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King’s (Cambridge) Entrepreneurship Lab Essay Competition

Geoff Riley

26th June 2023

We are delighted to support the announcement from the Entrepreneurship Lab at King's Cambridge of a terrific new essay competition.

The purpose of the competition is to encourage UK Sixth Form students to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations and understand better how to launch an enterprise. We are particularly keen to foster this entrepreneurial spirit among students who might not traditionally consider entering the world of business and further hope this competition encourages more young people, who might not think about it, to apply to Oxbridge and Higher Education.

The competition is organised and run by the Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab) at King’s College, University of Cambridge.

Students should choose between one of the three essays questions, below, exploring the importance of entrepreneurism and the challenges that business-people face. This essay should be written independently by the student but with input from a teacher or mentor. Students from all backgrounds and regardless of subjects studied are welcome to enter the competition.

A winner, and two runners up, will be selected by our expert panel of judges: Deborah Meaden (Business Leader and TV Dragon), Lord Mervyn King (former Governor of the Bank of England), and Gillian Tett (FT Columnist and Editor-at-Large of the Financial Times USA).

The winners will be invited to a prize-giving ceremony, to be held in King’s College, Cambridge, in late 2023 / early 2024. The winner will share a £1,000 cash prize, to be split equally between the candidate and their school, and two runners-up prizes of £500, again shared equally between the candidate and their school. The school portion of the prize will be issued in the form of book tokens.

Essay Questions and Format

Students are invited to select one of the three questions below, to write a 1,000 word essay:

Q1: Many businesses advertise themselves as ethical and sell environmentally friendly or ethically sourced goods. However, they often do this at a premium price. To some extent this is due to the higher price of their inputs but often they also enjoy a higher profit. To what extent is it ethical for a business to have excess profits from selling ethical goods?

Q2: Why is learning from failure sometimes more effective than learning from success? Build upon examples of entrepreneurs (in the broad sense of the term) who were able to learn from failure.

Q3: Generative AI technology, built upon Large Language Models, such as ChatGPT has allowed entrepreneurs to operate more efficiently. Discuss the impact of this technology for entrepreneurs and provide examples of how it is being used.

Any format of essay is permitted, this can range from a more academic article to a blog article to a journalistic business type article. If footnotes are used, they will count towards the word limit. External references should be sourced in a bibliography at the end of the article, which will not count towards the word limit.

The deadline for entries is 9pm on the 26th of September.

Full details can be found here

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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