Students and graduates from the University of Hertfordshire have been competing for the top prize in the University’s annual Enterprise Ideas Challenge but it was Midwifery student Betina Andersen who walked away with the coveted “flare Business of the Year” award on Friday (10 June).
33 year-old Betina from Finchley was presented with her prize by female entrepreneur and competition sponsor Julie Meyer. She won a year’s membership with the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and a £5,000 cash grant, sponsored by the University and businesses Deloitte and Exemplas, for her business idea ‘Fetofit’.
On winning the competition Betina said: “I never expected to get this far but the support I have had from the University has been brilliant. This is a huge step for Fetofit and with the money that I have won, I will be working very hard to make sure that the business is a success.”
Also receiving awards on the night were Alex Bracq for Best Business Plan, Ryan Flanagan for Most Innovative Idea, Kerry Wright for Most Viable Business and duo Sareeta Patel and Mary Westlake for Best Pitch. Business student Owandji Okutu and his business partner Kazadi Mwamba were presented the award for Entrepreneurial Spirit by last year’s winner of The Apprentice Stella English, who also attended the event.
Like Betina, each winner will receive a years’ membership with flare sponsor, the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Their additional prizes have been decided based upon the needs of their businesses and include office space and cash grants supplied by the University as well as digital consultancy, business consultancy and market research from other sponsors.
flare is now in its sixth year and was created by the University to support and encourage entrepreneurship among its students past and present.
This year, 169 entries were received in the first round before the final 12 were shortlisted. The six runners up will each receive two hours of consultancy with professional firm Exemplas.
Tonia Harvey, Head of Commercial Development said: “flare is about giving our students and graduates the opportunity to develop an idea and kick-start their businesses. This was probably the toughest competition to date and all of the finalists were very strong. The calibre of this year’s winners has reinforced that we are a business facing institute thoroughly deserving of our ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ award.”