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SOAS Student Enterprise

Student Enterprise Competitions

Use your Passion: Kick-start your Idea

Use Your Passion: Kick-start your Idea is a competition run by Student Enterprise and provides SOAS students with the opportunity to start a project over the summer of 2014. Awards of up to £500 are available to students who demonstrate a true passion to running an interesting and innovative project that has impact (either in the UK or internationally). Projects can be for profit or not for profit and must be an opportunity for students to develop their skills. This award is to enable SOAS students to test an idea, get a venture off the ground or to gain experience running a project.

Applications have now closed. 

Due to the high calibre of applications, we have had to close this competition early. If you are interested in other funding opportunities, keep an eye on our website for any new opportunities or contact studententerprise@soas.ac.uk

Successful applicants


Two SOAS students have come up with a unique business idea for a bespoke muesli company. Mueslifabrik offers a website that allows customers to mix muesli according to their wishes. With a few clicks, customers can choose among a large number of different ingredients (nuts, seeds, sweets, dried fruits etc.) to obtain their personal muesli. The customer’s journey continues with the doorstep delivery only a few days later and ends with the consumption of delicious yet affordable muesli just the way the customer created it online. The award winners will be using the funding to develop the website and invest in stock and storage facilities.

Jesina Muvekwa: WorldConnect Guide

WorldConnect Guide is a career guidance and development project aimed at exposing Zimbabweans to as many career options as possible at an earlier age. With 2 other computer engineering Zimbabwean students, Tafara and Malvern, Jesina has designed an application that will be made available to students on mobile phones and institutions on computers to enable them to make informed decisions about their career options nationally and internationally. Jesina will use her award to buy video equipment needed to interview successful Zimbabweans about their career paths and get them to share professional experiences.

Jayni Gudka: Ourglass
Jayni Gudka: Ourglass

OurGlass is a kitemark certificate of excellence in representing diversity in media campaigns. Jayni has previously been awarded funding through our UnLtd partnership and the Which Pitch competition organised by SOAS Ventures in early 2014. OurGlass has gone from strength to strength and Jayni has now applied for Use Your Passion funding to make promotional videos over the summer of 2014. Jayni will be working with people who have been directly affected by the negative impacts of advertising to create videos that will raise awareness about OurGlass, and provide readymade marketing materials for potential partner companies. It will also be a good opportunity to increase the knowledge and skills of the OurGlass team.

Isabella Mighetto- Hand-made by Isabella

Isabella’s project is a handmade, ethically sourced, affordable jewellery business. She makes and sells earrings, bracelets and necklaces out of recycled materials, acorns, beans, seeds, and colourful beads she has collected during her travels. Isabella has been actively involved in the SOAS Bazaar and has used this platform to develop her hobby into a successful business. She will be using the funding to rent stalls at different markets around London and expand the online side of her business.

Natalie Cooper: African Musical Instruments
Natalie Cooper: African Musical Instruments

African Musical Instruments is a social enterprise founded by Natalie. The educational book, from which the enterprise takes its name, was written, illustrated and published by Natalie in 2012. It features 21 instruments from Africa with information on each, as well as an introduction into African and diaspora musical culture, instrument classification and a glossary. Natalie’s project has had a lot of success and was recently chosen as the Student-Led Enterprise Project of the Year at the Make a Difference Celebration 2014. With the Use Your Passion funding, Natalie wants to hold workshops and activity sessions for children during the summer holidays and during black history month (October 2014). She also plans to exhibit at the Music Education Expo. 

Aanchal Kapoor & James Seddon: Ethical clothing kitemark

Aanchal and James’s project aims to provide buyers and consumers along the supply chain with a recognisable and respected mark representing the standards involved in the product’s manufacturing. They believe that there is an existing palate for ethical consideration in purchasing and effective communication can augment these decisions. Aanchal will draw on her contacts in the Indian garment industry to create an informative website and documentary and develop ideas for a brand that provides consumers with a clear supply chain for the clothes they are buying.

Hannah Stapleton – Rajasthani clothes business
Hannah Stapleton – Rajasthani clothes business

Hannah’s project started three years ago in Rajasthan when she decided to invest in hand-made clothes by local tailors based in Pushkar, in order to bring them back to the UK to sell. In the last year (2013-2014) Hannah has been involved in the SOAS Bazaar and has been extremely successful whilst learning a lot about her product and how to scale up her business idea. With the funding she has been allocated, she will expand her business by designing and producing new items (in partnership with the tailors in Rajasthan) and creating an online platform through which to sell her products in the UK.  

David Korenke & Waseem Meghjee – Kama Kawa
David Korenke & Waseem Meghjee – Kama Kawa

David and Waseem were awarded funding to scale up a Tanzanian laptop cover business made from East African Kitenge, a local fabric. Through their contacts in Tanzania and the work they have both done for the Swahili Society at SOAS, David and Waseem were able to get some products back to the UK and sell them at the SOAS Bazaar. It soon became clear that the Kitenge laptop covers were by far the most popular product, which gave the duo the impetus to apply for Use Your Passion funding. With the money they have been allocated, David and Waseem plan to increase the supply of laptop covers, exhibit at more markets around London (particularly the African Market at Old Spitalfields), and set up a transparent and fair production process on the supply side, in Tanzania. They will also be developing the brand— Kama Kawa which is short for kama kawaida, meaning ‘as usual’ in Swahili.