National Competitions

Highlights from the 2017 Enactus United Kingdom National Competition

  • April 28, 2017
  • By: Kelly Burton

Quick Facts Results

  • National Champion:
    University of Southampton
  • Second Place:
    King’s College London
  • Third Place:
    University of Edinburgh

If our first National Competition was any indication, we’re all in for a treat when we travel to London at the end of September for Enactus World Cup. Held at the same venue, the ExCel, this year’s Enactus United Kingdom National Competition was truly a two-day showcase and celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit and the amazing things that happen when we harness the power of entrepreneurial action to tackle our toughest challenges.

There’s a reason this event was called a National Expo: it was so much more than a competition. More than 35 corporate and social enterprise partners participated in an Enterprise and Employability Fair, connecting students and alumni to some of the leading organizations in the country. The fair also included several companies founded by alumni! Students also had the chance to showcase their flagship social and community projects during the Project Exhibition, creating a forum for shared learning and collaboration.

In an innovative take on the Topic Competition format, the event also included a Pitch Pod, which took place in the middle of the Enterprise and Employability Fair. Teams had the chance to pitch their ideas and projects to corporate partners in hopes of winning funding, with winners announced on the second day.

Attendees were also treated to a series of inspiring speakers, including Lord Victor Adebowale, CEO of Turning Point and Chair of Social Enterprise UK, who spoke about the Social Enterprise movement in the UK and the important role young people play in driving this forward; and Stuart Croxford from the Endeavor Fund who challenged attendees to never give up.

Of course, the national competition was the centre of the two-day event, with 42 teams taking part in three rounds of competition in hopes of being named the 2017 Enactus UK National Champion and earning the unofficial title of ‘home team’ for the upcoming World Cup. Over 330 executives served as judges throughout the competition and had the difficult task of narrowing the field down to a final five teams before selecting the champion.

In the end, the Enactus team from the University of Southampton came out on top, impressing judges with their work including Sole Support, an initiative that trains vulnerable individuals within Kenyan communities to create shoes out of waste tires, while tackling three main issues: protection against infections and parasites, lack of affordable footwear and accumulating stock piles of waste tires. And in special recognition of their accomplishments, the team was invited to open the London Stock Exchange!

The National Champion award wasn’t the only trophy handed out at the event, as Enactus UK celebrated the different stakeholders that play such an important role in the success of the organization. Alumni were featured on stage as award presenters and showcased in an alumni hall of fame that featured case studies of their accomplishments. The Alumni Mentor of the Year was also recognized with an award.

Awards were also presented to the Faculty Advisor of the Year, top Rookie Team, the top project in the Project Showcase, and the Ford Challenge winners. And Enactus UK also presented the Partner Champion of the Year award to Fred Houinato from Amazon. The spirit of celebration was clearly strong in London!

Participating students were invited to participate in two themed networking brunches, incredible opportunities to connect with the top business leaders in attendance. The first, sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, focused on women in leadership, while the second explored trends in entrepreneurship and was sponsored by Barclays.

Notably, Enactus UK released a thought leadership paper during the event, called Millennial Values, Future Leaders, which explores and celebrates the Enactus program, our approach and our values, through the experiences of corporate, alumni and faculty stakeholders.

For more highlights from the event, look no further than social media and #EnactusUKNationals where you’ll find post after post with great pictures and quotes from a variety of stakeholders. Not only did the UK team do a great job of promoting their event hashtag, but they engaged a great group of students and other supporters to serve as Social Ambassadors throughout the two days, ensuring no aspect of the event went uncovered.

Featured L to R are Enactus UK Social Ambassadors Thomas Bartlome, Alvaro Ferreira, Ryan Seller and Daniel New

Don’t miss this great flashback video that captures all of the excitement and emotion of the event!