FSB sponsored the Best Entrepreneurial student prize at the University of Brighton Business School prizegiving. FSB’s Clive Soper presented it to the winner, Francesca Fernando (pictured) at the Sallis Benney Theatre in the University’s Arts building near to the Brighton Pavilion.
Clive, business owner of Project Fusion and the South East’s Policy representative, said, “FSB are pleased to support and encourage the career progress of young people with business acumen. I am sure many of the prize winners today will one day start and run their own successful businesses.”
Indeed Francesca is from a Surrey based entrepreneurial family. Her Business Degree at the University of Brighton enabled her to study abroad in the US at the Grand Valley State University, Michigan. Her key interests are in Marketing and Sales and she is already working with an IT firm in Surrey as a Commercial Executive.
In order to win her Entrepreneurial prize, Francesca had to take part in a Dragon’s Den style competition. Working in a business team, not only did they have to come up with a novel business idea, they also had to research the market, draw up a costed business plan and deliver a compelling ‘elevator pitch’ to a panel of local business ‘Dragons’.
Their big idea is a ‘Clean, Green Vending Machine’, dispensing healthy food and snacks such as yoghurts and salads. The Entrepreneurial course module also included a grilling from the Dragons where they had to research key questions further in order to turn their idea into a profitable concept. “The Dragon’s wanted more details on what we were going to do with unsold stock and potential wastage,” said Francesca. “They liked the practical solution we developed, to partner with a local foodbank.”
Francesca’s future now looks bright with ambition to work abroad in Marketing and to use her strengths in IT and cross-cultural awareness to progress her career. “Have persistence and a burning desire to do whatever you want to do in business,” she advises. “Don’t be afraid to fail – I have had setbacks – but learn from them and come back stronger. Don’t let your past determine your future.”