Team UWE triumph in national business challenge

Issue date: 03 May 2011

Six enterprising students from the University of the West of England have won the £3000 top prize in the Grand Finals of FLUX500, an intense national business challenge competition. The UWE team triumphed against 31 teams from universities across the UK at the event which was hosted by City of Bristol College at its South Bristol Skills Academy in Hengrove, and sponsored by Experian.

FLUX500 is a fast-paced competition for university students, developed by The Working Knowledge Group, and is the largest enterprise competition in UK higher education.

The winning team, consisted of Alex Green, Safiyyah Henderson, Raphael Nagel, Marcel Nobrega, Ariana-Alexander Sefre and Chris Dalley.

Coaching the team were Enterprise Project staff Iheanyi Ibe, Kim Brookes, Ricardo De Marchi, Kim Jones and the UWE Ideas Factory.

Iheanyi said, “The UWE students were from a wide range of subject areas, including Illustration, Art and Design, Business Enterprise, Robotics, Information Technology, and Property Management and Investment.  As part of the intensive, two-day competition, they were faced with the task of utilising Experian’s investment venture fund to create a new business to complement the company’s existing portfolio.

“The team’s winning idea was based around developing online based tailor-made data products for small and medium enterprises. Thirty business experts, from companies such as Roxburgh Milkins LLP, Experian, Fujitsu and a range of other large and small organisations, were on hand to guide the teams through the competition.”

During the competition, teams were divided into three streams, with the winner of each stream heat going through to the final to tackle another surprise challenge with other stream winners. The UWE team battled their way through the heats and finals, eventually beating Bangor University and the University of Hertfordshire to be crowned FLUX 2010 National Champions.

Adrienne Noonan, Senior Lecturer, Employability and Industry Liaison in the Department of Art and Design said, “Some of the team had taken a new module called Enterprise in Creative Practice as an alternative to a traditional dissertation. The module, which piloted last autumn, has clearly paid off by opening up opportunities like FLUX to our students.”

Business expert Keith Beattie, who is a partner at Burges Salmon LLP said, “This was a fantastic experience, with great ideas, teamwork and enthusiasm. I have been really impressed with how professional and commercially aware the teams have been. They have been a real credit to their Universities and I wish them every success.”

FLUX 500 is the annual inter-university competition that bridges the gap between education and the world of work. Teams of six spend 36 hours solving real business problems with experts from some of the UK’s most dynamic companies, judging them in Apprentice meets Dragon’s Den-style pitches and challenges.

For information about Enterprise at UWE, visit

The Working Knowledge Group exists to bridge the gap between education and the workplace. For more information visit

FFI: UWE Press Office

Tel: 0117 32 82208



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