Students make helping others their business

21 Apr 2011 12:16:40.603

PA 141/11

Nottingham’s students have been praised for raising the standard of social enterprise through a number of life changing projects both at home and abroad, at the tenth annual Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) awards.

The awards are held to celebrate the positive impact that students across the UK make to communities, while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders of the future.

Since the SIFE awards began, Nottingham students have been consistently recognised for their work, collecting the ‘UK Team of the Year’ prize four times in a row, starting in 2005. Students at The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China also finished second at the SIFE World Cup in October 2010.
Click here for full story

The UK team were back in the prizes again this year, with Nottingham’s current SIFE president, Ben Blackburn, originally from Lytham St Annes in Lancashire, selected as the ‘Northern Team Leader of the Year’, while one of his predecessors Jonathan Hick received the ‘Alumni of the Year’ prize.

The Nottingham team also picked up prizes for Diversity and Enterprise, and were pleased to match last year’s team result by finishing in the top eight after completely redeveloping their project base as they looked to build the foundations for future success.

After the awards ceremony Ben Blackburn revealed that his team are currently running eight projects across the UK, Cambodia, Kenya and Sri Lanka, with the aim of improving the quality of life and standard of living of those in need.

He said: “From encouraging children to eat healthily and helping a martial arts business become established in Nottingham, to equipping orphans to attain jobs in Cambodia, SIFE is a fantastic way to gain experience and skills, as well as improving the lives of people in our community and abroad.

“Being part of SIFE places you in the largest network of students and business leaders in the world. Being part of a SIFE project gives students a real sense of ownership and achievement, running a real project tackling real issues, while also giving you the experience to make your CV stand out in a competitive graduate job market.”

Jackie Andrews, Skills & Development Manager at the Nottingham University Business School, added that she had been amazed at the time and investment that is now put into the competition, as well as the range and scope of projects run by everyone involved.

She explained: “Throughout the competition the team received some great recognition and a variety of awards. Nottingham’s reputation amongst their peers was also in evidence when other competitors packed into the room to listen to the team’s presentation.

“I was immensely proud of the way the team performed and how they handled themselves at the competition. They were very professional, have a great relationship with many of the other students, sponsors and the organising committee and are a real credit to Nottingham.”

Jackie continued: “To mark the 10th anniversary of the competition, organisers looked back at previous entries and reflected upon how the completion has developed. During this reflection Nottingham were credited for creating a real shift in the standard of the competition by raising the stakes and becoming the team to beat.”

More information can be found at and at 

— Ends —

Notes to Editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:  

SIFE is an international organisation that mobilises university students around the world to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. More than 30,000 students participate in SIFE. They represent 1,800 universities in more than 47 countries.

With further plans now in place to run projects in Kenya and Sri Lanka over the summer, current Nottingham SIFE projects include:

  • Fruit 4 Kids: working with three schools in Nottingham the team aim to encourage children to eat healthily and help them to appreciate the positive effects of leading a healthy lifestyle. Through this project the team have worked with 450 children this year, who were tasked with creating a smoothie venture involving everything from selecting the fruit to creating an advertising campaign. 
  • Another local project has seen the group work with Adrien Mizuma to create and open a community café for the isolated African community in the Alfreton Road area of Radford. Nottingham SIFE also works with Grandmaster Tony Vohra at his Martial Arts academy close to Jubilee Campus, helping him with business skills in order to make his business a success. 
  • Further afield, they have worked with the New Future for Children Orphanage in Cambodia, equipping orphans with the skills required to attain jobs upon leaving the orphanage. Here one girl was helped to set up a pseudo-restaurant within the orphanage. Sreynink was then able to give practical work experience opportunities to three other orphan girls, while earning three times the average Cambodian wage through running this restaurant. 
  • Alongside the restaurant, team members set up an mp3 player lending library that taught 50 younger orphans the importance of personal responsibility. Three older orphans, the ‘library leaders’, also gained practical experience in running a difficult administrative venture. Furthermore the team helped them write a CV detailing these skills. All three have attained jobs in Cambodian society and moved out of the orphanage.

Story credits

For more information please contact Jackie Andrews, Skills and Development Manager at the Nottingham University Business School at
Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Room C4)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798