Business students from Bournemouth University had the opportunity to receive funding and support for their business ideas as part of an event organised in partnership with Santander.
Students from across Business courses and year groups in the Faculty of Management could apply for grant funding for their business ideas, with ten applicants shortlisted and invited to pitch their idea to a panel of Santander representatives, academics, and BU alumni.
Several of the students received funding of up to £5,000 to develop and grow their business, while all of the shortlisted applicants will be given a business mentor and membership to the Institute of Directors through BU.
William Tschaikowsky, a final year BA (Hons) Finance and Business student was one of those awarded funding for his business idea – creating specialised videos for social media.
“It was nerve-wracking, but there’s been a lot of preparation that’s gone into it and I was ready to give it my best shot,” he said.
“It’s really rewarding and it shows that the hard work we put in and all the contingencies we’ve been thinking about with the business have paid off and I’m really chuffed and look forward to the future.”
He added that the support and feedback from the panel will also be invaluable in taking the business forward.
“The judges were brilliant and they asked some fantastic questions - I might not have known the answer to all of them but we can now make the considerations they’ve highlighted," he said.
“Even if you don’t get funding, I would recommend it to anyone because the support you get afterwards will be invaluable.”
Bournemouth University has a formal partnership with Santander, with funding and support available through a range of initiatives facilitating entrepreneurship.
Matthew Coates, Business Relationship Director for Santander Business, said: “Through our universities programme we look to help fund and support some seed capital into students’ business ideas to help them get off the ground.
“The calibre of business plans that were on show were really wide and varied and impressive.
“With some help and support and feedback, it may be that the direction is focused slightly and then with our funding on top of that they will be able to take that feedback and the money and really lift the business off the ground.”
He added that Santander will also support the students and their business ideas with further support, as well as the funding.
“We will continue to be part of the journey and offer advice, feedback and networks,” he said.
“It’s been really clear that the development areas in some of the business plans could be filled with people we know in our business communities around us, so linking people and talent together also plays a big part.”
Lois Farquharson, Deputy Dean for Education and Professional Practice in the Faculty of Management, said: “The event has been absolutely fantastic – we have been so impressed by our students in terms of the way that they’ve handled themselves professionally, have answered questions really well and were obviously well prepared.
“All of their business ideas were viable but all of them are at different stages so we were really pleased that we were able to offer advice and guidance and support to every single candidate.
“These types of skills like presenting, answering questions in a tight timescale, and being in front of working entrepreneurs who’ve already been successful – the skills that you develop from that and the confidence that you build is actually really transferable to business.
“We are absolutely delighted to be able to support students in this way in the Faculty of Management and we look forward to seeing how they grow and develop in the future.”