News & Events

Start-Up Students Bag Top Prize At National Final

Winning Team Le Petit Sac at the National Start-Up Final, receiving awards from the Judges.


On May 14th 2014 Students, Lecturers, Volunteers and Supporters gathered at Level 39 in Canary Wharf, London, to celebrate the achievements of 10 of the best undergraduate businesses taking part in the Young Enterprise Start-Up Programme.

Start Up is a unique programme designed to connect young people with opportunities to empower and progress them on their journey towards employment. Over 1,700 students from 25 universities in the UK took part in Start-Up this year. The programme unleashes creativity, embedding the skills, attitudes and behaviours needed by industry today; from communication and team working skills through to increasing tenacity and resilience.

Le Petit Sac, from Kingston University, were named UK Start Up Company of the Year. Their product is a transformative real leather clutch bag that carries flat shoes on a night out, then unfolds to a larger bag to carry high heels later. Le Petit Sac beat off competition from nine other companies from universities across the UK, and will now go on to represent Young Enterprise at the JA-YE Europe Enterprise Challenge which will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from July 2nd to 4th.

Judy Maàmari, Managing Director of Le Petit Sac said: “We’re delighted to win. The competition process was quite stressful, but we learned a lot, particularly about presenting and pitching, how to do the Investment Proposal and networking.”

Competing student companies had to submit a investment proposal, create a trade stand to display their company, present their idea to the assembled audience, and perhaps the hardest, answer the questions of the judges in a private interview. When asked if she had advice for any new Students on the Start-Up Programme, Judy of Le Petit Sac said “I would advise other students to never give up, and believe in your product. Also never be afraid of making mistakes, as you learn from them.”

Hyundai’s eagerly anticipated “Brilliant Young Entrepreneurs” Award was presented to Pohcit from Newcastle University. Innovative students behind this post-breast cancer surgery drain bottle holder will now receive €15,000  and further mentoring support to develop the product and bring it to market over the course of the coming year.

Judges on the day came from across a range of commercial sectors. Lucy Ramseyer, Business Lead for Buying and Branding at John Lewis noted: “I did Young Enterprise and can say it was an incredible experience. It definitely gives you a set of skills for the future. Today I have got a huge amount of energy from spending time with the teams here – so thank you.” Other judges included Gerry Bell, Marketing Lead at GE Money Home Lending, Adizah Tejani, Ecosystem Development Manager at Level 39 and Steve Hope, Local Business Manager at Santander. The panel were also joined by Omar Farag, Director of the Teabox Company, who were last year’s winners UK Start-Up winners.

Other Awards Given Out On The Night Were:

Best Trade Stand: Organica Soap, Liverpool John Moores University

Best Investment Proposal: Le Petit Sac, Kingston University

Best Presentation : Le Petit Sac, Kingston University

Huyundai Brilliant Young Entrepreneurs Award : Pohcit, Newcastle University