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The University of Southampton

University of Southampton students win sustainability award at Profitunity

Published: 27 May 2008

Enterprising students from the University of Southampton are celebrating after winning the award for Most Sustainable Business at Profitunity! - a UK-wide business competition run by The Prince’s Trust and Ernst and Young.

The competition required students to form teams and come-up with an enterprising way of making money for the Prince’s Trust charity.

Two teams from the University of Southampton entered the competition and both teams made it through to the final which was held at Tower Bridge, London.

The winning team came up with an idea for a sustainable business that could be taken forward after the event. They set about organising trips for students to nightclubs along the south coast – for £10 students were offered coach transport to and from the venue plus venue entry. The team have run two successful trips attracting over 200 people to each.

The other team took a completely different approach, hosting a smurf charity challenge which broke the world record for having the most people dressed as smurfs in one place. The event generated considerable international press coverage and the marketing value of this media attention was described as being worth ‘tens of thousands’ by the judging panel’s Harj Murria, Marketing Director at Ernst and Young.

The team were also complimented by the judging panel on the slickness of their presentation and their mentor won the award for Best Mentor.

Mentor Anthony Platt from Ernst and Young was impressed ‘The enthusiasm and professionalism which they brought to this project are what made it so successful; they really managed to come together as an effective team. I have no doubt that they will be able to take this forward as a business.’

Accounting student Sami Kade, part of the winning team, said ‘Profitunity! has provided a great opportunity for us to try out our business idea, working alongside a mentor. The whole event has helped hone my communication and negotiation skills – as well as gaining practical experience in marketing and finance. We are developing a long-term business plan from this.’

Notes for editors

  • Information about the nightclub trips can be found at

    1. The University of Southampton has an active student entrepreneurial society called Fish on Toast which looks to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and good graduate skills among its members, it’s open to all students and post grads.
    1. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. It is one of the UK’s top 10 research universities, offering first-rate opportunities and facilities for study and research across a wide range of subjects in humanities, health, science and engineering. The University has around 20,000 students and over 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £310 million.
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