Stirling graduate Jodie Hughes, who set up her own business while an undergraduate at the University, is one of only five in the UK shortlisted in the undergraduate category of the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards.
Funded by the Santander Universities Global Division, the Awards aim to support and encourage university students to pursue their business ideas, and are open to students from all UK universities within the Santander Universities programme.
A panel of judges from Santander’s Business and Corporate Banking Divisions shortlisted five undergraduate and five postgraduate business plans for the Awards. The winners will receive cash prizes ranging from £20,000 for first prize in the postgraduate category to £1,000 for third prize in the undergraduate category.
Jodie, who graduated from Stirling with a BA (Hons) Business Studies, started running her own company, Adspad, in 2011, taking it over from owners who were not interested in growing the business.
“Adspad is an advertising and marketing company targeting students between 16 and 25 years old,” says Jodie. “We produce 3D table toppers and sell advertising space on them. In the last year, I have expanded Adspad to universities and colleges throughout the West of Scotland and beyond.
“When I was nominated for the Awards I had to submit my business and financial plans to Santander and it feels amazing to be in the final five – all the hard work does pay off.”
Alasdair Gammack, Student Enterprise Manager at Stirling University Innovation Park, says: “The University of Stirling’s student enterprise incubator, where Jodie’s journey began, provides a nourishing place for new businesses.
“We are delighted for Jodie, who seized the opportunity, combining her marketing skills with a fierce work ethic to develop Adspad into a niche brand now growing across the UK.”
Stephen Brooks, Santander’s Head of Public Sector and Charities says: “At Santander we have been particularly impressed by the quality of this year’s entries. It has been very difficult to choose just 10 plans among all the projects submitted.
“However, it has also been encouraging to see the creativity, inventiveness and commercial acumen displayed by all participants. Entrepreneurial skills are much needed in the current economic environment and these students offer a great deal of hope for the future of the UK economy.”