A group of students from Imperial College London have won £7,000 in prize money and $350 in Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits via the AWS Educate Programme after taking part in Amazon UK’s first ever Campus Challenge competition.

Cerine Bousnina (24) Dan Recalde (26), Garima Golchha (22), Nimisha Jain (22) and Simon Wenguang Cai (25) were runners up in the Campus Challenge, a competition that matches students with businesses in real life challenges to encourage young people to embrace entrepreneurship.

The Amazon Campus Challenge offers students the opportunity to work with real companies and start-ups to help them grow their business on Amazon and reach customers around the world. The objective is for students to work alongside businesses to build an e-commerce strategy, launch them on Amazon and successfully grow their online business.

The team members, who all study business-related degrees at Imperial College London, used their knowledge to pinpoint potential businesses in the food and beverage sector. They worked with fitbakes, an award-winning bakery in Cheltenham specialising in low sugar, high protein cakes made with natural ingredients.

Dan Recalde from the team said:

“The Amazon Campus Challenge allowed us to explore the mechanics of e-commerce and understand what it takes to run an e-commerce business.

“Hands-on entrepreneurial experience is incredibly important, both for personal and professional development. Being an entrepreneur is a crash course in life and business skills that may take much longer to develop if you don’t have this kind of opportunity.”

Dan Recalde added: “Not only has the competition taught us a sense of ownership and personal responsibility, but it also made us think carefully about how to stand out from competition, build relationships and communicate value to customers.”
Congratulating the team on its success, Simon Donegan, UK Head of Seller Services, Amazon UK, said:

“Discovering and inspiring the next generation of e-commerce superstars is something we’re passionate about, and it’s this passion that led to the creation of the Amazon Campus Challenge. The competition offers a great opportunity for students to test and develop their business skills in a real-life environment and we are delighted the team from Imperial College London had a rewarding experience.”

“Students can offer so much to a small business – a fresh perspective, new ideas and, of course, additional resource,” added Anne Kiem, Executive Director, Small Business Charter, an award for the UK’s world-class business schools. “In total there are over 350,000 students studying business in the UK and 33 of the UK’s business schools are recognised through the Small Business Charter for expertise in supporting small businesses and student enterprise. The Amazon Campus Challenge has been a wonderful opportunity for these students to further apply and develop their skills in real-world business settings, which for many is a core element of their degree course.”

Tens of thousands of UK-based small and medium-sized businesses sell their products in Amazon’s stores across the world and Amazon provides practical support and services to help them grow. More than 60% of UK businesses selling on Amazon export to customers all over the world. In 2019 they achieved total export sales of more than £2.75bn and supported more than 85,000 job opportunities in the UK.