Bedfordshire students' win award for Sustainable Entrepreneurs
A TEAM from the University of Bedfordshire has won the title of Sustainable Entrepreneurs in a national competition for universities. At the finals of the contest, run by the international non-profit organisation enactus, in Canary Wharf, the University group’s co-president Farzana Kossar was also named Student Leader for the South East. The industry-sponsored competition is aimed at encouraging students and academics to use their entrepreneurial skills to improve the lives of people in need.
Bedfordshire’s entry was based on the team’s work with New Opportunities And Horizons (NOAH), a Luton-based charity helping homeless people, which led to an 80 per cent increase in monthly sales at the charity’s furniture shop. The project team, led by second-year Applied Social Studies student Lucy Evans, also worked with Wilkinson, the sponsors of the award, to develop a professional training pack for new staff at NOAH.
Judges were also impressed with how the team had helped local pensioners to reduce their shopping bills, and college students to find work, through their Young and Old project run at Luton Central Library in conjunction with the charity Connexions. The project, led by third-year Psychology student Olu Babarinde, helped older readers at Luton Central Library, which in turn helped students develop their self-confidence. As part of the competition the team had to give a 17-minute presentation and face Dragons Den-style questioning from enactus judges - all members of UK companies and experts at assessing business techniques that address social needs.
The team also included Jigna Tailor, a second-year Marketing student, who is co-president of the Bedfordshire enactus society; Paul Gastardo, who is studying second-year Law; second-year Accounting undergraduate Harry Frost; and second-year Human Resource Management student Jekaterina Denisova.