Students Staff

22 July 2013

National award for student society Enactus Essex

Enactus Essex members

Enactus Essex members celebrate receiving their award

University of Essex Students' Union society Enactus Essex won the Best Professional Development Programme award at the RBS Enterprising Student Society Accreditation (ESSA) awards.

The society received £2,500 for winning the category and was also a Gold Award finalist at the awards, which are sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and organised in partnership with Find Invest Grow (FIG), a venture capital firm focusing on the student and recent graduate market.

The annual awards which aim to reward and recognise the innovative skills involved in running a successful student society, attracted more than 140 entries from universities across the UK.

The winners were announced by Ian Livingstone CBE, the founder of Games Workshop, at an awards ceremony at FIG village in West London attended by more than 300 guests.

Anjum Pathan from Enactus Essex said: “The awards evening itself was amazing. It was an informal evening with other successful societies but also a chance to meet many successful business men and women. It was a chance to meet new people and build contacts so the chance itself of being there was great.

“We hoped to win an award but when looking at all the other societies we were up against that had been active for many years, I didn't think it would be such a great Gold Award. It was a nice surprise and felt even better when we were told by the graduate recruiter of RBS that we deserved it.

“Enactus Essex does not only focus on the business aspect of life but we wish to use business skills to help disadvantaged people take control of their lives. We like to create opportunities for people so they can thrive to be the best.

“The money was a great part of the award because the five projects we are currently working on require funding. The money will be used for our projects and this could range from either getting start up materials for a workshop or capital money to help start a business.

“Through Enactus Essex I have met amazing people both within the team and during Enactus events. You are surrounded by people with different talents but there is always some common ground between you. I have been given valuable advice by recruiters of many companies which is bound to help me when applying for jobs.”

Sarah Smith, VP Student Activities at the Students’ Union, said: “It is fantastic to start my new role as VP Student Activities and immediately see one of our amazing societies recognised for their successes. Congratulations to Enactus Essex for this achievement.”

Director of Find Invest Grow James King said: “The awards celebrate the incredible and diverse activities carried out by student societies across the country and we were blown away with the quality of the entrants this year. It’s also fantastic to see how societies have evolved over the past year.

“With the employment landscape becoming increasingly competitive, it is more important than ever to recognise and reward the achievements of the UK’s most enterprising students.”

Mike Maddick, Head of Early Careers at The Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “It was fantastic to see such a wide variety of applicants, and the standard was immensely high. The RBS ESSA recognises the entrepreneurial talent of university students, who may not even realise how enterprising they are before they take part in this competition. We are delighted to support and recognise such an array of talent across the country.”

To enter the awards, student societies have to apply for accreditation first, demonstrating the events and activities carried out, membership numbers and turnover. In 2012 -2013 more than 440 societies were accredited under the unique scheme.

Gold award finalists have to go further by hosting events involving local professionals and entrepreneurial alumni, taking part in the RBS EnterprisingU business plan competition, organising workshops and supporting their entry with photos and videos.

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