Sunderland business hopefuls turn £1 into £1,000 to win place in national contest

SUCCESSFUL: From left to right in the back row, Daniel Afam-Obi, Safiyah-Asma Shaikh, Laura Pritchard, Rebecca Kelly, Sadat Hussain Qurashe and Dan Snow. From left to right in the front row, Victor Nicolae Rusu and Osmas Chiurunge.
SUCCESSFUL: From left to right in the back row, Daniel Afam-Obi, Safiyah-Asma Shaikh, Laura Pritchard, Rebecca Kelly, Sadat Hussain Qurashe and Dan Snow. From left to right in the front row, Victor Nicolae Rusu and Osmas Chiurunge.
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BUSINESS hopefuls from the University of Sunderland turned £1 into more than £1,000 in just a month to secure a top 10 place in a national contest.

Nine students from the university’s Enterprise Society organised entrepreneurial, money-making activities throughout February - including collecting old and unwanted phones from Wearsiders - as part of the Deloitte Micro-Tyco student challenge.

The society started with a £1 investment, and after each activity, they put their profits into the next and so their investment grew during the month-long challenge.

The team of entrepreneurs was led by the society’s president, Laura Pritchard.

She said: “Taking part in the competition was an excellent experience for those of us who were involved – we all had to think and work so quickly. We could do anything legal to raise money, and we found that it was mainly small activities that gave the biggest return on investment. We are thrilled to be ranked eighth in the UK in such a high-profile and prestigious competition.”

The money was raised for a competition called Micro-Tyco, a global challenge run twice a year by the Wild Hearts In Action foundation.

All proceeds go to the charity, which helps fund entrepreneurs in developing countries by providing them with micro loans to start their own enterprise.

WildHearts invests the monies generated by Micro-Tyco into micro-loans that help the world’s poorest people work their own way out of poverty.

Later this month, four members of the University of Sunderland’s Enterprise Society team will be in London on a week’s work experience with consulting and advisory brand Deloitte, which is the prize for the top 10 teams.

Vince Robson of the University’s Enterprise Place, said: “We encouraged regular meetings with members of the team to ensure all the money-raising activities were well organised and to keep them focused on the task. The team worked together really well and had lots of excellent ideas that they put into practice.

“We’re really proud of them and what they have achieved – being a prize-winner will look great on their CVs and the idea of the challenge – entrepreneurs funding entrepreneurs – suited the society perfectly.”