Nottingham students win national social enterprise competition

A team of students from The University of Nottingham have won a national competition aimed at improving the world through entrepreneurial action.

The Enactus Nottingham team used two projects, Aquor and Recovered, to show how they are using sustainable businesses to make a difference to people’s lives both home and abroad. The projects impressed judges at the Enactus UK National competition, held in London, and won them a place in the World Cup, held in Toronto, Canada, in September.

Aquor is a project using filtration technology to bring clean, safe, water to more than 5,500 people in Cameroon while Nottingham-based Recovered is an initiative to upcycle waste into affordable furniture for people in social housing. The projects are two of 19 that Enactus Nottingham, based in Triumph Road, has set up and are run by teams of 16 students from all disciplines.

Enactus Nottingham President Andy Stride is a third-year Management student who has been involved with the society since he started at the University.

He said: “I am thrilled to be taking a team out to Toronto and will have the chance to show what we’ve achieved to a global audience. Presenting to 1,500 people, 50 of which are business CEOs and directors can be pretty daunting. It’s like going into a boardroom crossed with Dragon’s Den but the team did a fantastic job. All the projects we run in Enactus have to be sustainable and have an impact on the community. For the presentation we tried to choose issues that were relatable – people can understand what it is not to have clean water and projects like Recovered show that people do need help here in Nottingham too. I think that’s what the judges liked.”

Enactus is a not-for-profit global organisation that encourages university students to make a difference within their communities, while developing their skills to become socially responsible business leaders. Guided by university and business advisers, students run real-life projects that create economic opportunity for others. An annual series of regional and national competitions provides a platform for teams to present the results of their projects for judging.

The Nottingham team who also run the U-Cycle (bike rental) scheme within the University, also hosted a Business in the Community event last month with Wilko and Capital One in a bid to encourage further grass roots entrepreneurship.

Andy added: “It’s a really exciting time for us and it’s great that local businesses want to hear more about what we do. We’d also like to thank the University – particularly Andy Nolan, Director for Sustainability, and Jackie Andrews, Skills and Development Manager for their support during the last year.”

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