The University of Gloucestershire has revealed the names of talented entrepreneurs who have reached the finals of this year’s Enterprise Awards.
Current and former students and staff plus organizations and individuals who demonstrate exceptional entrepreneurial skills will be celebrated at the event taking place at the University of Gloucestershire’s Park campus on Thursday 4 July.
The shortlist has been drawn-up by a prestigious judging panel chaired by Gloucestershire Echo editor, Kevan Blackadder and including University Chancellor, Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE, Julian Dunkerton, Chief Executive of SuperGroup, David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst and John Thurston, Chairman of the Lydney-based Watts Group.
Amongst the finalists are Sara Newell and Rachel Veevers from Endsleigh Insurance in the Innovation Partnership Award for their collaboration with the University’s Student Media Project. In the category for former students, nominees including Pia Cato, founder of the Cheltenham-based Vanilla Pod Bakery and David Doane-Swanson from Hungry Planet Games have been shortlisted. The Professional Game Match Officials (PGMOL) have been nominated in the Enterprise Education category for their unique relationship with the University in offering higher education programmes for professional football referees. Also nominated in the category is the University’s Playwork Partnerships team for their involvement in the Get Involved in Play project with 17 partners.
The Jerry Jones Award for Social Enterprise will be presented for the first time at the event. Harry Nutt, who co-founded Treecreepers Ltd, a local organisation which runs woodland programmes for children and families aimed at increasing self-esteem, confidence and resilience, is donating an iPad as a prize for the best social enterprise or social enterprising individual entering any category of the competition.
Finalists in the University’s annual student business planning competition will also attend to see who has won the £1000 prize in the Open Award and £500 in the Taught Award categories. The competition is supported by Basepoint, Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Management Institute (CMI), Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Marketest and NatWest. Around 100 students have taken part in the annual competition which includes business planning lectures, a series of interactive workshops, and mentoring sessions.
Panel chairman Kevan Blackadder said: “The finalists show real evidence of the entrepreneurial spirit that exists both among the students and the university’s staff and business partners.
“I have high hopes that the students and former students who are our finalists will go on to have successful careers helped in part by the pioneering ideas featured in these nominations.”
University Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston added: “Congratulations to all of our finalists who have taken great business ideas and have turned them into real projects and dynamic partnerships.
“These awards have become a firm fixture in the county’s business calendar, playing a vital role in enabling the University to showcase the achievements of our students, staff, former students and organisations engaged with us.
“We are committed to playing our role in supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs and look forward to celebrating their achievements with our guests from the business community on the 4 July.”
Managing director of Cheltenham Racecourse, Edward Gillespie, will act as master of ceremonies at the event in July.
The category finalists are as follows:
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)
· Leonie Burton (Development Manager), Karen Benjamin (Training Officer) and Kelly Conibere (Projects Officer) – Playwork Partnerships, University of Gloucestershire
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 and valued 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 & Rob Webber – University of Gloucestershire All Golds
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
Full case studies and additional information about the event can be found at
Source: University of Gloucester