Cardiff School of Art and Design Textile Design student Jenny Evans was announced as a finalist last week in the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards. The UK-wide competition attracted thousands of entries and, after successfully pitching at the semi-finals last week, Jenny has been placed as one of six finalists for the post-revenue category which will be decided in October.
This latest accolade marks a string of award successes for Jenny, who has just finished the second year of her degree in Textile Design. Jenny placed runner up Student Entrepreneur of the Year at the Entrepreneur Wales Awards last November and runner up Best Business Idea at Big Ideas Wales Celebrated in April this year. This latest success saw Jenny beat off intense competition from 30 student entrepreneurs in the semi-finals by pitching to an expert panel of judges.
As a finalist Jenny received a cash prize of £1000, a gift bag filled with gadgets to help her business and access to an exclusive Santander accelerator programme.
Jenny is the founder of Jenny Evans Designs and has been working closely with the University's Centre for Entrepreneurship to grow and develop her textile design business, which she founded shortly before joining Cardiff Met in 2015. Jenny's artwork is heavily influenced by nature and designed to be both beautiful and scientifically accurate. The high quality of her work as well as her exceptional networking skills have earned her some high profile collaborations and commissions with the likes of the British Dragonfly Society, WWT London Wetlands Centre and the National Marine Aquarium.
If Jenny is announced as the winner of the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards in October she will receive a £25,000 cash prize and an extensive package of support including an intern to help develop the business and ongoing mentoring from high level UK executives. Jenny commented: "I am incredibly pleased and proud to be going through to the finals. The competition was incredibly stiff in the semi-finals, so I was amazed when they called my name!
"As always, the Centre for Entrepreneurship has been so supportive - it always amazes me that the Centre is a free resource for us to use at Cardiff Met. Rachel Llewellyn and James Watson from Santander have also been a fantastic support network for me during this competition.
"It's been hard, but rewarding work to get this far. I am so excited to develop my business further in the acceleration week next week, and to go onto the finals in October."
Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK commented: "At Santander we have made a long term commitment to support higher education and we are proud to take an active role in fostering entrepreneurship among university students. Young people are the business leaders of the future and universities play an important role in nurturing their talent. We cannot underestimate the importance of the nation's budding entrepreneurs in our communities and at Santander we want to ensure we reward and encourage students to invest, innovate, create and be entrepreneurial."