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Manchester Enterprise Centre rewards budding social entrepreneurs

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Manchester Enterprise Centre rewards budding social entrepreneurs






Manchester Enterprise Centre has made ten UnLtd Social Enterprise Awards worth £15,000 to budding student social entrepreneurs from across the University. The winning ideas were inspired by a wide variety of social enterprise issues with  proposed solutions including a social media platform for postgraduate researchers to disseminate their findings; advice and support for people with autism; and a mobile app to enhance the training of doctors, interns and medical students.

The awards, which were open to students and recent graduates, were given out in one of two categories which reflect the development stage of the idea:

  • Three ‘Try It’ Awards of £500 or £750: These pilot stage awards were given to social entrepreneurs in order to find out if their social enterprise idea is viable, to learn more about what is needed to make it succeed and to try the project on a small scale initially. The winners were:

    • Omolade Femi-Ajao (PhD, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work)

    • Khalia Ismain (BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics, School of Social Sciences) 

    • Kasia Wilk (Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology, School of Environment, Education and Development), Pavel Rodionov (Master of Enterprise, Manchester Business School), and Davy Guo (Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology, School of Environment, Education and Development) 

Find out more about the winning 'Try It' and 'Do It' social enterprise ideas >>

  • Seven ‘Do It’ Awards of between £1,500 and £2,500: These advanced stage awards have been given in order to allow an entrepreneurial idea to grow. These awards are for social entrepreneurs who are confident their project will work and have the basic skills to ‘do it’. The winners were: 

    • George Konstantakopolous (Master of Enterprise (MEnt), Manchester Business School), Kate Hayes (MEnt alumna) and Pavel Rodionov (MEnt) 

    • Uzair Adam (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), Manchester Medical School) 

    • Ryan Anthony Shoesmith (BSc Psychology, School of Psychological Sciences) 

    • Monique Anderson (BSc Management (International Studies), Manchester Business School) 

    • Gemma Sou (PhD, Institute for Development Policy and Management, School of Environment, Education and Development) 

    • Ethan Tan (BSc Management (Accounting and Finance), Manchester Business School) and Alyana Popat (BSc Management (International Studies), Manchester Business School) 

    • Adeel Anwar (PhD and Teaching Assistant, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science) 

Find out more about the winning 'Try It' and 'Do It' social enterprise ideas >>

This is the second set of UnLtd Social Enterprise Awards made by MEC. 2013 saw £13,000 being awarded to four students: Amy Win (BAEcon Economics and Politics alumna, School of Social Sciences), Christina Taylor (Master of Enterprise alumna, Manchester Business School), Jason Archie-Acheampong (Master of Enterprise) and Matthew Borthwick (Master of Enterprise alumnus). They used their prize money to strengthen and develop their social enterprises with a number of winners securing additional funding from sources such as Barclays School for Start-Ups, Virgin Media Pioneers and Shell LiveWIRE. 


Award manager Dr Martin Henery said: “The increased number of awards presented this year reflects the increasing interest in social enterprise and the ability to deliver real social value in a sustainable way. We are particularly pleased to be able to award three ‘Try It’ awards that are designed to allow individuals to test whether they have fully understood and characterised a real social problem and whether their solution will effectively address that problem.” 


The UnLtd Social Enterprise Awards are part of a series of opportunities offered by Manchester Enterprise Centre in order to support potential student entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground. This year’s Venture Out, the University's annual student ideas competition will be launching on 8 October, at the first of this academic year’s Ideas Factory event series. A number of the recipients of the ‘Do It’ UnLtd Social Enterprise Awards entered the University’s annual business start-up competition Venture Further.


Find out more about the winning 'Do It' social enterprise ideas >>

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