33 year-old Betina from Finchley was presented with her prize by female entrepreneur Julie Meyer, whose company Ariadne Capital has sponsored the competition for the past two years. She won a year's membership with the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and a £5,000 cash grant, sponsored by the University and businesses Deloitte and Exemplas, for her business idea 'Fetofit'.
Speaking after the awards, Julie Meyer was full of praise both for the standard of this years entrants and the continuing lead that world-class entrepreneurial institutions like the University of Hertfordshire are playing in driving growth in the UK economy, "every time I visit the University of Hertfordshire I am amazed by the talent and innovation being shown by students who will soon be the next generation of UK entrepreneurs. It takes a special environment to nurture such talent and Hertfordshire has found the winning formulae of balancing both the theory of enterprise and the practical application of building successful businesses. One can only imagine what barriers they will push next year."
On winning the competition Betina said: "I never expected to get this far but the support I have had from the University has been brilliant. This is a huge step for Fetofit and with the money that I have won, I will be working very hard to make sure that the business is a success."
Also receiving awards on the night were Alex Bracq for Best Business Plan, Ryan Flanagan for Most Innovative Idea, Kerry Wright for Most Viable Business and duo Sareeta Patel and Mary Westlake for Best Pitch. Business student Owandji Okutu and his business partner Kazadi Mwamba were presented the award for Entrepreneurial Spirit by last year's winner of The Apprentice Stella English, who also attended the event.
flare is now in its sixth year and was created by the University to support and encourage entrepreneurship among its students past and present. This year, 169 entries were received in the first round before the final 12 were shortlisted. The six runners up will each receive two hours of consultancy time with professional firm and competition sponsors Exemplas.
Tonia Harvey, Head of Commercial Development said: "flare is about giving our students and graduates the opportunity to develop an idea and kick-start their businesses. This was probably the toughest competition to date and all of the finalists were very strong. The calibre of this year's winners has reinforced that we are a business facing institute thoroughly deserving of our 'Entrepreneurial University of the Year' award."