Business School graduates win prize to drive car ad idea

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Two entrepreneurs from Newcastle University Business School, who set up their own business selling advertising on student cars, have been given a boost by being named one of the winners in the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards.

Charlie Warburg, who along with Will Clowes, graduated with a degree in Business Management from Newcastle University Business School last year.  The duo came second in the undergraduate category of the bank’s Universities Entrepreneurship Awards which were held at Royal Opera House, London last night (4 July 2012). They have been awarded £3,000 prize by Santander through its Santander Universities Global Division.

Speaking after the award, Charlie said: “This will give our business extra impetus. We are planning a big expansion programme and hopefully this will encourage more clients to get on board.”

Uni Car Ads pays students every month for hosting advertising from local businesses on the doors and bonnet of their cars. Both local and national brands, including Pizza Express, have chosen to advertise with Uni Car Ads.

Charlie explained: “You just see people handing out flyers in the street, which are thrown in the bin thirty seconds later, no one reads them. We go to businesses and offer them spots on cars, on their doors and bonnets, and obviously there is something in it for the students as well.

“Businesses benefit from advertising on student cars parked particularly on busy roads, so we started off in Heaton and Jesmond and expanded from there.

“It has proved a popular service for both our students and businesses and all our adverts are designed by students so there are lots of opportunities for designers to get experience as well.”

The business is already planning to expand into Leeds, Durham, York and Edinburgh for the new academic year and has plans for further expansion south in the future.

Uni Car Ads has been supported by the Rise Up team, part of the Careers Service. Will said: “The advice and support we’ve received from Rise Up has been invaluable in helping take our business forward.”

Nick Keeley, Director of the Careers Service at Newcastle University said: “Newcastle University has a proud record of encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit that Will and Charlie have shown, so it is great to see them rewarded and it is thoroughly deserved. These are tough times economically and we are seeing more and more students looking for support to start their own business.”

Attending the awards was Ana Botín, CEO, Santander UK and Lord Burns, Chairman, Santander UK, who welcomed prominent figures from the financial, academic and political spheres including David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science and Professor Eric Thomas, President of Universities UK.

Ana Botín said: “Santander is delighted to name Uni Car Ads from Newcastle University as runner-up of our Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards. Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy and the creativity and commercial acumen demonstrated by the winners and runners-up have been extremely encouraging. These students are the future of the UK economy and Santander Universities is proud to be able to lend its support.”

published on: 5th July 2012