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1 Apr 2015

Rewarding the next generation of entrepreneurs with prestigious awards

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Loughborough University will celebrate emerging entrepreneurial talent at the Leicestershire County and East Midlands Regional Finals of the Young Enterprise Company of the Year Competition.

The competition is hosted by the University in partnership with Young Enterprise - a national education charity dedicated to inspiring young people to succeed through enterprise.  

As part of the annual competition, students set up and run a real company for one year under the guidance of an adviser from the business community. This includes everything from opening a business bank account, to designing and manufacturing, selling directly to customers and paying taxes, among other duties.

The Leicestershire County Final, which takes place on Wednesday 22 April, will see six groups of students from the Area Final present their company before a panel of independent judges from business and education-related disciplines. Rosemary Conley CBE, President of Young Enterprise, Leicestershire, will open the event and Loughborough graduate Liam Doolan will talk about his entrepreneurial journey. Liam is the Co-Founder of Comb App, a smartphone app which allows the user to search fashion products and brands by uploading a photo of a similar item that they like and wish to purchase. The University will sponsor the Innovation Award.

The five winning companies will then go through to the East Midlands Regional Final on Wednesday 6 May, to be in with a chance of securing a place at the UK Final in London on Thursday 2 July. Professor Steve Rothberg, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), will open the event at the University’s Sir Denis Rooke Building, Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Parks. Loughborough Design School graduate Ross Kemp, Founder of Asap water crafts, will share his experience of launching his lifesaving solo craft in The Studio - Loughborough’s incubation hub, and will judge the Innovation Award. The University will sponsor two awards at the Regional Final – the Overall Runner Up and the Overall Winner.

Professor Steve Rothberg said: “The competition provides invaluable experience that really helps young people to develop and gain recognition for their progression in the eight skills for life and work: communication, teamwork, problem-solving, initiative, financial capability, organisation, confidence and resilience.”

Julie Holland, director of the University’s Glendonbrook Centre for Enterprise and Education, said: “Our Centre is keen to support future entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial behaviour in young people, and we are delighted that the University will be hosting the Young Enterprise County and Regional competitions this year."

To find out more, email A.J.Leather@lboro.ac.uk.

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 15/44

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Contact for all media enquiries

Charlotte Hester

PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: C.L.Hester@lboro.ac.uk