Charity Backs Student Entrepreneur Competition

The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, based at Friars Mill in Leicester city centre, is delighted to announce that it is to sponsor a brand-new competition hosted by Leicester College, which aims to help entrepreneurial students get their business ideas off the ground.

‘Pitch Your Passion’ is a competition open to all full and part-time Level 3 or above students attending the college, providing an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to showcase their business idea before a panel of judges.

In a deal worth over £20,000 over the next five years, fellow sponsors Pattersons Commercial Law will be donating 10 hours of professional support to the winning businesses, with a first prize of £1,000 being awarded to the winners to fund the start-up.

Second-placed runners-up will receive £600 and the third-placed business £400, with fourth and fifth placed entrants winning £100 each. The cash prizes are being provided by The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity and Pattersons Commercial Law.

Students are required to complete a business plan template focusing on the business idea, how the winning money would be spent and outline the difference winning would make to them. In early March 2018, the entries will be shortlisted by the judging panel before aspiring entrepreneurs will be asked to pitch their ideas in person to judges on 23 March, with the winners announced on the same day.

Winning businesses will later attend Leicester College’s ‘Get Jobwise’ event, where they will be able to showcase their businesses to stands and students in attendance.

David Howard, Chair of Trustees at The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, said: “The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is delighted to be supporting the first-ever Pitch Your Passion competition whilst also continuing to develop its relationship with Leicester College, having supported other competitions in previous years.

“As a charity, we’re dedicated to helping entrepreneurs in Leicestershire make their businesses a reality through our interest-free loans of up to £20,000. In backing the Pitch Your Passion competition, we hope that we can encourage younger entrepreneurs to pursue a career in business – and make them aware of the support available from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity.”

Rik Pancholi, owner and director of Pattersons Commercial Law, added: “I am fortunate that I have been encouraged from an early age to be entrepreneurial and that has served me well throughout my career in law and in business. This is a fantastic initiative that will encourage entrepreneurship across the college and one I am proud to be working with as we seek to create the next generation of business talent. I am looking forward to learning more about the students’ business ideas and especially to mentoring and supporting them as they take these ideas forward.”

Rupinder Drew, Business Enterprise Manager at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Leicester College, said: “We are thrilled to have The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity and Pattersons Commercial Law sponsoring this competition as their shared ethos of encouraging and supporting new start-ups will hopefully inspire and encourage college students to set up their businesses. The prizes are very generous and the professional support is in place to help the winners focus on getting their ideas off the ground through specialist advice and guidance.”

For further information about The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity’s business loans, please CLICK HERE

Additional details on Leicester College’s ‘Pitch Your Passion’ competition can be found at www.leicestercollege.ac.uk

IMAGE: (From left) Tina Thorpe, Vice-Principal, Curriculum at Leicester College; David Howard, Chair of Trustees at The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, Rik Pancholi, Director at Pattersons Commercial Law; Yvette Sexton, Director of BECT (Business, Enterprise, Computer Science, Accountancy, Travel & Tourism) at Leicester College.

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