Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Walsall

At the final of Pantrepreneur Challange, the national underwear competition, three teams of budding designers and entrepreneurs went head to head. But there can only be one winner...

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
The 2012 Pantrepreneur Challenge saw 60 teams from across the country compete to design, produce and distribute their own range of Olympic-themes pants. The brainchild of Ben Ramsden, founder of fair-trade underwear brand Pants to Poverty, supported by educational organisation Gazelle, the competition gave students the chance to learn how to plan and run their own socially, environmentally and financially profitable business.

From 60 teams across 15 colleges, the contestants were whittled down to just three. And these top teams gathered in London this week to pitch their start-ups to a panel of judges. The prize: a trip to India to meet the farmers that Pants to Poverty work with.

MT was delighted to be among the judges, and reaching a decision after seeing three very different, very brilliant pitches from the teams was almost impossible. But one team stood out for its innovation, creativity, and ability to overcome serious challenges. Hats off to Team Dynamic from Walsall College in the West Midlands, whose eye-catching design and clever marketing strategies saw the team inch into first place.

Shaun Ashley Welch, a member of the winning team, was delighted. ‘We’re over the moon to have won the Pantrepreneur Challenge,’ he said. ‘The last two months have taught us what it’s like to be an entrepreneur – the late nights, the hard graft and the stress, but it’s all been worth it.’

The three young entrepreneurs will now accompany Pants to Poverty founder Ramsden to India to work side by side with Indian farmers to see exactly how the raw product ends up in their drawers: ‘from cotton to bottom,’ Ramsden quips.

MT wishes them all the best.  

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