The University of Manchester’s first virtual business school has named the winner of its new entrepreneurship program.

About twenty curious and enthusiastic students enrolled in the entrepreneurship program which took place throughout the month of July. Manchester University students from all over the world were able to participate in this extracurricular activity which introduced the concept of business and entrepreneurship while addressing pressing social issues in Manchester.

Working as a team, the students identified opportunities, spoke to key stakeholders and designed a business plan before presenting their solutions to a panel of judges on the final day. They were guided by tutors from the Masood Enterprise Center of the Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) and were mentored by local social enterprise experts and business founders such as Emma Stanmore, founder of Keep On Keep Up. ; Haleh Moravej, founder of MetMunch; Nicola Dickins, Trustech; and Lisa McMullen, The Women’s Organization.

The winning team pitched their idea to use AI chat bots to relieve loneliness after finding that 96% of students suffered from it while in college. Other groups have suggested a reward program for removing plastic waste from city waterways, after discovering that plastic is more than half of the pollutants; a vegan food truck with an environmentally friendly supply chain; a platform to improve the diet and physical condition of South Asian women; and skills and networking workshops for the 63,000 young people living in disadvantaged areas of Greater Manchester.

Dr Robert Phillips, Lecturer at the Masood Enterprise Center at AMBS and Director of the Enterprise School Activity said: Producing graduates not only aware of social issues, but able to implement their creative solutions.

“COVID-19 has only amplified existing social issues, which has proven to be a timely opportunity to nurture our highly motivated students who are interested in social enterprise to improve the community and environment of the community. Greater Manchester area. “

The Enterprise School also hosted several leading social entrepreneurs based in Greater Manchester, who shared their views on the sector during a panel of speakers chaired by Liz Allen, president of 42nd Street and member of the board of administration of Social Enterprise UK.

Student participant Mira Moore, who was part of the winning team, commented: “The whole program has been a fantastic, uplifting and motivating experience, teaching us skills for life. The support was inclusive and tireless. It was great to meet other students with different academic backgrounds, combining our knowledge and interests to create something so meaningful and promising. All of the social entrepreneurs who volunteered their time to speak with us have been incredibly supportive and inspiring; their invaluable contribution has redirected us towards values-based directions.

She added, “I would highly recommend this program to any motivated student who wants to learn how to make a real impact, be challenged, learn more about the corporate world and take the first step towards achieving their dream!

The Enterprise School is for all students of the University of Manchester wishing to learn more about the company while developing their skills. The program introduces the concept of entrepreneurship and what it takes to start a business.

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