Universities Business Challenge
In March 2012, the RSA hosted the semi-final of the Universities Business Challenge. An annual event organised in partnership with Learning Dynamics and IBM, the Universities Business Challenge brings together teams of students from universities across the country to compete in demanding virtual business exercises that test their business acumen and number-crunching skills.
50 students from 9 different universities were invited to the RSA to work through both a series of conventional business scenarios as well our own RSA 'social enterprise challenge'. As part of this, the teams were provided with a series of case studies that they could choose to work on, each of which entailed a particular business challenge that a real social enterprise had been facing not long ago. The teams’ solutions were presented to a panel of judges at the end of the day-long event and those behind the best ideas awarded with a prize.
To give the students a better sense of what a 'social enterprise' is and does, and where it sits between the business and charity spheres, we invited two Fellows, Dan Snell and Trudy Thompson, to share their experiences of working in the sector. A number of other Fellows supported the UBC event by providing guidance to the student teams and by judging their final presentations. Among those who attended were David Kelly, Steve Coles, Chris Durkin and Uday Thakkar.
By working through these case studies and engaging with our expert Fellows, both the students and their accompanying teaching staff were able to gain a broader understanding of the nature of social enterprise, a better sense of its role in helping to tackle entrenched social and environmental problems, and a clearer idea of how they might be able to work in this area in the future.
To hear more about the event from the participants involved, please view the video below:
These are some reflections on a one day event at the RSA. The RSA/UBC event involved the brightest and best UK undergraduate business minds competing in a management simulation to grow a successful, socially engaged business.