Entrepreneurs Durham £10 Business Challenge – How will you fare?

Our annual £10 business challenge has launched! Did you miss it? Not a problem. This year we are keeping registration open until Friday February 15th to sign up and take the challenge, with the closing event on Monday February 18th at 7.30pm in the Derwent Christopherson Room of the Calman Learning Centre. 

The £10 Business Challenge is where we invest £10 in a team of students or a team of society exec (new category!) and challenge them to raise as much capital as they can, with 25% going to DUCK and the rest in their pockets. The prizes this year are provided by one of our sponsors, Unilever, and include coveted shadowing at their HQ, goodies and more! As well as all this, you get a free t-shirt. 

Last year’s winners raised over £450 – the bar has been set high. How will you fare? 

There will be an ED exec member on the science every weekday this week for drop-in registration so email rebecca@entrepreneursdurham.com to find out details! 

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Blueprint Business Planning Competition: last year’s winner Freya McIvor shares her experience

By Freya McIvor

It’s scary to think that it’s almost been a year since I stumbled across the CEEC Durham email about the Blueprint 2012 Business Planning Competition and thought to myself ‘why not give it a go?’ Being in my first year at Durham I hadn’t heard of Blueprint before but I had been thinking about setting up my own business for a while and, after looking into the competition, I realised it was a fantastic opportunity I definitely couldn’t miss.

Even though I had no idea how to write a business plan or where to start, the workshops run by Durham Blueprint where a massive help and taught me a lot about turning my idea into a feasible business proposal. I also didn’t have a clue how to go about giving a business pitch and watching nervous presentations on Dragon’s Den was more of a hindrance than a help! Suzanne Auty from CEEC gave a very helpful workshop about how to pitch and we were given the chance to practice our presentations in front of a camera. This meant we could watch ourselves back, which was painfully cringe-worthy but incredibly worthwhile and helped me to greatly improve my pitching style.

By the time the day of the final pitch arrived in May, I knew what to expect and even though I was anxious, my 10 minute slot in front of the judges went by in a flash and without any catastrophic mistakes. Nevertheless I was still very surprised and elated to hear my name read out as the winner of the Creativity and Design category at the Awards Ceremony that evening. Whatever the outcome had been, it was a wonderful night and it was interesting to meet many like-minded students and graduates.

If this wasn’t exciting enough, winning my category in the Durham competition meant that I was entered into the North East regional finals of Blueprint. The ‘Pilot your Pitch’ and ‘Meet the Finalists’ events helped me gain confidence in my pitching and networking abilities for the final of the competition in Newcastle this October. It was a fantastic day and I was thrilled to be a runner-up in my category and win the Sole Trader Award. The whole Blueprint experience was a tremendous confidence boost for me a great kick-start to my company (http://www.thestash.co) which I was able to launch just before the final.

If I had known this time last year that in less than 12 months time I would set up an online business, I wouldn’t have believed it. Without the support from Blueprint I wouldn’t have known where to start or had the means to do so. So I would definitely recommend going along to the Blueprint 2013 launch on Wednesday 5th December to see what it’s all about, and this time next year you could have started your own business!

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ED Welcome Drinks on Thursday October 11th


By Rebecca Ellul

After meeting so many new faces at freshers’ fair last week, Entrepreneurs Durham would like to extend an invitation to Durham University students to join the society and hear more about what we have on offer. Our welcome drinks will be held tomorrow evening (Thursday October 11th) in Osbournes at 7pm. 

There will be champagne on arrival for our early guests, as well as the bar to tend to your needs throughout the evening. Osbournes have kindly given us the downstairs area of the bar so as you enter head to your left. The event will be a great chance for new members to meet the executive team, get involved in our business projects this year – the details of which will be coming through to your inboxes shortly. There are so many different ways to get involved from Moneythink to the ED Forum, competitions and workshops, running the ED business to support for your own business. But more of this on the evening.

Please join our Facebook group and click attending on the event so we have an idea of numbers.

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/entrepreneursdurham/

Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/114579505362669/?fref=ts

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @EntrepreneursDU

See you tomorrow!

