By Ben Simmons

A national student competition came to a climax last night when students from the University of Manchester were awarded the top award and a choice of prizes including a week on PwC’s partner shadowing programme this summer.

Business Champions, a competition run jointly by PwC and Bright Futures, gives undergraduates the chance to turn a new business idea into a profitable enterprise, with all proceeds going to the School for Social Entrepreneurs charity.

“Business Champions is an outstanding opportunity for entrepreneurial university students with big ideas to get a business up and running,” says Andrew Bargery, PwC recruitment manager. “With seed funding and mentoring support from PwC, students can develop their business planning skills and commercial awareness. And by taking part, students have the chance to give their employability skills a massive boost, developing their CV in a different, eye-catching way.”

Uni & Co Clothing, a university-branded clothing manufacturer, was chosen as the winner because the team had a sound business plan, gave a great presentation at the final and produced good quality t-shirts. The judges were especially impressed by the University of Manchester students’ professionalism at all stages of the competition, their ability to build a network of contacts and their dedication, as well as having clearly defined roles.

The business ideas of the other six finalists included a free student magazine, a social networking website for businesspeople in China, a consumer offers website, a university app for smartphones, an advertising and promotions company, and a company bringing a Nigerian biscuit snack to the UK.

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