A budding entrepreneur has won £8,000 to help grow her business after impressing judges at the University of Hertfordshire’s annual start-up business awards, flare.
Djanomi Headley-Fulani’s company Mosaiqe won £8,000 in the Best Growth Business category (sponsored by Santander Universities UK). Mosaiqe, which currently operates across five London outlets and via an online shopping portal, produces unique, handcrafted wooden watches.
'I’ve known about the flare competition since I started at the University and wanted to make sure that I applied in my final year. I studied fashion and wanted to learn about the business aspects too, as I thought this would greatly benefit Mosaiqe. The Careers and Employment team at the University helped me so much throughout this journey and I’m grateful for their support. I’m delighted that my hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Winning this award has opened up so many opportunities for me and I will now be able to dedicate more time to developing my business,' said Djanomi.
Fashion graduate Djanomi and her co-director and brother Kassai have also recently partnered with Trees for the Future to help improve the livelihoods of impoverished farmers in East and West Africa.
Several other awards were presented on the night, including £5,000 to 25-year-old International Business graduate Chiara Angerame, who won in the Best Idea category for her company People’s Laundry. People’s Laundry, a social enterprise which plans to deliver low-cost laundry services to rural villages in Myanmar, will provide communities with non-electric, portable washing machines.
This year, the Best Business award went to 23-year-old Aerospace Engineering Masters graduate Ekene Ukemenam for his aerial photography and filming company business, Aerial Icon Ltd. Ekene was also presented with £5,000 to help grow his business which uses aerial thermal imaging equipment to deliver services to a range of industries in Hertfordshire and London.
The award for Healthcare Innovation, sponsored by Eisai, was given to Pharmacy student Antinda Toh, 22, for her private medical company, Antinda Helps. Antinda is developing her first product – Memory-Band – a wristband worn by Alzheimer’s patients which detects when a person is agitated and alerts their carer.
Julie Newlan, Pro Vice-Chancellor Business and International Development, University of Hertfordshire said: 'Congratulations to our outstanding students and alumni who have taken part in this year’s competition. They have all shown real passion and entrepreneurial spirit and the standard of the competition this year has once again exceeded all expectations. I would like to wish all the businesses every success in the future, your achievements really are inspiring.'
Two further awards were also presented on the night. Chun Ming Lim, Lee Chia Chew, Mern Ye Chan, Tsu Tao Ng and Yun Ying Lim from Malaysia won in the Best INTI category for their mobile application idea, Time Walker, designed to provide errand and delivery services to consumers; whilst the Flare Ignite award, which celebrates in-curricular entrepreneurial work, was presented to Malinda Bir and Nathaniel Balakumaran for organising the Festival of Diversity, celebrating the diverse cultures within the Hertfordshire Law School.
The winners were announced at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the University’s Weston Auditorium on its De Havilland Campus, on Thursday 11 October. In the 13 years that flare has been running, over 1,300 students and graduates have entered with over £190,000 being awarded to budding business men and women.