News

20 June 2013

Brookes student shortlisted for national entrepreneurship award

Samantha Ball and Professor John Raftery

An Oxford Brookes student has been shortlisted for an entrepreneurial award following submissions from across the UK. Samantha Ball, who is currently studying for a degree in Fine Art, is one of just five undergraduate students who have reached the final stage of the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards.

The five shortlisted undergraduate projects will compete for cash prizes ranging from £1,000 for third prize to £5,000 for first prize. Samantha's submission was as part of an innovative project called Luggage Laughs. This involves a range of vinyl identity luggage labels which depict photos and artistic impressions of a wide range objects, animals and cartoon characters.

When applied to luggage, suitcases, laptop bags and school bags, these fun labels will appear as though the object or character is actually on the inside of the luggage and even trying to break out. The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards, now in their third year, aim to support and encourage university students to pursue their business ideas.

Samantha will now join her fellow shortlisted candidates in presenting her idea to the panel of judges at London’s BMA House on 25 June 2013 where the awards ceremony will be held.

Samantha has previously been presented with an award as part of the Oxford Brookes Student Business Plan Competition and has received mentoring arranged by the University's Research and Business Development Office.

Reacting to her success, Samantha commented: "I am delighted and proud to be representing Oxford Brookes University in the finals of the Santander competition this year. It has been an exciting and uplifting experience from which I have received tremendous support and encouragement from my peers. This has inspired me to develop and commercialise the Luggage Laughs project, and whilst doing so, I discovered other personal attributes that until now I was unaware I had. The future looks very exciting."

Stephen Brooks, Santander's Head of Public Finance and Infrastructure says: "Having been part of the judging panel for three years in a row I can say it has become increasingly difficult to choose just five entries per category.

"The quality of the business cases submitted is outstanding and the students have impressed us all in the judging panel with their innovative ideas full of market potential. This is testament of the excellent work done by many UK universities encouraging their students to become entrepreneurs. At Santander we are delighted to support these entrepreneurs and we are certain they will become the successful business men and women of the future."