Gloucestershire student’s business idea wins £10,000 start-up investment

A 22-year-old student at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester has won £10,000 and mentoring to help her start not one, but two new businesses.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Winners of the RAU Grand Idea award, Camilla Cummins and Imogen Burgoyne, with judges Peter McCaffery and Christine Cross.
Winners of the RAU Grand Idea award, Camilla Cummins and Imogen Burgoyne, with judges Peter McCaffery and Christine Cross.

Enterprising RAU student Imogen Burgoyne has won this year’s Royal Agricultural University (RAU) Grand Idea competition, which comes with £10,000 investment and mentoring for her fledgling businesses.

Burgoyne, 22, is studying for a BSc in international business management at the Cotswold university and is setting up not one, but two businesses – a course which prepares young people for adulthood and a private, secure, dog walking service.

Runner up, Camilla Cummins, 23, who is studying for a postgraduate in business management at the RAU, won £500 of investment in her business, The Cummins Co, which produces high quality, sustainable British beef from a herd of Dexter cattle.

Burgoyne said: ‘A large part of my decision to come to the RAU was based on the exceptional support it offers for enterprise and entrepreneurship.

‘I have two exciting businesses. The first is a three-day residential education course teaching school leavers basic fundamental life skills such as cookery, finance, and household and car maintenance, which are currently not really taught much in schools.

‘The second is a private dog pen facility, equipped with agility equipment, training aids, benches and undercover areas, set in three acres of beautiful grass and woodland where dog owners can take their dog off the lead without worrying. The location also offers a veterinary practice, hydrotherapy centre, and even a coffee shop’.

Now in its 15th year, the RAU’s Grand Idea competition is part of the university’s award-winning Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme which provides a supportive environment for students to develop and launch their ideas.

This year’s judging panel consisted of retail consultant and RAU honorary fellow Christine Cross; former Dragon’s Den contestant, food entrepreneur and RAU honorary fellow Levi Roots; Dr Lorraine Thomas, RAU pro vice chancellor (education and students); Sam Pullin, founder of clothing retail brand Beaufort & Blake; and John Pickering, managing director for Miele in Great Britain, Ireland, and South Africa.

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