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SOAS Student Enterprise

Student Enterprise Competitions

Ignite Competition

Applications are now closed. 

Ignite is a funding competition which encourages students to run a project or venture that is interesting, innovative, and will haven an impact locally or globally. The Ignite Award is to enable students to test an idea, get a venture off the ground or to gain experience running a project. Awards are of up to £500 each. 

Endorsed projects 2014/2015

Clare Birkett - Solar SOAS 

Solar SOAS are a group of students who are passionate about the environment and renewable energy locally and globally. Their goal is to put Solar panels on the roofs of SOAS to ensure that as a university we become more eco-friendly and reduce our carbon footprint. They will be using the Ignite funds to conduct a feasibility study and assess what the first steps for this long-term project are. Solar SOAS have recently been runners up in the Mayor of London 2015 Low Carbon Entrepreneur Competition. See the article for more.

Other members of Solar SOAS include: Charlotte Klinting, Isobel Annan, Robert Van Maaren, Hannah Short, Henriette Gleau, Gintare Daunoraviciute and Domenica Lewis

Noelle Oputa - Beauty of Africa (BOA) Collections 

Beauty of Africa (BOA) Collections is a for-profit social enterprise with a mission is to showcase the richness of African culture in diaspora through fashionable and hand-crafted African-print products. Noelle has previously won a Bazaar Challenge organised by SOAS Ventures for her successful enterprise. Bazaar Challenge 2015 (pdf; 262kb)

Habiba Cooper Daillo - Yeshialem Daughter of Negash

BSc Management

The project is to create a children’s’ literature on obstetric fistula, a little-known illness which affects roughly two million women worldwide in Asia and Africa. The women affected by fistula are some of the world’s poorest who live in very remote areas. With her children’s book on the subject, Habiba aims to garner support for the affliction, increase the eradication effort and shed light upon ancient scripts from Africa and the Middle East such as Tamasheq, Amharic, Arabic, Sabaean and Meroitic. Habiba has been advocate for Fistula for the last 6 years and has been recognised as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20, featured in Forbes Magazine and awarded the Progress Women of Excellence Award. The project aims to equip readers with the opportunity to learn about fistula, familiarize themselves with the scripts, and develop an appreciation for African geography and ethnic culture. Since she was awarded the funding, Habiba has already started translating her book from French to English and has identified a potential publisher.

Jasmine Awad - Jama Rings

MSc Development Economic

Jasmine has been selling her jewellery at the SOAS Bazaar since the beginning of the year and her products have been met with much enthusiasm. With the Ignite funding, Jasmine hopes to scale up her monthly stall into a fully-fledged business called Jama Rings.  Within this framework, Jasmine will focus her efforts on the recycled products she has been selling all year --- such as hand-made  jewellery made of espresso coffee caps and corks. This venture aims to create jewellery whilst taking care of the environment and Jasmine is in the process of identifying partners and builders her customer base, both online and in person.

Melvin Wah - Entitled Magazine

BA Geography and Development

Entitled Magazine is a quarterly digital periodical that looks at issues of race, gender and culture. This projects aims to create a platform to explore issues that are not tackled by mainstream media and each issue focuses on a single theme which is explored through various forms of expression such as prose, poetry, vlogs, photos, visual art, and cartoons. Melvin and his team have already published multiple issues, getting a large number of contributions from around the world each time. With Ignite funding, they hope to develop the income-generating side of their business to ensure the longevity of their project. The Entitled team have also recently been awarded funding by the Alumni and Friends Fund to host events for special releases.   

Sara Boccacci - Himalayas Come to London

BA Anthropology and Hindi

Sara has also been a new exhibitor at the Bazaar this year and has stunned those visiting the JCR on busy market days with her array of intricate Thangkas, cloth paintings which depict the iconography of Tibetan Buddhism. With her links to the Tibetan diaspora both in India and in the UK, Sara hopes to spread awareness about these paintings and sell them to collectors and enthusiasts alike. With Ignite funding, Sara hopes to reach out to distributors, invest in new stock and ensure that her customer base widens beyond SOAS by participating in markets all around London.  

Star Brewer - Full Power Tooth Powder 

BA Social Anthropology 

Star has developed an alternative to toothpaste -- a homemade herbal tooth powder which  consists of antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Star found out about this product, which is extremely popular in India, and has since been researching the benefits of natural hygiene products.  With Ignite funding, Star hopes to increase awareness about natural beauty and hygiene products, firstly by setting up a blog and researching ways in which she can get her products approved for the wider market.

Theodora Nyambo and Liah Tecle - Ardey Ardhi

Thoedora and Liah have decided to set up a web-based platform for the East African diaspora community in London. Read all about it in their 60-second-interview