ENTERPRISING students set a shining example to win the £5,000 first prize in a business competition which was like a combination of The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den.
The company built by BTEC business studies students at the College of West Anglia impressed the judges to scoop the fourth annual awards, supported and sponsored by innovative developers Morston Assets.
Five students delivered their pitch to judges to explain how the company they’d called Illuminate had made significant progress in the sale of scented candles.
They have sold several products through craft fairs and other sales opportunities. They have now designed a product and packaging to a professional standard which is now ready to market.
They are hoping to increase sales and their product portfolio in the short-term and medium-term future.
A spokesman for the team said: “This is an amazing opportunity for us,
“We really didn’t expect to win as everyone’s business concepts were really good.
“We are looking forward to investing in our business concept with a new display unit and hopefully some new premises so we can develop sales and expand production”.
They triumphed against nine other hopeful “businesses” when they went before a judging panel, which included Morston Assets chairman, Tom Harrison, and College of West Anglia’s Principal, David Pomfret.
The teams each received initial start-up money of £100 provided by Morston Assets. They operated their businesses for six months before intense deliberations from the judging panel on Wednesday (May 23) decided the winner.
Illuminate’s prize of £5,000 is to invest into its business venture.
Their winning team featured Paul Matthews, Nadia Kravcova, Deividas Danellius, Viada Dockute and Maria Ntemourasavilli.
Other business teams included a photographic studio, a gift service, floral design, Tae Kwan Do, a student magazine, traditional Lithuanian cake and dessert business, and clothing design company.
Isobelle Robinson, course director, said: “The challenge has grown in strength year upon year. This year the teams have surpassed all my expectations with their innovation and creativity.
“All of the businesses had a unique quality to them or use existing ideas with a fresh twist.”
The students were mentored by last year’s students and received advice from last year’s winning team ‘The Green Machine.”
Mortson Assets project manager Brian Siller said: “This year’s teams have continued to surprise us with the range of their business ideas, and with the enterprising approaches they have applied to those business ideas.
“The practical and innovative business ventures which are nurtured by this challenge demonstrate the value which this real business experience brings to the students. “Creating and encouraging enterprise talent in this way can only be a positive thing, for the students themselves, and for the local business community.”