Entrepreneurs celebrated at University Enterprise Awards

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Enterprising students, staff, alumni and business partners were celebrated at a glittering award ceremony at the University of Gloucestershire’s Park campus on July 11.

Compered by Managing Director of Cheltenham Racecourse, Edward Gillespie, who described the University as “a key force in driving the well-being, ambition and sense of enterprise” in the county, the event showcased the exceptional entrepreneurial skills demonstrated by talented individuals and by organizations who have supported university and its students in enterprising activity.

Guests from the county’s business community mingled with university staff and students at the event before the winners were revealed by chairman of the judging panel and editor of the Gloucestershire Echo, Kevan Blackadder. The winners were chosen by a prestigious judging panel including local entrepreneur John Caines OBE, University Chancellor, Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE and John Thurston, Chairman of the Watts Group.

Kevan said: “Speaking on behalf of us all, I can honestly say we were not only impressed by the entries but also inspired by them. The nomination forms not only revealed the application of those involved but also real achievement.”

The winners included radio production student, Milly Chowles for developing a phone app using QR code technology to promote a street art event in Bristol, Gary McLean for developing the University’s UNIversal sport programme and graduate Joanne Fox for launching the Spacefund, which has inspired nearly 100,000 primary school children with an interactive ‘Kids in Space’ show.

Professional awards were presented to GCHQ in the Employer Partner category, Gloucester City Council for their partnership with the University and Nexus for incubating new businesses in Gloucester Docks and Neilson Kite and Steven Murray for mentoring students.

University Vice-Chancellor Stephen Marston described the events as “one of the highlights of our year.”

He said: “We want people to have the confidence, the skills and support networks to believe that they can succeed in their own enterprise. Whether it is the development of a new product, a new service or a new way of doing things, all this is enterprise and it is the enterprising that will lead the country out of a double-dip recession and contribute to make Gloucestershire a flourishing and thriving place to live and work.”

“Tonight we are celebrating some wonderful successes, but I hope everyone will feel like a winner this evening, because we can all win if in our different way we can support, help and encourage enterprise.”

A keynote speech was delivered by University Chancellor, Dame Rennie Fritchie.

Winners of the annual student business planning competition, BUG were also announced in two categories, the Open Award for staff or graduates who have left the University in the last five years, and the Taught Award for current students who have taken a business planning module.

Former student, Roger Goodwin scooped the £1000 Open Award prize for his idea and Brendan Mckenzie receiving £500 as runner-up for his company, Your Opportunities Uncovered which offers advice to older teenagers. Melanie Holmes was awarded £500 and the Chartered Institute of Marketing prize for her luxury pet care business, Pet Paradise. Over 100 students took part in the annual competition which included business planning lectures, a series of interactive workshops, and entrepreneur mentoring sessions.

The category finalists are as follows:- 

Enterprising Student Award
For enterprising undergraduate and postgraduate students currently studying at the University of Gloucestershire:
Simon Carr – SC Promo
Milly Chowles – Radio Production student
Isis Davis – ISIS Theatre

Enterprising Staff Awards
For individuals demonstrating enterprising behaviour, developing new enterprise solutions or facilitating others to be enterprising, open to all University of Gloucestershire staff:
Freya Billington – Course Leader in Digital Film Production
Riz Galiyara – Smart Notebooks
Gary McLean – UNIversal Sport Co-ordinator

Enterprise Legacy Award
For individuals who were formerly staff or students at the University who have gone on to achieve success with an enterprising scheme or business
Dr Elsie Mei Kheng Chin – Cambridge English for Life
Lex Beckett and Hassan Otsamane-Elhaou – The Student Media Project
Joanne Fox – Spacefund

Employer Partner of the Year
For employers who have offered valuable enterprise support, to enable University students and
staff to develop their enterprise experience.
Rod Hallett – Westley Plastics Ltd
Angie Petkovic – apt Marketing & PR

Employer Mentor of the Year
For individuals who have offered valued support to University students through the employee mentoring scheme, Business Planning Programme (BUG) or other activities.
Neilson Kite – Mentor/Coach/Consultant
Steven Murray – Rickerbys LLB Solicitors

Enterprise Partner of the Year
For enterprise support agencies who have offered support, whether to students, staff or alumni of the University.
Anna Gwinnett – Economic Development Manager, Gloucester City Council
Heather Nash – Head of Elite Coach Development, the England and Wales Cricket Board

Full case studies and additional information about the event can be found at…

Photos can be viewed and downloaded at…

Source: University of Gloucestershire

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