The IGNITE scheme has been nominated for The Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship.

Exeter entrepreneurs on track for national success

A pioneering student entrepreneur support programme has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award. The IGNITE scheme, which supports budding student entrepreneurs to gain experience and develop their ideas, has been nominated for The Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship in the 2015 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

Representatives from IGNITE will join other finalists at a special award ceremony, held on 10 November at Park Lane’s Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Founded in 2012, IGNITE provides the perfect environment to encourage students to take their first steps on an entrepreneurial career. The scheme combines curricular and extra-curricular training programmes run by University staff, the Students’ Guild, and mentoring funding from experts based at the Innovation Centre on the University’s Streatham Campus.

Sean Fielding, the University’s Director, Research and Knowledge Transfer said: “Exeter students can expect the best possible start to their careers, whether through employment in blue chip companies or starting their own business.

“We started the IGNITE scheme thinking it would appeal to just a dedicated core of entrepreneurs, but 4,500 students took part last year. More than 300 of them are developing business ideas and 36 new businesses have been established, currently turning over in excess of £2 million.

The IGNITE scheme has already won several awards.  Combined with our Innovation Exeter programme with the Science Park and City of Exeter this should create a stream of new knowledge based businesses for the City.”

Louise Rose, IGNITE Manager and from the Students’ Guild added: "This is wonderful news and a real testament to our students and the support they receive to nurture their talent."

Finalists were chosen from the hundreds of businesses that entered or were nominated across 18 award categories. They will now prepare for live presentations to expert juries who will decide the overall winners that will be revealed at the awards ceremony on 10 November.

Visit www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk for a full list of all finalists.

Date: 5 August 2015

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