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24 February 2006 PR 06/16

Loughborough students rise to the challenge

Five ambitious students from Loughborough University will put their business skills to the test next week, as they head to London to compete in a prestigious international competition for young entrepreneurs.

Over four days, the Loughborough team will battle against students from Universities across the UK, Europe and USA, competing in challenges to test their skills in negotiation, sales, strategies and marketing, in an effort to scoop the £10,000 prize money.

The EPOCH 2006 Entrepreneurs’ Open Challenge aims to fuel entrepreneurial mindsets in young people through healthy competition and network development.

“This competition will be a fantastic opportunity to meet and learn from high-profile entrepreneurs, such as Charles Dunstone, the founder of Carphone Warehouse,” says Mark Gadsden, of the Loughborough University team. “We’re very excited to be taking part in the challenge and can’t wait to go head-to-head with students from other Universities and hopefully win the competition!”

Loughborough’s team of five, which comprises Mark Gadsden, Alex Morgan, Leigh Jenkins, Chris Barrass and Dan Louden, is sponsored by Leicester-based Catering Partnership Ltd, who provide catering and cleaning services across the UK to a range of industrial, commercial and educational clients.

The EPOCH 2006 Entrepreneurs’ Open Challenge takes place from 27 February – 2 March 2006 and is hosted by the London School of Economics. For further details visit http://www.epochuk.com

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Notes to editors

Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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