The University of Nottingham have been named UK champions for the fourth year running in the annual Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) competition.
SIFE brings together students, academics and business leaders to set up outreach project that create economic opportunities for others.
At the end of each academic year, the 47 countries involved in SIFE hold a National Competition, at which SIFE teams present the results of their projects to judging panels of business executives. The competition gives the students and their universities recognition for their hard work during the academic year.
Working in teams, and mentored by a university adviser, SIFE students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world, focussing on business ethics, financial management and entrepreneurship to create successful business projects.
This new accolade recognises the hard work of the Nottingham students in setting up projects at home and abroad that have made a real difference to those involved. These include:
The Tichamma co-operative — A Ghanaian co-operative that ensures beekeepers across the country receive a fair price for their produce. This was set up on the back of the hugely successful Beevelop project.
Brightwaters — A local community laundrette that provides low-cost laundry services and a free pick up and delivery service for the housebound was on the verge of bankruptcy. The students have been working with the laundrette to develop new revenue streams and lower costs without compromising Brightwaters' community objectives.
Flagged — By 'flagging' electrical items left on overnight, Flagged teaches office staff to lower emissions and reduce energy bills.
“With more than 30 universities running SIFE programmes in the UK, winning the National Competition is a significant achievement,” said Chris Mahon, Director of the MBA in Entrepreneurship at the Nottingham University Business School and Faculty Advisor for SIFE Nottingham. “To win such a competition four years consecutively is nothing short of remarkable, and it demonstrates not only the talent and commitment of the students involved, but also the sustainability of the programme itself. All of us at the University and the Business School are extremely proud of the entire team, and we wish them great success as they represent the UK this October at the SIFE World Cup in Singapore.”
Chris Skilton, President of SIFE Nottingham, said: “I am so proud of what the team has achieved this year, we have continued to grow our impact both locally and abroad and winning the championship for a fourth year is a powerful endorsement of our progress. We are very grateful to the University and in particular the Business School for all their support over the last four years and we look forward to representing the University and the UK in Singapore. I believe we have an excellent chance of bringing the trophy home this year.”
The 2008 SIFE UK competition took place at the Britannia International Hotel, Canary Wharf. The Nottingham team will now go on to compete in the SIFE world cup competition, which will be held in Singapore in October. For more information visit www.sifenottingham.co.uk
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THES) World University Rankings.
It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy).
Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.