Hannah Talbot, from Tadcaster, and Kaitlyn Miller, from Harrogate, entered the Bin Business Challenge, an enterprise competition for students run as part of the EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014 event at Salford Quays. Run by e-learning resources publisher Tutor2u, EntrepreneurLIVE! provides an opportunity for business students to listen to, engage with and pitch to some of the UK’s best entrepreneurs.
The brief for the Bin Business Challenge was to create a product by upcycling materials otherwise destined for the skip. As well as coming up with a design, the students had to make a prototype and pitch it on the day to the entrepreneurs on the judging panel.
Hannah explained how they came up with the idea for their ‘Milbot bags’. These start life as one-tonne bulk delivery bags within the construction industry, before being resized, reshaped and recycled into two practical sizes for everyday use.
Hannah said: We were renovating our house and had lots of bulk delivery bags that would otherwise have ended up in landfill. They are not recycled because that costs more than buying new ones. We washed them, cut them up and stitched the pieces to make new smaller bags which are very strong – one of the judges tried to rip it and couldn’t!
Kaitlyn said: The judges were unanimously for us and one of them even offered to put us in touch with a contact who has an upcycling business! The whole event was really interesting, we got to hear from people who have set up their own businesses and gave a realistic view of the challenges they faced.
EntrepreneurLIVE! is aimed at students studying business at GCSE, A-level, or on vocational courses, which makes Kaitlyn and Hannah’s win all the more impressive – they only started their GCSE business course this September and were competing against mostly older students.