Manchester Metropolitan University

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Students' sure-footed business idea

Manchester businesses judge 'Dragon's Den'

STUDENTS won a business enterprise award after pitching their idea for throwaway footwear for clubbers.

Teams of second year and final year students from the Business School developed own business plans and pitched them to panels of dragons in the Roseman Moyo Memorial Student Enterprise Award Cup.

The best six ideas were presented to a panel made up of:

  • Richard Roycroft - Manchester Evening News
  • Sarah Gormley - Tree Communications
  • Rob Woolen - RightWays
  • Laoise Flanagan - Deloitte
  • Sue Dixon - Bubble Enterprises
  • Malcolm Turner - Turner Sanderson Consulting
  • Tim Meehan - Business Doctors Manchester

The all-day event saw students set up stalls to promote their businesses to the ‘dragons’ before each team delivered a presentation and business case and were grilled about their plans

The winning team FOREST, mentored by Hollings academic Carolyn Branston developed ‘Feet First’ a range of slippers that can be branded with a product (eg taxi firm’s number or promote a particular club night) and can be sold for a small fee to clubbers.

The students explained: “Clubbers often wear uncomfortable shoes and when they are ready to go home, many will take off their shoes and walk around in their bare feet, running the risk of cutting their feet and getting hurt.

BBC interviews

The winning team were interviewed by BBC Manchester and took home the Cup and £100 of Top Shop vouchers.

Other ideas were for a ‘Manchester’s Got Talent’ club night, a sport training camp for children with coaching from University sports teams and a club shuttle service that would encourage students to enjoy a night out in another city.

The event was led and organised by David Taylor, senior lecturer in business enterprise, who said: “Running your own business at Manchester Metropolitan University develops the skills employers are demanding from today’s graduates: Use of initiative, effective communication skills, building and managing relationships, being enterprising when faced with new challenges and problems, and an openness to learn.”

“There are lots of our students out there with great ideas and with the right guidance and support from our dedicated staff, local entrepreneurs, and business professionals they could develop their entrepreneurial talent and start their own businesses.”

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