Federation of Small Businesses supports 2022 Hartpury Enterprise Finals as title sponsor


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have been confirmed as title sponsor for the third running of the Hartpury Enterprise Finals, a Dragons Den-style competition that sees students present their business ideas to a panel of industry experts in a bid to win funding, support and office space.

A total of 30 college and university students entered this year’s finals, with four selected to present their business plan to the panel on Enterprise Finals Day on 22 June.

The final four have been supported by Hartpury’s Head of Innovation, Careers and Enterprise Simon Spooner, Hartpury Careers Consultant Teresa Lamb and ICE Student Ambassador Dan Bingham to develop their business plans. Businesses among this year’s entrants include a sports social enterprise, sports therapy start-up and two equine photography and retail concepts.

The lucky winner will receive a £6,000 Award Fund, supported by Hartpury, Renouf Wealth Management, Hazlewoods Accountants and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The winner will also receive twelve months of mentoring from a panel member and free office space at Hartpury. They’ll hope to follow in the footsteps of previous student successes including Johan Flo, a third year BA (Hons) Sports Business Management student, who established J & O Client Shoppers in 2020 with business partner Ollie Chell after winning the competition.

The panel members for 2022 include Sam Holliday – Development Manager at FSB, Russell Warner – the FSB’s Gloucestershire Area Lead and the Managing Director at Westend Offices, Ian Renouf-Watkins – Managing Director at Renouf Financial Services, Sue Birch – Director at Hazlewoods, Edward Newman – CEO and Founder at 71a, and Stephen Draper – Dean of Research at Hartpury.

NatWest have also backed this year’s Enterprise Finals, offering workshop support to students both in-person and online covering topics including business planning, social media, finance, and funding, as part of their Business Builder programme. Plans are currently in the pipeline to build a ‘NatWest Talks Business’ cohort of Hartpury students where peers can connect with each other and make valuable professional connections to help them grow their businesses.

Sam Holliday, Development Manager at the FSB, said: “The FSB has supported this superb event since it first ran in 2019 and we believe it provides a great platform for entrepreneurial students, hopefully giving them a glimpse into why so many millions of people in the UK run their own businesses.

“We can’t wait to review the exciting business plans of our final five and to work with the experts on the panel to help bring the business to life.”

Simon Spooner, Head of Innovation, Careers and Enterprise (ICE) at Hartpury, said: “Our Enterprise Finals have become an integral part of the Hartpury calendar and students at all levels of study are getting involved, presenting their ideas with confidence and becoming ever more accomplished at building a business plan and making a success of their ideas.

“We’re grateful for the support of the Federation of Small Businesses, who do so much to support the UK’s flourishing community of small businesses.”

At Hartpury, students start their career development from their very first day. With support from our Innovation, Careers and Enterprise team (ICE) they take part in professional and employability skills workshops, access careers advice and guidance, and undertake industry placements through our network of 3,000 employers. Hartpury graduates are well prepared for the workplace; with 96% entering employment, further study or other purposeful activity within 15 months (Graduate Outcomes 2021).

Survey results from the 2021 HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey show an impressive 96% of 2019 graduates from Hartpury progressed into employment, further study of other purposeful activity.

Picture: Sam Holliday (FSB) making a presentation in 2021 to FE student Joshua Bevan