Enterprising students off to Oxford to compete in Global Challenge 2017

A team of De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students have reached the finals of an international competition to find the best new ideas to solve societal issues.
Fatima Mohammed, Mariano Mormile and Daisy Kiptoo are off to Oxford University for Global Challenge 2017. The competition will see students from 37 universities around the world pitch enterprising ideas.


The finals take place in Oxford’s Said Business School on April 31 and May 1. The winners will receive £3,000 and entry to the Emerge Conference, for entrepreneurs and young professionals who want to create positive social change.
Fatima, Mariano and Daisy were chosen to represent DMU after impressing judges with their idea of Mov-Ability, a programme to improve the lives and job prospects of wheelchair users in Nigeria.

Fatima said: “We are very excited to have won we are happy and nervous about going to Oxford, but we have the best group of people helping us. We are confident that we have got a winning idea.”

Judges of DMU’s internal competition were Professor Dana Brown, PVC Dean for Enterprise and Principal, Leicester Castle Business School; Simon Baines, Enterprise and Innovation Manager at DMU; Dr Momodou Sallah, Youth Work and Community Development lecturer; and entrepreneur and DMU student Freddie O’Shea who runs the Student Enterprise Movement based at DMU’s Innovation Centre.

Prof Brown helped devise the Global Challenge while at Said Business School to help students to develop more grounded and sustainable ideas for social enterprise.

She said: “We were very impressed with all of the entries in this first year of the competition at DMU, but the Mov-Ability team stood out for their deep research into the problem and the institutional, cultural and political factors that impact the potential for good solutions. The project has a great deal of potential and I am extremely proud of the work they are doing.”

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The group are all MA students in DMU’s Faculty of Technology. Fatima and Daisy study Energy and Sustainable Development while Mariano studies Energy and Sustainable Building Design. They devised the project after talking about the different experiences in their home countries of Kenya, Nigeria and Italy.

Mariano said: “Our next step is to go to Nigeria and gather our own data and do our own primary research.”

“We all believe in this idea,” added Daisy. “We looked into the issue and discovered the lack of disability laws and how the social stigma impacts people.”

Runners up were Daniel Czyzak and Petra Szollosyova, both Global Leadership and Management students at Leicester Castle Business School, and Hajara Alfa.

All the DMU winners and runners-up receive cash prizes to develop their ideas and mentoring through the Student Enterprise Movement.

Posted on Thursday 6th April 2017

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