SIFE (Students in free Enterprise)
SIFE is an international organisation that mobilises university students around the world to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. More than 30,000 students participate in SIFE. They represent 1,800 universities in more than 47 countries.
Support is provided by hundreds of leading companies from around the world. SIFE students form teams on their university campuses and develop community outreach projects that equip others with the knowledge and skills to achieve greater economic success.
SIFE students are positively affecting the lives of millions of people. As these students succeed at helping others, they develop stronger business and leadership skills as well as a commitment to the community and world around them.
SIFE represents the largest worldwide network of student, academic and business leaders. They share a passion for helping others achieve success and through SIFE, are experiencing the unique rewards of using their business skills to help create a better world
SIFE Nottingham is the team from the University of Nottingham, a top 10 United Kingdom university, ‘Higher Education Institution of the Year’ 2007 and also the UK’s ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ 2008.
Since the inception of SIFE in the United Kingdom back in 2002, SIFE Nottingham has been awarded the top accolade in more than half of all National Competitions, and our fourth consecutive UK championship in April 2008 has seen us recognised as one of the most successful and coveted teams in SIFE world history.
We plan and implement community outreach projects based in Nottingham, the East Midlands, the United Kingdom and across the globe with the aim of ‘creating economic opportunity’ for all.
Our team effectively initiates, manages and develops business projects in both the local and international community to maximise business opportunity, and help others to realise their potential.
The Management Team are the students who directly run and control SIFE Nottingham. We are supported by team members who contribute to projects as well as a panel of academic and business leaders (see Business Advisory Board).
Management Team members undertake a number of different roles, from Project Leaders to Functional Area Officers or even members who show exceptional motivation and talent to help SIFE Nottingham maximise our potential.
2009/2010 Management Team:
SIFE Nottingham Team Structure
SIFE Nottingham has over 100 members, with our diverse membership comprising students from nine academic disciplines, including Business, Economics, Engineering and Law.
We run regular recruitment events to encourage widening team participation across the university throughout the academic calendar.
We believe in a meritocratic system – only those who show the greatest drive and aptitude are given the opportunities to excel by becoming project leaders or being promoted to the Management Team where they can directly influence the actions of the team.
Our faculty advisor, Chris Mahon, is the Business School’s Director of MBA in Entrepreneurship, as well as being a successful businessman himself.
Here is what he had to say about SIFE Nottingham winning the UK Championship in April 2008:
“To win such a competition four years consecutively is nothing short of remarkable, and it demonstrates not only the talent and commitment of the students involved, but also the sustainability of the programme itself.”
Business Advisory Board:
With the help of academic and business figures, SIFE Nottingham is able to gain invaluable knowledge and experience, helping us to establish more successful projects.
See: Business Advisory Board
Developing our Human Capital:
The team is based on the University of Nottingham’s award-winning Jubilee Campus, where the Business School’s facilities play a major role in our team’s efforts to manage projects and develop the skills of our students through business training events.
Throughout the academic year our members are given exceptional opportunities to network with business figures and enhance their transferable skills by participating in events held by our business sponsors.
Spreading our Reach:
With our University setting up a campus in Ningbo, China, our team has moved fast to ensure a presence there. We currently have 48 members in Ningbo, and have set up a Business Advisory Board to help ensure the development of our team, enabling us to create business and transform lives on a much larger scale.
UK NATIONAL RUNNER-UP:
UK NATIONAL CHAMPIONS:
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.
Toronto, Paris, New York, Singapore.
Our team’s success has even drawn commendation from Tony Blair when in office, and more recently David Cameron.
Every year each SIFE country holds a national competition, where individual teams are judged on their overall impact throughout the last SIFE year. The winners are then awarded with a place at the SIFE World Cup.
SIFE Nottingham has won the SIFE UK National Championship on 4 consecutive occasions since 2005, and has represented the UK at world cups in Toronto, Paris, New York and Singapore.
The SIFE UK National Championship is held in London and judged by leading figures from around the UK and Europe with the event attracting 100’s of students, academics, judges and business figures.
UK National Champion
World Cup, Toronto, Canada.
UK National Champion
World Cup, Paris, France.
UK National Champion
World Cup, New York, USA – Semi- Finalist
UK National Champion
World Cup, Singapore, Singapore – Semi-Finalist
UK National Runner Up
SIFE Nottingham Alumni
Those who have been active members in SIFE Nottingham are able to boast of an array of experiences and skills when they graduate from university. Here are just some of the companies our past members have gone on to be employed by:
- Deutshce Bank
Our Co-President for 2007-08 (Chris Skilton) was awarded with the 2008 title of “Socially Responsible Student of the Year” by Real World Magazine.
See: Student entrepreneurs do the double
Here is an insight into where some of our past members are now, and how being part of SIFE Nottingham has given them the skills that made them employable:
BA(Hons) Management Studies
McKinsey & Company
“What ever job i have applied for, from bar jobs to the top consulting job in the city, my experiences in SIFE mean that I stand out as not only having an amazing set of skills but from having examples of when I have used them. Being able to say you have represented your country at a global competition helps too!”
BA(Hons) Management with Chinese Studies
“SIFE Nottingham helped me develop the skills that PwC look for and so much more. They were amazed when I told them I had presented in Paris and NYC, and led the team to its 4th consecutive championship.
PwC is well aware of what SIFE is and targets them because of their wide skill base. I had answers to all their questions about leadership, team working skills, overcoming challenges and using initiative through the wide variety of projects and scenarios I have been involved in.
Also, being the UK’s top team now for 4 years has meant that I and the current team I have just left, will have had and will continue to have experiences and opportunities to develop like no other UK SIFE team could possibly have. SIFE in general has been amazing, SIFE ‘Nottingham’ has got me to where I am today”
BA(Hons) Industrial Economics
“I joined SIFE Nottingham in 2004, working as a project manager then IT manager, Vice-President, and finally President in the year of 2006/07.
SIFE gave me experiences as diverse as running inspiring business workshops for underprivileged children, to helping sell a young entrepreneur’s jewelry in local shops, to travelling to Ghana and helping lift people above the poverty line. To top it all, as a member of the team we won the SIFE national competition 3 years in a row and as a business advisor to the team have seen them win a world record breaking 4 times in a row.
These projects and competitions taught me skills that I use every day in Accenture, and gave me the self-confidence to succeed in my career. It is no exaggeration to say that without SIFE Nottingham, I would not be where I am today.
BA(Hons) Management Studies
“Ask people why you should join SIFE, and more so SIFE Nottingham and many will tell you it will help secure you a final job. And yes they’re usually right.
Reflecting back on my own experience of graduate applications, I remember somebody commented that my work experience (which was predominantly SIFE Nottingham) was the best they had ever seen for a graduate…and they had received over 3,500 applications just that year!
But SIFE is so much more than that. If you invest all of your energy in it you will forge massively strong friendships and networks. Some of my best memories are from SIFE related events, whether it be World Cups in Paris or Toronto, or a trip to Ghana to set up bee keeping farms.
But there’s even more than that. From my experience, two years after graduating, being a member of SIFE Nottingham has given me a real sense of purpose and self belief. I believe that if there’s a problem I can solve it, if there is a part of our business not making money I can transform it, and if a team needs to be inspired I can rally them.
SIFE Nottingham has undoubtedly given me the perfect platform to develop these skills that I use within Nationwide every day.”