Lancaster University

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Lancaster University Students win national trophy for SIFE

05/04/2006 12:42:03

Lancaster undergraduates beat other university teams to win the Board of Directors’ Award at the national Students in Free Enterprise competition last week. They will now represent the UK in the European SIFE championships in Paris, 9-10 September 2006.

The students were judged in four leagues by panels of business leaders from major national and international businesses such as HSBC, Ernst & Young, Nortel and Wal-Mart. Teams were judged on the value of projects that create learning opportunities for communities in market economics, personal success skills, finance, business ethics and entrepreneurship.

Judges were particularly impressed with the skills that the Lancaster University students had gained and the impact of their projects. The students have implemented a wide range of projects, including a mobile skate park project with pupils in Ulverston and a green DIY and energy shop project in Lancaster, which involved running the city’s first ‘Energy Week’ in March.

The team was commended by individual judges for the quality of their social enterprise projects, their cooperative constitution and for having their projects externally accredited - a move that judges suggested could be applied to SIFE globally.

Keith Gore, Executive Director of SIFE UK, commented: “Our judges were extremely impressed with the quality and breadth of projects undertaken by the Lancaster team. The students should be very proud of their work in the community and their performance at the competition. We have every faith that they could win this competition next year.”

The closely contested competition saw Lancaster make it to second place, just points behind Nottingham who will represent the UK at the SIFE World Cup, also in Paris. The Nottingham and Lancaster teams will now go to a training weekend in June to prepare for the Championships later this year.

SIFE helps university students to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills by carrying out national and international community projects. These projects resemble the real-life managerial challenges that students will face on graduation.

The organisation is backed by leading businesses including HSBC, L’Oréal, KPMG, Enterprise rent-a-car and Heinz, and is currently active in 16 UK universities.