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£5,000 in the bag for SUMS’ student social enterprise

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EMBA student at Sheffield University Management School, Roz Davies, beat strong competition to win the Enterprising Ideas Competition’s Business Startup Award.

Presented to her at this year’s University of Sheffield Enterprise, Innovation & Impact Awards, organised by University of Sheffield Enterprise and sponsored by Santander, the award gives Roz £5000 to put into her business, We Love Life.

We Love Life is a community platform which supports people to better manage diabetes. It includes forums, information, a store, local living and motivational tools – it is designed to help people feel more knowledgeable, connected and in control so they live happier and healthier lives. It’s not only a business – We Love Life is also a social enterprise, so 50 per cent of profits go back into achieving the social aims of the company.

On winning her award, Roz said: “I have just completed my EMBA at the University. I started the course three years ago as a director in the NHS and I leave as a social enterprise founder, which really shows what a huge personal and professional impact the course can have!

“The course at Sheffield University Management School, combined with the support I have received from the University’s Enterprise Zone (USE), has given me all the tools, knowledge, networks and confidence I need to follow my dreams and build a sustainable business which I hope will make a big difference to people like me, who live with diabetes.

“I will be using the prize money to fund my software development partner to begin building a platform for the online self-care toolkit for people with diabetes. I believe the endorsement of this award and having an EMBA will help me to open new doors, build partnerships and access resources that will help me to make my dream a reality.”

Support from USE came from Enterprise Officers, Darren Chouings and Janet Grant. The pair said that it had been a pleasure working with Roz, seeing her digital self-care kit go from strength to strength: “Roz is a true professional, committed to her business and the outcomes it will achieve.  The judges of the competition voted her the clear winner which is truly deserved.  We wish Roz every success as grows her company.”

Applying for the competition isn’t easy. Each entrant presents a ten-page business plan detailing their business startup. After a number of submissions, a shortlist of five (including Roz) was put forward by a panel of external business professionals as possible winners of the award. In May 2014, the five pitched their startup to a judging panel.

This year’s Enterprising Ideas Competition engaged an impressing panel of judges, all of whom are members of the local business community. They read and scored each business plan and watched the final shortlisted pitches.

Roz impressed the judges at every stage, and on the evening of the Enterprise, Innovation & Impact Awards spoke with passion and dedication about We Love Life.

Congratulations to Roz from all at Sheffield University Management School.

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