University of Edinburgh undergraduates have been competing in a 48-hour challenge to find business solutions to global social challenges.
Winners, Crafty Care unanimously impressed #makeyourmark judges with their subscription-based box of craft to tackle loneliness and isolation in old age. Developed by Elinor Williams, Lindsay Gelb, Aayush Goyal, and Ciella Ying, their do-it-yourself craft kits would be marketed through existing befriending services and retail chains.
The second time the Business School has run #makeyoumark, in partnership with Social Investment Scotland, this latest edition also saw students from Edinburgh College of Art, School of Literature, Language and Culture, and the School of Social and Political Sciences, taking part.
Having worked on their ideas over an intense 48 hours, teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges including Alice Thompson, Founder of Social Bite, Thomas Gillan, CFO of Social Investment Scotland, Chris Gillen, Founder of Heroes Vodka, and Polly Jones, Corporate Affairs Manager at Asda, on the final day.
The top three teams won the opportunity to spend invaluable one-on-one networking time with leaders of global businesses and social enterprises.
Runners-up Two Loo, developed by Sara Ketovuori, Nurhidayah Musri, and Zoe Williams, designed a business to address the lack of accessible public toilets, both in Edinburgh and Kenya. They planned to take-over disused facilities in the Scottish capital and refurbish them into accessible and safe toilets, decorated by locally-based artists. A 40p usage fee would be used to fund 800 public toilets in Kenya, potentially providing up to 40,000 people with access to much needed sanitary facilities every day.
Third-place, HuMAN asked the question of how to encourage men to check-in on their mental health and bring awareness to their daily routine? Designed by Kristin Boland, Zuzana Morvayova, Brook Stockbridge, Fangqian Ye, and Joanna Spreadbury, the social enterprise would develop a line of products encouraging men to reflect while shaving and beard grooming. The cans of shaving foam and bottles of beard oil would come with 26 prompts, including questions like “What three things are you grateful for today?” and “How do you deal with stress”. The revenue from one out of every five products sold would be donated to charities working with men in need.
Dean of University of Edinburgh Business School, Professor Wendy Loretto, said:
“A lesson in just what can be achieved in 48 hours! The students participating in this year’s #makeyourmark challenge were so positive about the confidence and skills they gained.
“Today’s graduates are looking to shape their own paths as either entrepreneurs or employees, with more and more companies embracing a culture where making a difference while making a profit is part of their mission.
“We were overwhelmed by the quality of the work they produced in such short space of time, with some genuine social innovation that truly impressed the judges”.