The Royal Agricultural College won both categories at the Universities South West Enterprise Awards (USWEA) in Plymouth on the 16th November.  The awards recognise and reward the best business plans for new enterprises proposed by students and alumni from the eight universities within Universities South West.  This is the second time in three years that the RAC has won both categories at the Enterprise Awards.

RAC graduates, Charlie Beldam and Lawrence Millett-Satow, from Cotswold Gold won ‘Best Alumni Business Plan’ and received a cheque for £5,000 to invest in their business.  Fellow graduate, Charlie Hancock, from Vermtek won the ‘Best Student Business Plan’ category and also received a cheque for £5,000 to invest in his business.  Charlie was the winner of the Royal Agricultural College’s business plan competition, The Grand Idea which was sponsored by DHL Supply Chain, earlier in the year.

Charlie Beldam and Lawrence Millett-Satow established Cotswold Gold immediately after they graduated.  Cotswold Gold brings a new, healthy alternative cooking oil to meet all culinary needs. Grown and bottled in the Cotswold’s, Cotswold Gold is a natural Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil, extracted by traditional cold pressing. This preserves the unique natural healthy benefits and gives the oil its vibrant golden colour.

Recent RAC graduate, Charlie Hancock, won the Best Student Business Plan with his business Vermtek.  Based in the Cotswolds, Vermtek offers a complete estate management package, encompassing pest control and estate maintenance services.  Charlie’s aim is to modernise the pest control industry by becoming less reliant on pesticides and instead using integrated pest management techniques such as undergrowth removal and proofing of buildings.  Charlie commented “I am thrilled to win this award and it has created the perfect opportunity to expand further into the pest control market and work towards a more integrated pest management approach.”

Charlie Hancock found the USWEA to be a really good follow-on from the RAC’s Grand Idea Competition.  The competition provided him with an opportunity to update his business plan and be spurred on by mentors and the judge’s positive feedback.

The USWEA is part of the Knowledge Escalator South West (KE-SW) programme managed by Universities South West. KE-SW is supported by over £2.3 million of European Regional Development Funding investment through the South West RDA and aims to encourage collaboration and enterprise between universities and business in the region.

Source: The Royal Agricultural College