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ED Welcomes You

By Rebecca Ellul


As the city fills with fresh faces at the beginning of the academic year, Entrepreneurs Durham would like to welcome one and all to explore our society and discover the number of opportunities on offer, meet our exec and build a network of young, inspired entrepreneurs.

Our freshers’ fair stand is in the Durham Student Union on October 4th between 10am and 6pm where you can sign up to the society, and have a chat with members of our executive committee who will be wearing red polo t-shirts.

We would also like to invite you to our welcome drinks held in Osbournes Bar on Thursday October 11th from 7pm onwards. Join us for a complimentary drink and to meet fellow members and get up to speed on our ethos and exciting plans and events lined up for the year ahead.


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Test Out Your Business Ideas This Summer!

As part of the Mary Portas review of the High Street Durham City are holding a market day just for people interested in starting up their own businesses or are in the early stages of doing so. They are offering stalls  for just £10 (limited to 30 stalls).

Details below:


Sunday 1st July 2012

As part of the National Market Day project suggested by Mary Portas, Queen of Shops, in her recent report on the state of the country’s High Streets, we are delighted to offer budding entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses the opportunity to trade and test their business ideas at the Outdoor Market in Durham City on Sunday 1st July for only £10 a stall.

Trading will be between 11am and 4pm with set-up from 10am.

If this if for you, then please complete the attached Expression of Interest form and return as soon as possible. Space is limited to just 30 traders and excludes any hot food take away enquiries.

For further information, please contact Colin Wilkes, Durham Markets Company Ltd, Management Office, Indoor Market, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ – 0191 384 6153 or colin@durhammarkets.co.uk

Don’t miss this opportunity to test
 your business ideas out! 

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Moneythink Durham – win ‘Best Presentation’ at the Dragon’s Den

The Moneythink Durham team was very pleased to win a Magnum of Champagne for delivering the ‘Best Presentation’ at the finals of the Jo Butler Dragon’s Den competition yesterday evening.

Employing the Prezi platform, Bec, Julia and Freddie outlined their plans for Moneythink to the Dragons.


Below is the expansion plan, Moneythink 1.0 being this years’ programme and 2.0 & 3.0 represent plans for the future.

Moneythink Durham 1.0

92 Young people graduate the scheme.

Durham Gilesgate Sports College (DGSC)

Mentor team of 16

Volunteer Funded

University recognition: Palatinate, Prof Tanner, Prof Warburton

Moneythink Durham 2.0

500 Young people graduate the scheme.

Durham Gilesgate Sports College (DGSC) + 2 new schools

Mentor team of 30

Collaboration with Careers, Employability & Enterprise Centre (CEEC)

Form links with Moneythink Cambridge & Moneythink Oxford – foster interest at other Universities

Building the brand, regional press, advocacy,

Moneythink Durham 3.0

1500 Young people graduate the scheme.

Durham Gilesgate Sports College (DGSC) + 4 new schools

Mentor team of 50

National and International recognition as the Moneythink centre in Europe.

Collaborate with Local & National government. Lobbying for more practical finance skills and entrepreneurial values to be added to the curriculum.

Moneythink Durham will be recruiting new mentors for next year. For more information, please read the other Moneythink Blogs on this site or email rebecca@entrepreneursdurham.com for more information.

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HPD Lecture Tour

HPD Lecture Tour:


A brief synopsis of the talk:

‘Economic crashes in capitalism have existed since throughout history. The
great economic challenge we now face is that the world is globalised – it is
one great civilisation, where one economy’s demise will be the demise of
everyone’s. To avert the next great calamity, what we need is not better
hindsight, but wisdom to better navigate through a deeply troubling future.
We need “good” capitalists.’

‘We explore case studies of capitalists and their inherent, as well as
cultivated traits upon which their success was founded on, followed by a
further exploration of what success must mean in the new economy if we are to move away from another major bust.’

A bit about the speakers:

The lecture will be delivered by the Managing Director of the WeComeOne Group and the Managing Director of Integral Wealth Management, who is also the Mentor of the MBA programme at Warwick University Business School.

JP Morgan are sponsoring us to give these lectures to the top 10 universities in the country.

Thursday 1 March

Elvet Riverside (New Elvet, Durham City)

Room ER141

from 5.00 – 7.00.

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