Celebrating the ‘enterprising’ mindset 

The LucEnt Challenge invites students from Lucy Cavendish College to identify a problem relevant to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), and outline an enterprising solution.

Richard Hefford-Hobbs, Chairman, CPL and Ntombizodwa Makuyana (Tombi)The inaugural challenge event took place on 5th and 6th November and Lucy Cavendish College is grateful to the Judge Business School, who did so much to help plan and deliver the event and to Cambridge Precision Ltd for their generous support of the Weekend and their ongoing encouragement of the enterprising activity of the students.

The LucEnt Challenge saw Lucy students combine their knowledge, skills and experience in five multi-disciplinary teams to identify solutions with the potential to create significant economic or social impact.

The LucEnt Challenge Weekend started on Friday 5 November 2021 with drinks, networking and a warm welcome from Dame Madeleine Atkins, President of Lucy Cavendish College and Bruno Cotta, Director, Judge Business School Entrepreneurship Centre and Lucy Fellow, and LucEnt Ambassador Dr. Yaw Ofosu Ansong Snr, PhD Student, Lucy Cavendish College.

Guests included Richard Hefford-Hobbs, Chairman, CPL, Professor Andy Neely, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Enterprise and Business Relations, University of Cambridge, and Anita Tanna, Head of Equity Sales, Barclays. Dr Ruby Pillai, Co-founder and CEO, iWarranty and Lucy Alumnus, gave an inspiring and enterprising after-dinner speech.

The Challenge continued on Saturday afternoon, with project evaluation, continued development and ‘speed-mentoring’, bringing together mentors from business and academia, with the student groups participating in the challenge. The students were then asked to pitch their project to the audience and judges, and shortly after the winner was announced.

The 2021 Lucent Challenge winner was the ‘100 Young Women Initiative’, presented by Ntombizodwa Makuyana (Tombi) who benefited from the input and networking opportunities arising from the event, and £1000 prize monies, that can now go towards implementing its vision. This initiative aims to break down the barriers to career progression, that constrain so many young women in Africa. (image of her).

​​View The Challenge event gallery here

Tombi, who heads up the Initiative team which is already hard at work delivering online tuition and mentoring, commented:

“This weekend I have been working on my project and gained so much support from the mentors, in terms of how to make my project a reality. We had the opportunity to network with several students and mentors who are working on amazing things. It’s a very rewarding experience.” Ntombizodwa Makuyagna (Tombi)

The project responds to UN SDG: 4 – Quality Education and 5 – Gender Equality and its goal is to empower girls with career development skills and a support system through the provision of mentors. Girls have the potential to dream and achieve their career aspirations. Through its 4 week intensive mentoring program, girls are equipped with self-leadership, career research and personal branding skills. They have the opportunity to network with leaders working at top companies and universities such as Deloitte, KMPG, Stanford, University of Cambridge etc. Upon completion of the program, girls become part of a lifelong support network- “They will never walk alone”.

Sophia Rahman, member of one of the competing teams, Sophos Education, also commented:

“One of the benefits of this weekend is that we have been able to engage with expert minds who are incredibly knowledgeable in the field. We have been able to develop our ideas into becoming a proper business. It’s an amazing experience.”

Ruohan Zhang, from the SaFe Stewards’ team also commented: “On the LucEnt Challenge I have met so many people with different educational backgrounds and have had so much help from the mentors. It has been a great experience.”

Professor Dame Madeleine Atkins, President of Lucy Cavendish College judged the Challenge, alongside Richard Hefford-Hobbs, sponsor of the event, and Chairman of Cambridge Precision Ltd (CPL). Both commented on the calibre of the presentations, and the agility of the teams, who speedily applied comments and input from the team of mentors, to develop their project plans.

“It has been a pleasure to encourage these entrepreneurial young people, and I hope this is the first of many occasions when we work with the college to support the Lucy vision for inclusion, equality and the development of enterprising mind-sets.”

View the LucEnt programme here