Empowering innovation: how the enterprise challenge shaped my business idea

Published on 1 April 2023

Priyanka Joshi reflects on her journey of winning the Enterprise Challenge and Venture Competition 2022.

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Entrepreneurship and networking

I recently graduated from the business school of the University of Dundee and earned a Master’s degree in Digital Marketing and Social Media Management. I am a mental health blogger and have been actively advocating mental health through my blog “Sanity Daily” for the past 5 years. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I had an idea but lacked direction. I decided to take a leap of faith by participating in the Enterprise Challenge at the Centre for Entrepreneurship.

What is the Enterprise Challenge?

The Enterprise Challenge is a program designed for staff, students, and recent graduates to help develop their business ideas. It introduces you to the fundamentals of starting a business whilst networking with Dundee’s entrepreneurial community and gaining valuable experience which will be useful in any future career. 

The Enterprise Challenge helped me to give a structure to the business idea I had for my blog “Sanity Daily” and it encouraged me to develop a business plan and subsequently, a business pitch after 8 weeks of training sessions.

Funding of £1500 prize gets awarded to the winning individuals or teams who had the desire to pursue their idea following the Challenge. Everyone who completes the programme earns a skills certificate as well. I won a new idea runner-up of 500 pounds for my business idea but is nothing compared to the invaluable resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities that I gained.

My business idea

My business idea was to enhance my mental health platform and make it accessible to people who want to improve their quality of life by providing them with subscription-based content and a writing therapy course. I have spent years researching content ideas and developing this course for my readers and was excited to present my idea at the Enterprise Challenge. My blog currently have an organic reader base of around 15k every month, rank at Google Snippets and is also listed under various credible directories as a top mental health blog.

As I presented my idea, the judges and audience members asked thoughtful questions and challenged me to think deeper about certain aspects of my business plan. My presentation went well, and I was thrilled to hear that I had won an award for my business idea.

Learning from the experts

One of the best parts of the Enterprise Challenge was the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of entrepreneurship. Throughout the program, we attended workshops, lectures, and one-on-one sessions with successful business owners and investors.

These experts shared their insights on everything from marketing, intellectual property rights, financial planning and legal aspects. They provided valuable feedback on our business plans and helped us think critically about the challenges we might face as we tried to bring our ideas to market.

Future avenues

After being able to successfully pitch in my business idea during the Enterprise Challenge, I gained confidence and felt validated, and took another plunge by participating in the Venture Competition 2023. By this time, I had gained enough feedback from the judges and panel members and had refined my business idea before presenting it on a wider platform.


 Priyanka Joshi at Venture Competition 2023, awarded by Professor Iain Gillespie

Priyanka Joshi at Venture Competition 2023, awarded by Professor Iain Gillespie

Venture is a three-stage new business idea competition for all University of Dundee students, staff and graduates split across different prize fund categories and the winners also get offered a place in Elevator’s Dundee accelerator programme. I was a runner-up at Venture Competition 2023 (awarded £1,000) as Business Award for my business idea. 

Networking opportunities

These challenges and competitions provide ample opportunities for networking with key personalities in the business world. Through these networking opportunities, I was able to make valuable connections that have already helped me move forward with my business idea.

Challenges as students

Any commitment demands a certain amount of time and dedication, with the academics and assignments, as a student we might feel it is too much work but in the end, we realise it was worth it. The Enterprise Challenge program is spread over 8 weeks with a weekly session and some assignments to follow after every session.

Despite the fact that I was working part-time with DUSA during my program and had assignments to do, I tried to prioritise and dedicate time to each thing. All the mentors and staff at the Centre for Entrepreneurship are very supportive and understanding of the fact that you're a student and that gives you assurance too.

Reward and outcome

If you have an idea and really want to make it work, this kind of platform pushes you to do that. I wanted to work on my blog and take it a step ahead, and it exactly helped me to refine my idea and bring me closer to my vision. I participated with amazing teams and individuals with unique ideas and this kind of networking avenue gave me wider exposure.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to create an online business,  come up with a sustainability brand or develop an App, I highly recommend seeking out programs like the Enterprise Challenge. It does not only help you to understand the nitty-gritty of the business but includes invaluable resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities that can help turn your business idea into a reality.

Written by Priyanka Joshi, Student Blogger.

Originally published April 2023.

Story category Student experience