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ESSA and EnterprisingU

Fig’s CSR and student outreach initiatives

The Enterprising Student Society Accreditation (ESSA) 

From 2011 to 2014, Fig ran the Enterprising Student Society Accreditation (ESSA) scheme, a nationwide university scheme, which promoted, recognised and rewarded enterprising activity within all undergraduate societies.

ESSA was part of Fig’s social outreach and achieved considerable success in mobilising the UK’s student body, promoting business skills as a critical factor in future employability and rewarding the students that demonstrate an enterprising approach to managing their societies.

92% of British universities were involved and more than a quarter of a million students took part.

The scheme was sponsored by RBS under its Inspiring Enterprise initiative and backed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis), the National Union of Students (NUS) and Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK), a network of 100+ university enterprise and business departments.



Fig ran EnterprisingU, the UK’s largest university business plan competition, in conjunction with RBS from 2011 to 2013.

The competition, which was open to students and graduates of the past five years, saw shortlisted contestants pitch to a panel of judges to compete for a slice of the £40,000 prize fund.

Judges included Nick Wheeler, founder of Charles Tyrwhitt, Karen Hanton, founder of Toptable and Peter Ibbetson, RBS Small Business Chairman.

Previous winners include, Love Iced Cocktails and student media network, The Tab.