Student Enterprise Challenge in partnership with Santander

The exciting annual Enterprise Challenge launched in 2011 for University of Chester students, will lift off again in January 2012.

Students are asked to submit a spark of a business idea that is right for igniting into a successful business. There is a den of ‘dragons’ poised ready to listen to the finalists’ pitches, but unlike the more fierce, fire breathing television breed, the competition judges are successful local business people who are passionate to support new student ventures.

Competition judges this year include:

  • Simon Nixon: Simon is founder and majority shareholder of - Europe's largest price comparison site. He was awarded the Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2007 and Cheshire Business Person of the Year in 2009. His other business interests include investments in some of Silicon Valley's top angel VC's.
  • Colin Kersley: Colin joined M&S Money as its CEO in January 2009. His career with HSBC spans more than 30 years, including roles as Head of Premier & Financial Planning, Regional Director South East, Area Director Birmingham and Head of Corporate East Midlands.
  • Matt Bullas: Cheshire Businessman of the Year and Founder of Click Consult, Matt Bullas is a UK Entrepreneur with a proven track record and particular expertise in Internet Businesses and Online Marketing. At 33 Matt already has more than 9 years of business experience behind him.
  • Lisa Collins: Named ‘Wirral Woman of the Year’ by the Liverpool Daily Post, Lisa Collins runs Daisy & Jake Ltd, the largest private nursery chain in Wirral. She holds the passionate belief that women can maintain a quality work/life balance and achieve whatever goals they set in business.

For the first round of the challenge students of University of Chester will submit a business summary together with marketing samples. Following a shortlisting, finalists will pitch their ideas to the dragons. Winners will be announced during a glittering awards dinner attended by local businesses where the Vice Chancellor will present the prizes to the potential entrepreneurs. But this competition isn’t just for the prize money; The Business School is offering support and guidance for ALL would-be entrepreneurs within the student population of Chester. The economic state of flux means that all students need to be equipped with a comprehensive set of business skills and practical capabilities in order for then to make a mark on the national business landscape beyond the University’s walls.

Connie Hancock, Programme Leader for Business Management and Entrepreneurship says, “The Business School at University of Chester takes its responsibilities extremely seriously in ensuring its students are able exploit all business opportunities that come their way. We are educating at Chester for Job creation as well as Job hunting.” The Enterprise Challenge is one of many initiatives sponsored by the University in partnership with Santander to foster entrepreneurial behaviour and thinking in students.

Find out more about the previous Santander Enterprise Challenge: