Giving up her time to support the community and encouraging others to do the same has earned one De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student a nomination in a prestigious regional awards.
Komal Shahzadi, outgoing president of the DMU Enactus Society, will find out in July if she is the winner of the Environmental Warrior Award in East Midlands Chamber’s Generation Next Awards 2023.
The awards aim to recognise the young professionals and entrepreneurs who are doing outstanding work across Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
During her year as president, Komal has encouraged the 80 members of the society to get involved in a variety of projects to support communities across Leicestershire.
They include Project Smile, to deliver children’s dental packs to food banks to help improve young people’s dental hygiene; working with Help the Homeless to support people who have no permanent homes in the city and collecting medical equipment that is no longer used in the UK to deliver overseas.
On campus, the Enactus team manage an allotment near Queen’s Building, where they grow vegetables and encourage students to learn about growing their own food and living more sustainably.
“I am so happy with our achievements and that our work is being recognised this way,” said Komal, who graduates this year in Information Communications and Technology.
“All of us in our society work hard to help our community and dedicate our time outside of studies to working on these projects. We want to make the world a more sustainable place.”
Komal and the Enactus Society also made the shortlist in the Sustainability category of this year’s Niche Business Awards – alongside DMU itself. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw we were in the same category as our university,” she added. “DMU has done so much and it is good to be at a university which is so passionate about sustainability and empowering its students.”
This summer, Komal leaves Enactus to take up a new role but she is not going far. She has been elected to De Montfort University Students’ Union to be EDI Equality and Diversity executive officer.
During her studies at DMU, Komal has participated in a number of events and programmes hosted by Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, the area of the Careers Team dedicated to supporting students and graduates in developing entrepreneurial skills. These include the Leicester Future BAME Entrepreneurs and Resilience programmes, and Connect events which bring the student and graduate enterprise community together with members of the local business scene.
Simon Baines, Enterprise Manager said “We as a team are so proud of Komal. She is a real testament to our activities, having engaged heavily during her our studies. We are so proud delighted to see her learning and hard work pay off with recognition via local and regional business awards."
More than 80 people are on the shortlist for the awards across 11 categories, which range from start-ups to marking achievements in innovation and technology, as well we the Generation Next Future Leader.
Lucy Robinson, East Midlands Chamber’s director of resources and Generation Next lead, said: “The Generation Next Awards are a celebration of the contribution our young people make to their communities across the East Midlands.
“We received our highest number of applications this year, and are always blown away by the achievements of the entrants. Our shortlist of finalists offers a glimpse into the amazing young talent that exists here in the region.”
Virtual judging days were held where nominees were grilled by the EMC senior management team and Generation Next board and sponsors.
Winners will be crowned at an alternative awards ceremony on 13 July, where the network will return to Bustler Market in Derby to build on the success of last year’s event, which welcomed more than 200 people.
To find out more about student and graduate enterprise at DMU, visit their web pages here.
Posted on Thursday 22nd June 2023