Enterprising students impress panel of experts with their business plans

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The 2021 Hartpury Enterprise Finals have showcased the innovation and enthusiasm of students looking to develop pioneering business ideas.

In a format similar to the Dragons’ Den TV show, Hartpury students pitched their plans to an expert business panel comprising Ian Renouf-Watkins (Renouf Wealth Management), Russell Warner (Westend Office Suites) Sam Halliday (Federation of Small Businesses), Lucie Hammond (Hazlewoods Accountants), and Hartpury’s Dean of Research and Knowledge Exchange Prof Stephen Draper.

The finalists were an online-based company that sources and supplies high-end and limited items to an extensive repertoire of clients; a business providing both human and veterinary physiotherapy services; a farm specialising in supplying free-range poultry; a sports equipment rental business; and a fruit and vegetable delivery service offering locally sourced produce.

The finalists, who had submitted a full business plan and a 90-second pitch video, explained their proposals in detail before facing constructive feedback and questions from the panel.

The panel then assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each business and decided who would mentor each student after the finals and how to distribute a bursary fund of £6,000.

Simon Spooner, Head of Innovation and Careers at Hartpury, said: “I would like to congratulate all our incredible university and college students who submitted entries to this year’s Hartpury Enterprise Finals.

“This is the second running of the Enterprise Finals at Hartpury, and despite the Covid challenges over the past year, this has not quashed our students’ passion for ideas and commerce opportunities.

“As well as showcasing some amazing ideas, students demonstrated the viability of their businesses – some of which are already trading – through inspiring ‘pitch’ presentations and business plans.

“The role of the mentors is crucial in delivering specific feedback after the event to students on a 1:1 basis that will ensure that support is aligned to aid the students business ideas develop further into key actions.

“The cohort of students now join the Enterprise Business Centre at Hartpury where space is provided for students to begin or continue to work on their business over the next year free of charge, while also being able to connect to Hartpury’s specialist network of businesses and current knowledge.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our panel of experts for giving up their valuable time to support and encourage our students’ business ambitions.”

Picture: Russell Warner (Westend Office Suites) with finalist Steph Evans at the Enterprise Awards

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