The next generation of entrepreneurs are taking their first steps on the road to commercial success at Nottingham University Business School.
Budding tycoons have come up with exciting business ideas, developed them into fully-realised business plans - and will now go head-to-head in a competition to recognise the high-flyers of the future.
The Student Business Plan Competition 2008 brings together current University of Nottingham students, who have gone through the rigorous process of taking their bright ideas and honing them into businesses that could attract outside investment.
Finalist business plans this year include a way for car drivers to earn revenue for advertising on their privately-owned vehicles, a national rent-a-bike scheme, and a way for home computer users to get broadband that pays for itself. They have been supported by workshops within the Business School and expert mentoring sessions to help them to produce a viable business plan.
The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in the Senate Chamber, in The University of Nottingham's Trent Building, on Wednesday, February 13.
Professor Martin Binks, Director of the University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI), said: “Entrepreneurial creativity is of increasing importance in any dynamic economy but attempts to realise the potential that it offers must be well organised and planned. The University of Nottingham Business Plan Competition engages students in the process from creativity to planned innovation.”
The competition judges are looking for a well-researched, convincing and realistic business plan which demonstrates an understanding of a particular product or service, the market in which they intend to operate, the likely costs to be incurred and the returns that investors can expect.
The competition is organised by the Enterpriselab team — part of UNIEI — in cooperation with the University's Centre for Career Development. It is being sponsored by RSM Bentley Jennison, NatWest and Breeze IT.
Jon Dawson, Senior Manager at RSM Bentley Jennison, said: “A wise person once said, 'failing to plan is planning to fail'. A sound business plan is the cornerstone of a successful business. We are delighted to support the 2008 Business Planning Competition and we hope that the competition will assist in the development of the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Joanne Beavon, Nottingham Area Director Business Banking for NatWest, said: “NatWest are delighted to sponsor the Nottingham University 2008 Business Planning Competition. We are committed to working with existing businesses and start ups in helping them to achieve their aspirations.
“This competition really encourages students to develop the skills they need to establish and grow their own successful businesses.”
The 2008 finalists are:
* Advertism — Jonathan Francis
If you've ever wanted your broadband to pay for itself, then Advertism may be the answer…
* Eova — Michael Preston and Mark Redden
Eova plan to launch the first alarm clock developed for the 21st century.
* GetAd — Peter Gostev
GetAd provides car drivers with the opportunity to earn revenue from advertising on their privately owned vehicles.
* Rent-A-Bike — Mohammed Kotah, Salim Bamakhrama & Albio Espinosa
Rent-A-Bike have plans to bring a quick, cheap and convenient method of hiring a bike to the UK.
* Toes & Tummies — Dana Hamzah
Toes & Tummies attempts to fill a gap in the market for a luxury designer boutique selling fashionable, high quality maternity wear and children's clothing in Bahrain.
The University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI) is one of the leading centres of excellence in enterprise education in Europe and a founder member of the UK Science Enterprise Centre Network.
Its mission is to be a centre of excellence in the development of enterprise and entrepreneurial skills, innovation and understanding the commercialisation of research. Globally, it is recognised that creativity, innovation, risk, knowledge transfer and technology transfer are key to competitiveness — UNIEI provides the Business School and the University with the platform to build on these issues.
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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 three 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.