Posted Tuesday 6 June 2017
Kingston University's reputation as a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent was once again demonstrated with a number of entrants in recent national business competitions. Students took to various platforms around the UK to pitch their fledgling business plans and projects, with the help of the University's Enterprise service, which offers students access to high-profile speaker events and competitions along with workshops, coaching and mentoring.
University Alliance Innovating Future Business 2017
Second-year marketing management student Ashema Edwards was selected to represent the University at the Innovating Future Business competition, where she pitched her start-up Dinky Do Dah. Hosted by University Alliance at the University of Salford in Manchester, Ashema competed against entrants from ten other institutions in a Dragons' Den-style format.
– a nail art studio exclusively for kids – provides fun nail art designs customised to fit any party or themed event. Ashema set up Dinky Do Dah in 2015, having first had the idea when she helped a friend at an outdoor fundraising event. She has worked with Enterprise to get the business off the ground and thanked the team for support that they had provided. "Working with Enterprise has given me so much confidence and allowed me to meet a number of highly supportive entrepreneurs," she said. "I saw the competition advertised and thought I'd try my luck; the Enterprise Team helped me from the application stage all the way to pitching at the event, and I can't thank them enough."Dinky Do Dah
Her passion and ideas for the business impressed investors, who decided to invest £750 in her business. Having also been a winner at Enterprise's Bright Ideas competition earlier this year, Ashema was excited at the opportunities that Kingston University continued to provide for her in growing the business. "Anybody with a great idea for a business should get involved with Enterprise; I never once imagined that working with them would have led me down this exciting path," she said. "I'd love to use investment and support from the competition to widen the offering of my business in to other areas, and make Dinky Do Dah a recognised children's brand."
Young Enterprise National Finals
Students from business start-up 7Thirty were selected to take part in the prestigious Young Enterprise UK Finals in Liverpool. Having already won Best Overall Company at London Spitalfields Trade Show 2017, the team – represented by final-year business studies student Lucas Griffin and final-year marketing communications and advertising student Josef Keeping – presented their business to visitors and judges.
7Thirty specialises in football footwear accessories, providing inner soles for increased shot power and special laces for added protection. The group was formed as a result of an enterprise module in Kingston Business School and only narrowly missed out on a place in the Young Enterprise European Finals, despite very positive reaction from judges.
Enactus National Expo Awards
A team of students presented their enterprising projects in front of UK business leaders at the National Development League Enactus Expo Awards.
Enactus is a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of social enterprise to transform lives. Teams from universities across the country and the rest of the world got the chance to showcase their projects and compete in the annual awards.
Kingston Enactus' projects for the year have included Rise – a personal, peer-to-peer mentoring service that allows students to share experiences and support each other – and Project Empire, a business consultancy project which has worked with the University's Enterprising Woman's Network to give advice to local female entrepreneurs about finance and public relations.
Having already triumphed in the Regional Development League for the Greater London area, Kingston Enactus qualified for the National Development League Enactus Expo Awards alongside 41 competitors. Although the Kingston Enactus team gave a competent presentation of their achievements, it was Northumbria University who eventually triumphed.
Head of Enterprise Education at Kingston University Dr Martha Mador said that recent accolades and activities reflected the achievements of Kingston University students and the opportunities they had been able to take advantage of. "We are immensely proud of students who work tirelessly to develop innovative business plans and travel across the country to represent the University," she said. "Enterprise gives them the tools to succeed with mentoring and chances to enter competitions for funding, but the entrepreneurial spirit comes from within and it is fantastic to see so many students and graduates setting up their own businesses and prospering alongside their studies."
The latest Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey 2015/16 reported that, for the eighth year running Kingston University was one of the top universities in the country for the number of graduates starting up their own companies. The University helped 289 entrepreneurial graduates get their companies off the ground in 2016.
• Find out more about Enterprise at Kingston University