Students get the Mex-imum ‘bites’ for business

Students get the Mex-imum ‘bites’ for business

The winning team from Queen's

A team of students from Queen’s is celebrating after winning first place in a competition which saw them successfully run a business for a day and raise money for charity in the process.

The budding entrepreneurs took part in the Mex-imum Business Challenge, a student enterprise initiative organised by Belfast City Council with the support of Belfast Metropolitan College, Queen's, the University of Ulster, St Mary`s College and Stranmillis College.

Four teams were tasked with running Mexican eaterie 'Boojum' in Botanic Avenue over four days in February. Each team had to develop and implement a marketing strategy for a new breakfast burrito and other breakfast items for the restaurant.

All profits from each day's trading were donated to the Make-A-Wish charity in Belfast raising £2,528 in total. The winning team from Queen’s called Guapo won the competition by an overwhelming amount, raising £1,400. The team also donated their prize worth £1,000 back to the charity.

The winning team was made up of: David Galbraith from Computer Science who recently won UK’s Brightest Business Brain competition; Management student Sheila Cassidy; Psychology student Sarah Cassidy; and Law students Roisin Kelly, Amy McMorrow and Leona Gillen.

The second place team called Acorn also had a Queen’s student, Simon McNair, taking part.

As part of the competition, all entrants attended a series of 'bite size' seminars on all aspects of running a business from food hygiene and financing to marketing advice for their business. Over a hundred students from Queen’s, UU and Belfast Metropolitan College attended the seminars which were hosted in the Students’ Union. Following this, all teams were then invited to make their ‘pitch’ to a panel of experts, who then chose the four team finalists.

Roisin Coulter from Enterprise SU said: “This initiative gave our students the opportunity to gain unrivalled experience of running a real business and getting an insight into how challenging and rewarding it can be.  The winning team showed such dedication to the task and displayed great creativity and innovation in their marketing.  This was evident by the fantastic amount of money they were able to raise for Make-A-Wish foundation.  We are dedicated to working with Belfast City Council and its partners to continue to grow this annual student enterprise competition as one that really enhances the student experience at University.”

All of the students were presented with certificates at a special ceremony in the City Hall by Councillor Maire Hendron from the Council’s Development Committee.

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