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Business students from Southwark College were announced as the Grand Champions in the annual Big Idea Challenge final, one of the biggest entrepreneurial competitions for young people in London.

The group of students competed against colleges from across the capital and were announced as the overall winners for the Schools and Colleges category with their business idea ‘INK.’ A new coffeemaking experience combining coffee, art culture and exclusivity where customers can create coloured latte art and record their experience, which they can share across their social media channels.

The team made up of Elina Niedrite, Faisal Qaderi, Alexander Cromarty, Ishaq Uddin, and Agnesa Idrizi, will receive prize money, the support of a mentor from NatWest and an investment offer from an entrepreneur to launch the business.

Ishaq Uddin, business student, said: “I was mind blown when our group was announced as the grand champion in the competition. I could not believe it. Winning the Big Idea Challenge has made me and my team excited for the future. We are thrilled and determined to make our business idea a reality.

“Taking part in the challenge empowered, encouraged, and helped us develop our teamwork skills, build on our confidence, and network with industry experts, which helped us refine our idea to convert it into a business model capable of attracting interest from investors.”

Annette Cast, Principal at Southwark College, said: “We are delighted that our students’ won The Big Idea Challenge in the Schools and Colleges category. Being selected from colleges across the capital as the Grand Champions for their excellent business idea is an outstanding achievement and a testament to the dedication with which our staff support and motivate our students.

“We are extremely proud to see our students’ drive, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in this competition. We are looking forward to seeing their business idea come to fruition and wish them the best of luck in their enterprise.”

Two groups of students from the College entered the challenge in the Commercial, Creative and Community categories with the following business ideas:

• INK is a new concept based around coffee, art, culture, and exclusivity.
• On the move is a brand-new concept to help homeless people in London.

To hear their pitch, click here bigideachallenge.

The Big Idea Challenge is an annual business start-up competition to encourage young people into enterprise and entrepreneurship. The Schools and Colleges category encourages students from across the capital to build, develop and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and sponsors, including NatWest, Lucidica and many more.

Run by Accelerator, a London Metropolitan University business incubator, the challenge aims to find the next big business, social project, or creative endeavour.

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