2023 has seen another spate of Southampton successes in the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards, with Southampton alumni making the national finals in Nigeria and Greece, as well as winning in the Business and Innovation category in Egypt.
Asmaa Kamal (MSc Global Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, 2015) won the Business and Innovation award in the national finals in Egypt on the 21st February. Asmaa is national coordinator for a regional project that adopts social enterprise as a vehicle to support migrants, refugees and local communities.
Christina Margariti (MA Textile Conservation, 2002 and PhD Textile Conservation, 2009) made it through to the national finals in Greece in the Culture and Creativity category and Ukachukwu Kenechukwu (BSc Business Management, 2014) was a finalist in the Business and Innovation category in Nigeria.
Ukachukwu credits Southampton with giving him a head-start on his journey as an entrepreneur.
“I already knew about Southampton from my brother, who studied there before me. I remember coming to visit and thinking how green and welcoming the campus felt, and I liked how diverse the University was, with students from all over the world. But what really made my decision for me was the range of modules I could study, especially the module in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur so this sounded like the perfect place to get me started on my journey. Both my parents and my sister are entrepreneurs, so I grew up with a real hunger for it, even though I didn’t yet know what exactly I wanted to do.
“My degree was the first time I had heard about how sustainability could be part of entrepreneurship. I remember my lecturer said: ‘if you don’t have technology and the environment at the core of your business, it will be hard to build a business for the 21st century.’ This has always stayed with me and inspired my decision to set up a company with a sustainable mission.”
Alumni Kaushal Shah (MSc Global Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, 2015) and Reshma Rao (MEng Mechanical Engineering, 2014) were recognised in the India UK Achievers Honours in January 2023.
These honours celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and India-UK educational ties and recognise the work of 75 young Indian students and alumni who have studied at UK institutions and gone on to achieve excellence in their chosen field.
Reshma received an award in the Education, Science and Innovation category. Reshma is a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow at Imperial College London, where she works on understanding atomic-level electrochemical mechanisms at catalytic interfaces to discover the next generation materials for energy conversion technologies. After completing her degree at Southampton, Reshma completed a PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Reshma is passionate about education and promoting diversity in science.
Kaushal was honoured in the Business and Entrepreneurship category and is founder and CEO of envoPAP – a UK-based company creating innovative and circular packaging solutions to reduce unnecessary deforestation and air pollution and maximise the usage of waste.