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Enterprise Week Green Dragon Awards 2020

For the third year in a row, the Sustainable Development Team has sponsored a ‘Green Dragon’ award as part of Enterprise Week to encourage students to embed sustainability into their business idea.

image of Green Dragon Winners

NTU’s annual Enterprise Week, a collaboration between the Students’ Union (NTSU), The Hive and NTU’s Sustainable Development Team, has once again supported and inspired students to put forth their best business ideas. The week-long series of events included workshops for students to hone their presentation skills, expand their business knowledge and identify ways to incorporate sustainability into their business. Enterprise Week concludes with a Dragon’s Den style event where students pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.

For the third year in a row, the Sustainable Development Team has sponsored a ‘Green Dragon’ award to encourage students to embed sustainability into their business. This year nearly all the finalist’s business ideas included some aspect of positive social or environmental impact making the judging of the Green Dragon Award especially difficult!

In the end three Green Dragon prizes were awarded. The overall winner of the ‘Green Dragon’ went to Xanthea Heynes with Shroombox, an urban mushroom farm supplying restaurants, supermarkets, health and wellness companies, pharmaceuticals and the Chinese market with sustainably, British grown exotic mushrooms. From food miles to soil health Xanthea’s business idea addresses a broad range sustainability issues and highlights the global pressures on food supply that will be compounded by climate change. The Shroombox will focus on small scale, hyper-local mushroom growing in unused urban spaces and aims to engage the local community with local food production, education and workshops. With support from the Sustainable Development Team, Xanthea’s next steps are to identify possible sites for her first indoor growing space to expand production and begin supplying local restaurants and markets.

Two runner-up prizes were also awarded. Bailey-Renique Dawkins was awarded the prize for ‘Social Impact’ for her community-owned clothing brand which aims to address knife crime and other social problems by using profits to raise awareness of knife crime and show other young people that there are alternatives to selling drugs and gang life. Motivated by her personal experience of losing a friend to knife crime, Bailey plans to establish the Charlie K Foundation in honour of her friend, to inspire young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to use their entrepreneurial skills to improve their communities.

Aaron Lyon’s winning business idea, Clear Ember, attracted the prize of ‘Environmental Impact.’ As a budding entrepreneur with an environmental focus, Aaron has spotted a gap in the market for consultancy services to support companies with transitioning to a low carbon future. Aaron’s business will focus on engaging with small and medium enterprises to help the identify opportunities to improve their energy performance and reduce environmental impact. As a first step Aaron aims to become certified as a Low Carbon Consultant, expanding what he’s learned at NTU already to offer businesses a comprehensive audit to identify opportunities to capitalise on sustainability and generate positive environmental impacts.

Thanks again to all the organisers who made Enterprise Week possible and thanks also to all the students who participated.

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