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School of Business and Management

School of Business and Management students reach semi-finals of Mayor of London’s Entrepreneur Programme

Two students from the School of Business and Management have reached the semi-finals of the esteemed Mayor of London’s Entrepreneurship Programme.

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The Mayor’s Entrepreneur Programme is a competition which aims to find the capital’s best sustainable student business ideas. The Programme aims to create growth that makes London cleaner, greener and ready for the future; and, to ensure students see entrepreneurship as a viable career path and get the skills they need to succeed.

This year, there are five awards available with each of the winners receiving £20,000 to start up their business along with expert mentoring from staff at City Hall to get their idea to market.

Our students

BSc Accounting and Management student Marah Kaddoura and MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation student Oleksandra Kalyta have both reached the semi-finals of the competition.

Marah, speaking about her success, said: "I wanted to apply to gain experience in creating a startup pitch. The financial rewards are only a bonus, as the true reward lies in the experience and mentorship you receive. Also, through the group zoom sessions you get to network with experienced startup founders which not only enriches your business background but also provides you with valuable connections. Success is shooting at every opportunity you encounter until the right door opens for you and this is a great learning opportunity for everyone".

Oleksandra’s project, Repeat XP has a mission to ‘democratise the access to food nutrition for budget conscious individuals’. About the project and reaching the semi-finals, Oleksandra said: "I have been working on Repeat XP since 2019. It has not been an easy path and not without failures. When I started my MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation programme, I had a module called Strategic Entrepreneurship taught by Dr Joanne Zhang and she inspired me to continue this project and apply for the competition. We were extremely happy to reach the semi-finals. However, knowing how competitive these competitions are and specially as RepeatXP did not fit in any specific category – we applied for the open challenge health award – we kept our expectations low and worked really hard in order to produce a high quality 2 minutes video pitch".

Supporting students from the School of Business and Management throughout the process is Dr Joanne Zhang, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Director of the School’s Entrepreneurship Hub. Dr Zhang said: "The Mayor’s Entrepreneur competition is a great opportunity for students in London to come up with sustainable business ideas. We are thrilled that two of our students have become semi-finalists in this year’ competition, especially given the pandemic. At the School of Business and Management, we take great pride in our approach to promote social justice, sustainability and good governance in the management of private, public and voluntary organisations through our research and education. And the Entrepreneurship Hub aims to empower the next generation of social entrepreneurs through supporting our students and alumni’s entrepreneurial activities."

Next steps

The semi-finalists have now submitted a short video pitch. The videos will then be judged by an expert panel and the finalists (6 from each Award Category) will be chosen by the end of May.

The final pitching and awards event will happen in the first half of June and we will be able to share more information about the arrangements soon.