Entrepreneurs celebrated at University Enterprise Awards

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Some of the county’s most talented entrepreneurs were celebrated at the University of Gloucestershire’s annual Enterprise Awards last night (4 July).

Compered by Edward Gillespie, former Managing Director of Cheltenham Racecourse, the event showcased the exceptional entrepreneurial skills demonstrated by talented individuals and by organisations
who have supported the University and its students in enterprising activity.

Over 150 invited 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. This year’s judges included:

• University Chancellor, Baroness Rennie Fritchie
• Julian Dunkerton, Chief Executive of SuperGroup
• David Owen, Chief Executive of the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
• 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 finalists showed real evidence of the entrepreneurial spirit that exists amongst the University’s staff and business partners.

The winners include University graduate Zak Aravantinos in the Legacy category for developing home support agency, Access your Care. Zak started the company with £3000 capital and has bought together over 10 providers to create a ‘one stop shop’ for care services in North Somerset.

The achievements of current University staff and students were applauded, with University of Gloucestershire student and Youth Involvement Officer, Nicola Sage winning the student award for the ZeeTee campaign to eradicate homophobic language and behavior as part of her work with Wiltshire Council. And the teaching team from the Editorial and Advertising Photography programme, Matthew Murray, Trudie Ballantyne and Grant Scott were winners for their international and local collaborative projects with companies such as SuperDry, Converse China and bike company, Specialized.

Other winners included Dr Andy Pitchford, Lionel Hurst and Rob Webber for creating the University of Gloucestershire All Golds rugby league club and design tutors, Nick Sargeant and John Brewer, for their contribution to setting up the Cheltenham Design Festival.

In the Enterprise Education category, the judges gave the award to two joint winners – Ray Olivier representing the Football League’s Professional Game Match Officials, and the Unviersity’s Playwork Partnerships team, Leonie Burton, Karen Benjamin and Kelly Conibere.

The Jerry Jones Award for Social Enterprise was presented by Harry Nutt from Treecreepers to University administrator, Barbara Rainbow, for her work with the Romanian charity, HEAL (Hope for Each Abandoned Life.)

University Vice-Chancellor Stephen Marston said: “The University is passionate about encouraging and celebrating enterprise – amongst our students, staff and partners. We all benefit from enterprise. Enterprise drives economic growth, when people create new and better products and businesses. It drives better public and community services, when people see better ways of doing things and take the initiative to make them happen. When students and staff, supported by our many partners, develop the confidence and know-how to take the plunge and put their bright ideas into practice, everyone gains. Our annual enterprise awards, now in their third year, show the huge variety of initiative, new ideas and ingenuity here in our community.”

Julie Moore, Managing Director of Green Gourmet and Oli Christie, Chief Executive of Neon Play delivered the engaging and inspiring keynote speeches.

The category finalists are as follows with the winners in bold:
Innovation Partnership Award
To recognise innovative projects delivered in partnership between the University and organisation(s) where significant change or growth has been achieved as a result of collaboration. Open to all employers/employees, students, staff and alumni (former students)
• Nick Sargeant (Subject Group Leader – Design) and John Brewer (Course Leader – Graphic Design) – University of Gloucestershire
• Sara Newell (Manager – Student Graduate Markets) and Rachel Veevers (Campaign Executive – Student Team) – Endsleigh Insurance Ltd
Enterprise Education Award
To recognise innovation in learning solutions developed in partnership between the University and organisation(s), for example, short courses, CPD or bespoke programmes created in conjunction with business. Open to all employers/employees, students, staff and alumni (former students)
• Ray Olivier (Training and Development Manager) – Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) (joint winners)
• Leonie Burton (Development Manager), Karen Benjamin (Training Officer) and Kelly Conibere (Projects Officer) – Playwork Partnerships, University of Gloucestershire (joint winners)
Enterprising Staff Award
To recognise a member of University staff who has demonstrated enterprising behaviour, developed new enterprise solutions to support the University’s engagement with the business community, or who have encouraged others to be enterprising in doing so. Open to all staff.
• Dr Kevin Hapeshi, Head of Computing & Technology – University of Gloucestershire
• Anne Dawson, Head of Media – University of Gloucestershire
• Matthew Murray, Trudie Ballantyne and Grant Scott, Centre for Art & Photography – University of Gloucestershire
Employability Champion Award
To recognise organisations and individuals who have offered valuable enterprise support and engagement, for example, hosting placement students, supporting internships or offering mentoring to students. Open to all employers/employees.
• Laura Ballard – University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union
• Michael Pain – Amber Business
• Dr Andy Pitchford, Lionel Hurst and Rob Webber – University of Gloucestershire All Golds Rugby League team
Enterprising Student Award
To recognise enterprising students who have demonstrated enterprising behaviour, developed new enterprise solutions to support the University’s engagement with the business community, or who have encouraged others to be enterprising.
Open to all students
• Nicola Sage – University of Gloucestershire student and Youth Involvement Officer, Voice and Influence Team, Wiltshire Council
• Simon Carr – Second Year Advertising Student and Student Enterprise Network President 2012/13 – University of Gloucestershire
Enterprising Legacy Award
To recognise individuals who since leaving the University, whether as a former student or member of staff, have gone on to achieve something particularly enterprising.
Open to all alumni (former students) and former members of staff of the University
• Zak Aravantinos – Access Your Care
• David Doane-Swanson – Hungry Planet Games Ltd
• Pia Cato – The Vanilla Pod Bakery
• Emmanuel Akintunde – GF Drums Ltd/Jilali Argan Oil UK

Jerry Jones Award for Social Enterprise
This special award was chosen from all the entrants to all categories for the organisation or individual whose endeavours are motivated for the good of others.

• Barbara Rainbow

Full case studies of all the winners and finalists can be found at…

Photos from the event are available for download at

Source: University of Gloucestershire

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