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On Tuesday 15th November, students from Solent University attended the official launch day of Saints Foundation’s brand new initiative, The Pitch.

Saints Foundation, Southampton Football Club, Southampton Solent University and official sponsor, Drive Personnel, have come together to launch the initiative, which saw students arrive at St. Mary’s ready to begin the journey to potentially starting their own businesses.

Drive Personell, who have provided seed funding totalling £10,000, is a local business employing people for HGV jobs in Southampton.

With a full day of workshops and talks led by Saints Foundation’s Amy Bennett and Southampton Solent lecturer Stephen Brown, the participants put their brains to the test and began formulating their business ideas.

Stephen Brown MA, Solent’s Senior Business lecturer, said: “The Pitch is a fantastic initiative for students to grow and develop key business skills while raising funds for a local charity. Over the last few years businesses have increasingly recognised the need to have a two-way dialogue with their community and it’s important that we offer opportunities that allow students to gain this experience’.

They were also introduced to the members of the judging panel, who provided the group with some timely advice and inspiration.

Southampton FC Chief Executive Officer, Gareth Rogers, said: “The Pitch is about creativity and aspirations, and trying to do things that really push yourself as an individual, and it’s great to see that we’ve got these individuals here today who have come with a huge amount of enthusiasm.”

The next step for the would-be entrepreneurs is to submit their business plans for shortlisting. The deadline for applications has now been moved back until Sunday 11th December, so there is still plenty of time to get involved in this new and exciting challenge.

With £1,000 of seed funding on the line for up to ten successful applicants, this is an exciting opportunity for Southampton Solent students to illustrate their creativity, while simultaneously raising vital funds for Saints Foundation.

Greg Baker, Head of Saints Foundation, said: “We’re looking for students with new ideas, and that’s the beauty of The Pitch, there are minimal confinements and we hope this can raise a lot of money for Saints Foundation.”

To find out more, please get in touch with our Fundraising Officer, Amy Bennett on 02380 711977 or

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