Enterprise Nation is launching The Student Start-up of the Year Award, in collaboration with global tech firm, Microsoft and domain platform, 123 Reg.
As well as a cash prize of £3,500, the winner will get significant support to help them flourish even further. This award will target and reward budding students with entrepreneurial ambitions, something that Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, who graduated in Law and Japanese from Cardiff University, is keen to encourage.
“We are excited to see what entrepreneurial talent we will uncover – and how together with Microsoft and 123 Reg, we can help young entrepreneurs get to the next level,” said Jones.
“Young people and those in education are well-placed to spot an opportunity and understand the process they need to develop in order to solve a problem. This is in essence what starting a business is all about – offering a product or service that people need and want.”
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which annually examines entrepreneurship levels across the UK and globally, 3.9% of the UK’s 18 to 24 age group were involved in total early stage activity (TEA) in 2015. In Wales the figure is slightly higher at 5.9%, followed by Scotland at 5.5% and England at 3.6%. This is no surprise to Jones who said: “Having the ambition to start a business as part of your career path from an early age is the new normal.”
Nick Leech, Group Marketing Director at 123 Reg, said: “It’s really exciting to support Britain’s army of young entrepreneurs. This competition will help even more young people gain the confidence to create their own business.”
After a shortlist of ten promising student entrepreneurs has been selected, there will be a live pitching session in front of judges including Emma Jones, Oli Barrett, MBE, co-founder of StartUp Britain and CoSpa, Nick Leech, marketing director at 123 Reg, Michael Eder, co-founder of studentbeans.com, Yani Valdimirova, enterprise engagement manager at student body NACUE and former Made In Chelsea star Amber Atherton, who has founded and successfully sold a fashion brand, with two more tech brands in the pipeline.
Michael Eder said: “We’re looking for start-up talent, students with a brilliant, well-thought-through concept and the determination to take their idea to the next level.”
To enter, students must be in education or have left in the last 24 months. If their business idea is already up-and-running, it must be less than a year old.
The competition will open for entries on 2 May and close on 12 May. The shortlist will be announced on 15 May and live pitching will take place on 19 May.
The winner will be announced at the Go and Grow Summit on 26 May. All entries via the Enterprise Nation website.
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