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Cardiff University students among winning team

30 April 2008

Ignite team

University students from across South Wales were challenged with making a profit from £50 as they took part in a one-day ‘Apprentice’ style challenge.

Thirty students, including students from Cardiff, the University of Glamorgan, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and UWIC took up the challenge as part of ‘Ignite’, a week long programme for budding entrepreneurs.

The students, who worked in mixed university teams, were given £50 to create a business which could generate a profit in 24 hours.

An intensive 5 day programme, Ignite is designed to take students on a journey towards becoming enterprising in their chosen domain; whether this is a business start-up, a social enterprise, the voluntary sector or within an established organisation.

The most profitable team ran a charity raffle, using negotiation skills developed throughout the week to persuade businesses in Cardiff to donate prizes, and their sales skills to sell tickets around Cardiff. The team made a profit of £255 which they chose to donate to Cancer Research UK.

Cardiff Business School student Peiqi Gao, who is studying Business and Japanese, found the week to be a great learning experience and a chance to apply many of the skills learnt in the run-up to the event.

"Negotiation played a key role in securing our victory at the end of the week. We were able to get a number of items donated as prizes without having to spend any of the £50 allocated budget, which of course put us ahead straight away. It was a fabulous week and I hope there will be many more programmes like it."

Catherine Bushell, University Enterprise Officer said: "Although Ignite is not specifically about starting a business, it does help develop enterprising individuals by equipping them with the skills to spot opportunities or problems and come up with innovative ways to change things for the better."

Throughout the year, Student Enterprise runs free events including Graduating to Enterprise (G2E) Business Start Up Week 2008 which takes place between 9th June and 13th June. The week is a series of training workshops delivered by experienced entrepreneurs in all sorts of business knowledge and skills you'll need if you want to make your business a success.

Student Enterprise also manages the Knowledge Exploitation Fund’s (KEF) Entrepreneurship Scholarship Programme on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government. The fund is aimed at supporting knowledge-based business start-up ideas from recent graduates (within last three years) of further and higher education institutions who wish to establish a business in Wales, and is still open to Cardiff University graduates.