Santander Enterprise Challenge awards presented.

Posted on 16th April 2012

The winner and runner up of this year’s Santander Enterprise Challenge at the University of Chester have been announced, with a double celebration for two Staffordshire students.

L to R: Roxanne Payne, runner-up, Chris Pyke, Head of the Business School and Lauren Keeling, winner.
L to R: Roxanne Payne, runner-up, Chris Pyke, Head of the Business School and Lauren Keeling, winner.
The awards evening represented a celebration of the immense achievements of all of the finalists, who clearly demonstrated how the University of Chester is equipping students to make their mark in the world of business.
Connie Hancock

The winner and runner up of this year’s Santander Enterprise Challenge at the University of Chester have been announced, with a double celebration for two Staffordshire students.

The prestigious event is in its second year and offers students the opportunity to win a first prize of £1,000 for a creative, yet practical business idea. The competition was open to all registered students at the University and entrants simply needed to explain what the idea was, why it was needed, who it was for and how it will create value in 800 words or less. As well as the winning prize money, there was a runner up award of £500.

Lauren Keeling, 22 from Cannock, a Drama and Theatre Studies student in her third year was the winner for her idea of an agency for performers and entertainers called Free Flow. The runner up was Roxanne Payne, a third year Graphic Design student from Tamworth, for her idea of a live video streaming company, Red Shell. Both were presented with their prizes by the competition judges at a glittering presentation evening at Senate House on the University’s Main Campus.

The competition commenced with a Business Plan round where the seven finalists were invited to share their ideas with the judges in Dragon’s Den style pitches. The four ‘dragons’ were: Colin Kersley, Marks and Spencer Money’s Chief Executive; Money Supermarket.com founder Simon Nixon; Lisa Collins, Merseyside Business Woman of the Year and Cheshire Businessman of the Year, Matt Bullas.

Connie Hancock, competition organiser and Programme Leader for Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Chester, said: "This year’s Enterprise Challenge really captured students’ imagination, with double the previous year’s entries being received. An exciting range of business ideas was reviewed by the judges, from private investigation to footwear ventures. The awards evening represented a celebration of the immense achievements of all of the finalists, who clearly demonstrated how the University of Chester is equipping students to make their mark in the world of business.” 

Chris Pyke, Head of the Business School at the University of Chester, chaired the panel of judges. He said: “The Business School is very appreciative of the time that the Business Leaders generously took out of their frenetic schedules to commit to the 2012 Enterprise Challenge. Their expertise throughout the judging process was fundamental in seeking out the entrepreneurial drive and ambition that resides among the University of Chester Student body. The Awards’ Dinner was a lively celebration of the entrepreneurial endeavour of students from around the University. The evening showcased the huge progress that the University is making towards securing a truly entrepreneurial environment where enterprise, creativity and innovation flourish.”

Reflecting on the quality of the pitches, judge, Lisa Collins, said: "It was a real privilege to listen to these young people articulate their business ideas so passionately. All of the students delivered well thought out pitches; choosing a winner proved to be an extremely difficult task."