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UCL announces 2016 Awards for Entrepreneurship

10 June 2016

UCL announced its Awards for Entrepreneurship 2016 to recognise and celebrate the achievements of students and staff in promoting enterprise activity at the university, as well as honouring an external entrepreneur who has given back to society.

In a ceremony held on the UCL Bloomsbury campus on 9 June, UCL’s President and Provost Professor Michael Arthur presented a variety of awards including the UCL Bright Ideas Awards for student start-ups, the UCL Provost’s Spirit of Enterprise Award and the UCL/Business Reporter Medal for Entrepreneurship.

Professor Deborah Gill, Director, UCL Medical School, UCL Provost's Spirit of Enterprise Award Winner 2016

The announcement of the awards follows another successful year for entrepreneurship at UCL. The university was recently hailed as a “shining example” of the support it gives to students in an article in the Guardian looking at whether universities do enough to help students launch new businesses.

Our students have been involved in a wide range of businesses over the last year. UCL Bright Ideas Award winners -- those businesses that show most commercial potential -- include ethical hair care products from Afrochenchix, and Mishipay, an app that allows shoppers to pay for their goods directly instore without having to queue.

“I am delighted to present these awards which highlight the extraordinary depth of entrepreneurship activity at UCL. For UCL, encouraging entrepreneurship allows the university to use its research to make a difference to society while bringing benefits for students and staff on a personal level,” said Professor Arthur.

Other awards included the UCL Provost’s Spirit of Enterprise Award for the academic who has most consistently demonstrated their entrepreneurial enthusiasm, helping the university deliver the widest possible impact from its research, both in the UK and abroad. This year’s winner is Professor Deborah Gill, Director of the UCL Medical School. Deborah has been instrumental in establishing and expanding the education consultancy unit within the Medical School.

“Deborah Gill exemplifies entrepreneurial spirit at UCL, showing how UCL can apply its knowledge for wider benefit. She has ensured that the consultancy focuses on partnerships that allow the Medical School to share its expertise with medical educators globally, as seen in the agreement UCL signed recently with the NewGiza University in Egypt,” said Dr Celia Caulcott, Vice Provost (Enterprise).

This year UCL also made the presentation of the UCL/Business Reporter Medal for Entrepreneurship to recognise an entrepreneur who has successfully founded their own business and used these skills to help others.

Following a public call in Business Reporter for nominees, our judging panel selected Paul Barry-Walsh as the winner in recognition of his work in setting up the Fredericks Foundation, which makes loans to disadvantaged people to set up and/or expand their businesses. Since its launch, the Foundation has provided over 1200 loans totalling over £4 million and created and safeguarded over 2,000 jobs.

Paul’s entrepreneurial background included founding business continuity services company Safetynet which was sold in 2000 to Guardian IT for £170 million.

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