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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.