The ‘Our Space Your Place’ competition offered a unique entrepreneurial opportunity to University students. Students worked with University faculty and business experts from Barclays and the Crown Estate to develop business plans that they entered to win £2000 start-up funding and use of a retail unit in the Worcester city centre for six weeks.
Thirty-two students entered the competition. The top entrants then pitched their ideas to a panel of industry experts who judged entrants by the merit of their project, its impact on the community, its sustainability, and their presentation skills.
As a result of the competition, students learned first-hand about developing sustainable businesses, creating responsible funding applications, and engaging with the local community. Additionally, the event enabled one of the main Worcester shopping centres to fill an empty unit with a grass-roots cooperative of local artists who could showcase their talent to the community and grow their businesses.
1 Students were given the opportunity to work with university faculty, banking and retail experts who professionally review business plans
2 By encouraging students to work with local small businesses, the project developed both the student’s entrepreneurial skills and provided an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to gain exposure
3 Reaching out to local businesses in the community allowed the competition to benefit students greatly.