Business Battle To Be Named The Entrepreneur On Screen At University

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Business Battle To Be Named The Entrepreneur On Screen At University

Date posted: 11 May 2009

A contest between young business brains eager to prove to a critical guru and their ‘henchmen’ who is the best will be screened tomorrow night – at the University of Derby.

In the film of The Entrepreneur contest, ten University students from a range of courses compete against each other in a business task.

A panel judges their success, or otherwise. It is lead by Fiona Church – Dean of the Faculty of Business, Computing and Law – assisted by Rob Moon, Senior Lecturer in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, and Marketing Officer Jenny Baldwin.

The one hour film of the contest will be screened for the first time at the University’s Kedleston Road site, Derby, at 6pm tomorrow (Tuesday 12 May) before an audience of staff, students, contestants’ families and Derbyshire business leaders.

The 2009 winner of The Entrepreneur will also be revealed, which up to now has been kept a closely guarded secret. 

The screening will be followed by a drinks reception where the contestants will be presented with prizes provided by Derbyshire businesses Orchid IT and Action coach.

During the film two teams of five students battle it out in a challenge set by the Dean. Their results come under scrutiny in The Entrepreneur’s executive boardroom, with one team then shown the door. From the remaining team, Fiona picks one student to be the holder of the University’s first The Entrepreneur title.

One of the contestants, Joel Cope, 19, on the BA (Hons) Business Studies, from South London, is already a budding entrepreneur, having set up a small video game company Gamers Edge, which bought and sold videos, and generated £17,000 in a year, enabling him to go travelling before joining the degree course in Derby this year.

He said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge – we have already covered modules on entrepreneurial skills and enterprise on the degree course and I enjoyed my success with Gamers Edge so The Entrepreneur should be fun.”

And fellow contestant Laura Williams, 22, from Derby, on the BA (Hons) Creative Writing degree course, helped run her family’s jam factory business before coming to Derby.

She said: “I’ve not just learnt the theory I’ve been out there running a proper business. I know my strengths and my weaknesses and I think will really give me an advantage over the other contestants.”

The project aims to promote interest in business and demonstrate the skills students have acquired so far in their studies at Derby, and show how enterprising and innovative they can be.

The ten contestants, selected following auditions, were drawn from courses including business, photography, textile design and electronic engineering. They include a gospel singer, a swimming coach, a writer and a distance runner.

Fiona Church said: “The teams were expected to present themselves in as professional a manner as possible and we didn’t make it easy for them. I was very impressed with all the contestants but in the end only one person could be named The Entrepreneur.”

Rob Moon added: “The University is keen to get students of any discipline with a good idea to think about becoming an entrepreneur, not just those on business degrees. The students showed great ability during this contest.”

And fellow ‘henchman’ Jenny Baldwin said: “I wanted to see what the students could do under pressure and they really impressed me.”

Laura has joined the Enterprise Inc programme – formerly Student Placements for Entrepreneurs in EDucation (or SPEED) – at the University of Derby since taking part in the competition. It provides funding and support for students looking to turn an idea into a new business.

The competition was filmed throughout by the University’s Creative Media team.


For further media information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email:

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