University of Edinburgh Business School
Finance for the Future Launch Event
February 25, 2016

SBI recently hosted a Finance for Future Launch Event as part of their innovative learning week festival.

As part of Innovative Learning Week, SBI were delighted to hold a Finance for Future Launch Event as part of our festival: There is no alternative! … Or is there? Exploring the tensions in alternative and sustainable business models. Approximately 50 attendees, comprising industry leaders, professionals, academics and students, were given an overview of the awards, how and when to enter, what categories were most appropriate, criteria to be considered and finally what benefits there are to entering.

Dr Kenneth Ameshi (Director of SBI) kicked off proceedings and touched on SBI’s relationship with the Finance for the Future Awards as well as the intentions of Innovative Learning Week. He introduced Richard Spencer, ICAEW Head of Sustainability, who delivered an overview of the 2016 Awards and outlined categories and criteria as well as what judges are looking for in a good entry.

It was then over to the previous winners – Eilidh Brunton from the brilliant Vegware (2014 SME award winner) and Dr George Cobb from SSE (2015 Large business and Finance leader of the future awards winner). Eilidh said Vegware’s motivation is the fact that their product delivers a solution. All their cups and packages are compostable and thus a first choice for hundreds of ethical suppliers. George’s inspiration and what led him to being awarded the prestigious Finance of the Future Leader is that he wants to provide a good environment for future generations. Achieving this is, he believes, done by working with the company… not going against the company or trying to change it.

More information about entering is available on the finance for the future website. One great change they have made to the awards this year is that they are now framing the innovative ideas around the sustainable development goals. This innovative new idea category is the most appropriate for entry for students who have a great idea.

The event’s closing remarks were delivered by Paul Adderley, Managing Director of Sustainable Opportunity Solutions, who has been fundamental in working with partners in bringing more information to potential Scottish applicants. He confirmed the benefits of entering and also mentioned that potential applicants can get in touch and get support on their applications from previous winners (time depending of course!)

The informative evening was wrapped up with a drinks reception which allowed the local finance and sustainability community to connect and share insights on the best sustainable business practices.

Finance for the Future Award Entries Open: 14th March 2016. If you are a student / academic at the University of Edinburgh who is interested in entering, please get in touch with us. We can point in the direction of relevant information and support on your applications.

What are the Benefits? Get your brand and name recognised, improve your CV with a prestigious award title, join a community of people with whom you can network and share experience and get your work and ideas recognised. Dr George Cobb says it is about joining a network of like-minded people, interested in supporting the sustainably goals and dreams.

More pictures from the event are available on this brilliant storify from ICAEW

What the participants are saying

“The Finance for the Future 2016 Award Launch Event held on the 16th of February has taught me that business and sustainability can indeed go hand in hand. It was fascinating to speak to great business leaders who came to learn about how to change their business into a sustainable one and to receive presentations from individuals who have succeeded into turning sustainability into profit, such as Vegware and SSE. At the end of the event, I was so awe-inspired that I contacted a company called Bio-Bean which turns coffee grinds into a biofuel, to see if they would interested in spreading their initiative to Edinburgh–and they agreed! It was an exciting event to participate in and has provided me with much information and many opportunities.”

Morgane Perez-Huet, University of Edinburgh Student