Young entrepreneurs showcase Flare for business at University of Hertfordshire

Young entrepreneurs are hoping their innovative business ideas will win a share of £20,000 to get their start-up off the ground in the University of Hertfordshire’s annual flare competition next week.

Flare is the University’s business start-up competition which encourages students and alumni to launch and develop new, inventive businesses. Winners will be awarded with a top prize of £8,000 to help bring their business ideas to life.

To reach the flare final on Thursday 28 September, 21 enterprising ideas have seen off competition from over one hundred entries. This year’s entries range from businesses in the medical, creative and consumer goods industries to research focused organisations and online, bespoke app start-ups.

The total flare prize pot on offer is £20,000, distributed across five separate categories.

Best Growth Business (supported by Santander Universities UK) – £8,000
Best Idea – £5,000
Best Business – £5,000
Individual flare Ignite award worth £1000.

This year will also see the introduction of the People’s Choice Award, a £1000 prize voted for by the audience at the Flare competition final.

Now in its 12th year more than 1,200 students and graduates have entered the competition with over £190,000 being awarded to the University’s budding business men and women.

Julie Newlan, Pro Vice-Chancellor Business and International Development, said: ‘Flare continues to challenge, support and fund aspiring business men and women to create impressive start-up businesses.

The University of Hertfordshire is known as the UK’s leading business-facing university and encouraging entrepreneurial young people to start their journey in business is at the heart of what we believe. The standard of entrants has been outstanding once again this year and I look forward to hearing the opinions of our judges and celebrating with the Flare 2017 finalists and winners.’

The lucky winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the University and attended by local businesses, business leaders and business organisations. Finalists will get the chance to network with fellow entrepreneurs and all finalists will also win a year’s free membership to the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce (HCoC).

Yolanda Rugg, CEO of the Chamber, said: ‘We are delighted to support the University of Hertfordshire’s Flare event as it continues to champion and grow innovative business ideas. Start-up businesses are vital for the economic growth of this country but they are often hard to get off the ground. At the Chamber, we provide knowledge, expertise and opportunities to help open doors for businesses, connecting organisations across Hertfordshire. We look forward to welcoming all the finalists from Flare 2017 as members of the Hertfordshire Chamber.’

The Flare 2017 competition final will take place on Thursday 28 September at the Weston Auditorium on the University’s de Havilland campus in Hatfield.