business community.

The Board plays a critical role in ABE’s governance. In addition to the Board of Directors, ABE has committees focused on audit, risk management, nominations, and other governance matters. Strong oversight and prudent governance enables ABE to operate transparently and effectively in pursuit of its mission.

Overall, ABE’s Board of Directors and governance structure allow it to benefit from experienced leadership. With guidance from the Board, ABE can continue developing high-quality education and resources that empower business executives to succeed. The Board’s oversight ensures ABE remains a reputable and impactful organization.


The Association of Business Executives is a valuable organization for business leaders and professionals at various stages of their careers. By providing networking events, training programs, mentoring opportunities, publications, research, and advocacy, ABE supports its members and helps them continue developing their leadership abilities.

ABE’s mission is to inspire and support business leaders to reach their full potential. Through its comprehensive offerings, ABE gives executives the community, knowledge, and recognition they need to succeed. Members find great value in the organization’s ability to connect them with their peers, expand their skills, and give them a voice regarding issues impacting the business world.

Joining ABE demonstrates a commitment to ongoing leadership growth. The organization provides members with resources to continually advance their expertise and careers. Business executives who participate in ABE access a wealth of knowledge that makes them more effective leaders. They also give back by sharing their own experiences with others.

In summary, ABE plays an important role for business executives and the broader corporate world. By bringing leaders together and helping them reach their potential, the association fosters excellence in business leadership and positively impacts organizations and the economy. Executives at all levels benefit from ABE’s offerings and community. The organization provides valuable support for leaders aiming to continuously develop their abilities and make a greater impact.

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