Sustainable business competition opens

22 November 2018

Sustainable business competition opens

Henley Business School, University of Reading and Ella’s Kitchen founder launch 'Just IMAGINE if…'

A new business competition with a prize worth £75,000 has been launched by Henley Business School, the University of Reading and Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen.

Just IMAGINE if… will give individuals who have a sustainable business idea the opportunity to present it to a judging panel of business leaders, academics, social innovators and entrepreneurs.

Shortlisted finalists will be paired with a business person or entrepreneur who will coach and support them on the development and presentation of their idea ahead of an event at the Thames Valley Science Park on Thursday 28 February 2019. There, finalists will present their ideas to an invited business audience, with the voted winner announced at a Gala Dinner later that evening.

The prize of bespoke research to the value of £75,000 has been funded by a number of supporting institutions, and will be delivered by the University, including Henley. Its purpose will be to help move the winning idea forwards to becoming a reality.

Paul Lindley, originator of Just IMAGINE if… and a Henley alumnus, said:

“The ability for human beings to imagine new ideas to create a better world is limitless; but not so the opportunity and belief to make them a reality. Just IMAGINE if… will harness the power of University of Reading research to develop extraordinary ideas to address a global challenge.”

Professor Adrian Bell, Research Dean for Prosperity and Resilience, and Chair in the History of Finance at Henley Business School, said:

“Henley Business School champions innovation and entrepreneurship in its research, teaching, engagement activities and through its work with the local business community. We are delighted to support Just IMAGINE if… and its focus on sustainable business and look forward to seeing some fantastic ideas develop.”

Professor Robert Van de Noort, Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said:

“Just IMAGINE if… reinforces our University’s excellent research capability as an enabler of positive change. Our partnership with Paul to deliver this exciting showcase of social entrepreneurship means a lot to the University, and I look forward to hearing how the ideas that will be presented can make a real difference across the world.”

Entries for Just IMAGINE if… must tackle one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They include gender equality, quality education, no poverty, zero hunger, and climate action.

The competition is now open for entries, with a deadline for submissions of midnight on 31 December 2018. Click here for more information and to access the entry form.