The achievements of talented entrepreneurial Kingston University staff and students have been showcased at the annual Celebrate Enterprise awards ceremony.
Students and members of staff were invited to nominate individuals within the University who they felt had shown initiative and made a real difference in the entrepreneurial field. This could have been through mentoring, inspiring others or finding a gap in the market and starting their own business. Those who had tried to address an issue or problem by setting up a social enterprise were also in the running to be recognised.
Arvinder Walia, Chief Finance Officer and Commercial Director for the East India Company, gave a keynote speech at the ceremony which saw three staff and four student awards presented. The evening also included awards for participants at the Young Enterprise trade fair – held by Kingston Business School students to display and sell their innovative products.
Dr Nigel Page was presented with his award by Dr Clarissa Wilks for integrating entrepreneurship into the curriculum for students in the School of Life Sciences, Chemistry and Pharmacy.
School Director of Learning and Teaching of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry Dr Nigel Page took home the Staff Enterprise Champion award for helping to inspire a new generation of creative business people. As well as being an inventor himself, Dr Page has raised the profile of entrepreneurship at Kingston University through integrating the Bright Ideas competition as an integral part of the curriculum.
Dr Page said that while it was fantastic to have his efforts honoured in this way, the evening was really about celebrating the wider impact that Kingston University had on its students. “It feels great to have been able to make a difference – a lot of the time we don’t know how enterprising we can be until we have the chance to discover it for ourselves,” he explained. “Through competitions like Bright Ideas, I’m really proud of the opportunity we are able to provide for our students at Kingston University to find their inner entrepreneur and to capitalise on their natural flair and ambition.”
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at Kingston University Dr Clarissa Wilks was on hand to present the awards and said she had once again been incredibly impressed by the high standards of creativity, problem-solving and leadership shown by the University’s students and staff.
“This year we have seen some truly inspiring products and dedicated support for students and the wider community,” Dr Wilks added. “Kingston University is all about nurturing talent and developing confident individuals who can think creatively and independently to take ideas and make them real in the world.”
The event was hosted by the University’s Enterprise Education team which supports students and recent alumni who have an idea and would like to turn it into a business start-up. The team provides regular workshops, prestigious guest speakers, networking opportunities and chances to enter competitions to win funding.
Each year, Kingston University helps hundreds of enterprising students get their companies off the ground, and – for the past eight years – has been named as one of the top two universities in the country for the number of graduates starting up their own business.