The Team Entrepreneurship programme (TE) within Bristol Business School has recently invested £2500 to support its students, known as Team Entrepreneurs, in starting or further developing social enterprises and projects with social impact. Finalists in the TE Game Changers Fund competition pitched to a panel of social enterprise experts and four winners were awarded funding to take their project or venture to the next level.
The expert panel comprised of Enterprise Consultant Callum Usher-Dodd, who heads up UWE’s Student Ventures team; Nicola Telford, founder of social enterprise Views for Change; Camilla Elwood, Portfolio Manager for social enterprise charity UnLtd and Lucas Paes Gomes De Oliveira, Student President of UWE Enactus.
The winning projects/ventures were: PAVE, a mental wellbeing service providing resources for schoolchildren; organic clothing brand Organiko; Ocean Raye, a company that creates jewellery from upcycled sea glass while also carrying out beach cleans and Healthy Life Original, a start-up focused on physical health and wellbeing. Varying amounts of funding have been awarded to support the social entrepreneurs at different stages in their journey.
Kiera Hellard, founder of Ocean Raye, received funding for a silversmithing course to help improve the quality of her jewellery, thus further contributing to its sustainable credentials. Reflecting on the pitching process and the outcome of the competition, she commented:
“I’m so pleased and excited to be able to take this silversmithing course to improve my jewellery. All of the feedback received has been really helpful. I’d like to say I thought the process was great as well. It was really beneficial pitching to a panel, as it gave me an opportunity to practise my pitching and was great meeting people external to Team Entrepreneurship. I hope this is something the programme continue offering in the future as I think it could really benefit Team Entrepreneurs and might encourage more social enterprises within our community.”Kiera Hellard
Feedback from other finalists echoed Kiera’s comments that pitching to an external audience and receiving feedback from experts in the social enterprise domain was invaluable. Commenting on the competition and the support that was offered to Team Entrepreneurs, panellist Camilla Elwood, of UnLtd said:
“It’s really encouraging to see the university supporting social enterprises in this way. The students are lucky to have such a supporting department.”Camilla Elwood
The Team Entrepreneurship programme is delighted to have been able to offer this support to the social entrepreneurs within its community and hopes to inspire more Team Entrepreneurs to pursue projects and ventures with social impact in the future. Bringing external expertise into the programme helps to ensure that our Team Entrepreneurs are developing the knowledge and skills needed to solve real-world problems.