Business community helps student entrepreneurs reach Moscow

Posted on 24th February 2014

A group of enterprising students from the University of Chester has been given the exciting opportunity to travel to Moscow for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2014 (GEC2014), thanks to the support of the local business community.

An original and unique initiative, ‘Mission Moscow’ challenged teams of students to meet the challenge of transforming an initial investment of just £10 into the profits necessary to fund travel to the GEC 2014 by entrepreneurial means.

The forerunner to Mission Moscow, Destination Rio 2013, saw four teams travel to Rio de Janeiro, receiving global recognition as a ‘High Impact’ event and a Badge of Honour from the GEW Team. Additionally, the initiative was shortlisted for ‘Enterprise Event of the Year’ by the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs.

Thirteen teams embarked upon the first stage, a 48 hour ‘£10 Challenge’ event, which has since received a ‘Badge of Honour’ and recognition as a ‘High Impact’ event by the organisers of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013. Ten teams progressed and, supported by a business mentor, developed their business ideas and concepts in a bid to raise the funds.

Riverside Innovation Centre (RIC) staff behind the initiative, and the teams who reached the final stage, shared their entrepreneurial journey with people who have been particularly supportive of the project including both team mentors and partners.  The RIC is part-funded and supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

In an exciting finale, ‘Funders of Last Resort’ pledged to support teams who had not quite reached the finish line. Funders including: John-Newton Jones, Snowdonia Cheese; Matt Bullas, Click Consult and John Farrell, Ellis & Co, along with Cheshire West and Chester Council, provided a substantial amount of sponsorship, which was subsequently allocated to the teams and individuals who impressed the most.

Eight individuals will now travel to Moscow to attend the main summit of the GEC2014, network with local entrepreneurs and business owners, meet with entrepreneurial students within Russian higher education institutions and experience the business culture of a city rising to international prominence.

Kirsty Badrock, Innovation and Enterprise Co-ordinator at the RIC, said: “We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming amount of support the project has received from local businesses. The list of people to thank is truly endless, all of whom have come together to provide this enriching experience for our students.”

Jack Miller, a second year Business Management and Entrepreneurship student, said: "Mission Moscow gives young entrepreneurs, like myself, the opportunity to put theoretical business into practice, and network with business people from around the world. It has also served to help my new business, ‘Toucan', to develop through the help of experts at the RIC.”

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