To get up in front of people you don’t know; people who are very experienced and highly successful in their field; people who you look at and see the word ‘judges’; at a venue you are not familiar with; and then try your utmost to ‘pitch’ yourself and your business; well, let no-one tell you any different…..
It takes guts.
And an unshakeable confidence in yourself and your ‘product’.
Either that or a ‘devil-may-care’ attitude dressed up in the exuberance of youth!
Whatever the answer, to do such a presentation at the tender ages of 16 and 17 is something worth applauding – and that is exactly what the organisers and judges of the Making Business Happen Awards at the University of South Wales on Friday did for the seven ‘teams’ pitching for the ‘Aspiring Entrepreneurs’ accolade.
One of those pitching for the £10,000 top prize was Barmy owner Eve Lodge.
The 16-year-old from Barnsley, who is in the first year of A Level study at Shelley College, West Yorkshire, had made it through to the seven-strong shortlist and travelled down to South Wales on Thursday with Shelley’s Assistant Head of Sixth Form, Julie Hampson, stopping in a ‘rather cool’ hotel overnight.
She then delivered her pitch on Friday morning.
“I think the presentation went well and I actually loved doing it,” she enthused. “It was a great experience and it was something I got so much enjoyment out of.
“A lot of thanks has to go to ‘Miss’ Hampson, who came with me and offered great support!
“I believe passionately in my business and hopefully that passion, determination together with a solid business plan will have impressed the judges.”
Eve (pictured below making her pitch), now has to wait several days before she finds out if she is one of the three ‘aspiring entrepreneurs’ chosen to go forward to the glittering awards night in April.
Organised by The University of South Wales, the Making Business Happen Awards were set up to recognise graduates of UK universities who have gone on to start their own successful and growing businesses using the skills and knowledge gained whilst studying.
The four categories of the Making Business Happen Awards are:
- Graduate Start-Up Award (open to UK businesses that have been in operation for less than three years).
- SME Business Growth Award (open to medium-sized businesses, founded by UK graduates, that have been in operation for a minimum of three years).
- Aspiring Entrepreneurs Award (open to school and college students across the UK).
- USW Entrepreneurs Challenge (open to current University of South Wales students or students of partner colleges).
Award winners in the Aspiring Entrepreneurs section will receive a cash prize (shared evenly between the individual or team members of the winning entries and their school or college), of: £10,000 (Winner), £3,000 (Second Prize), £2,000 (Third Prize).
Plus, the award winner will get a comprehensive business support and mentoring package for one year including:
A dedicated business mentor from the South Wales Business School
Legal advice (IP) from Legal Clinic Team
Finance advice from category sponsor
Enterprise/Business workshop for School/College
To find out more and to view the full list of shortlisted entries, go to: http://www.uswbusinessawards.co.uk/news/2015-shortlist-revealed-for-making-business-happen-awards