THE achievements and innovation of postgraduate students from the University of Chester’s Business School were celebrated at a pioneering awards and networking event.

Graduating Master of Business Administration (MBA) students have been recognised for their results, research, forward-thinking, commitment to sustainability, resilience, leadership, potential and the support they have provided to fellow students.

The inaugural MBA Awards and Business Networking evening saw award presentations combined with the University's first UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) networking event. The fund is a government business support project.

Business School and wider University staff and students joined with companies from the region to mark the students’ successes at the University's Queen's Park site overlooking the River Dee on Thursday, October 19.

The event was opened by Chester Business School Dean, Associate Professor Kirstie Simpson, and representatives from headline sponsor, Aaron & Partners Solicitors.

The award winners were:

MBA Student of the Year Award, sponsored by Aaron & Partners - Arnold Kho Kai Wei.

Start-up Award, sponsored by Barefoot Coaching - Dimeji Falana, CEO of Edves, the leading Edtech in the emerging market. Teachers, parents, students and school leaders from more than 1,500 schools use the software to automate operations from student enrolment to graduation.

Sustainability Award for the Best Research Paper, sponsored by Oases Habitat Building Limited - Olaniyi Odeleye.

Resilience Award, sponsored by The Bren Project - Womi Awuto.

Leadership Award, sponsored by InPD (In Professional Development) - Binu Rani Albert.

Peer-Support Award, sponsored by Grosvenor Hart Homes - Nkechi Ucheya.

One-to-Watch Award, sponsored by Oases Habitat Building Limited - Weronika Sroka.

Chester and District Standard: Winners, award sponsors and Business School representatives.Winners, award sponsors and Business School representatives. (Image: University of Chester)

MBA Student of the Year Award winner, Arnold Kho Kai Wei said: "I am honoured to receive this award and I would like to share this with my friends, family, and lecturers who have supported me throughout my MBA journey. Keep going and believing in yourself!"

Dr Alex Fenton, Associate Dean, International; Dr Trevor Omoruyi, MBA Director, and Louise Goodman, UKSPF lead at the University, formed the idea for the event.

Dr Fenton shared its significance: "Congratulations to all the winners. The evening was a celebration of achievement and another opportunity to open our doors to bring together our outstanding students with the fantastic business community in Chester and Cheshire.

"It signalled a first and combining the awards with our UKSPF business networking event, we really hope that our staff, students and local businesses got a lot out of the evening, and it leads to exciting new opportunities for everyone."

Dr Omoruyi continued: "Yesterday’s event goes beyond recognising graduating MBA students from different countries, for their excellent achievement across the various categories. It was an opportunity to bring our students directly in front of potential employers, and organisations where they can bring about change.

"Today, some of these businesses across different sectors have signed up to mentor our MBA students. This is so important, knowing that as a business school, we are keen on developing responsible leaders for the future."

Claire Brook, Employment Partner at Aaron & Partners said: "We are proud to sponsor this important evening, celebrating student achievements in the heart of Chester’s business community. Continuous learning and development are at the heart of our firm’s success and we celebrate the MBA programme at the University of Chester as it nurtures our region’s next generation business leaders."

Michela Sumner, InPD Head of Operations added: "It’s an honour and a privilege to be asked to present the Leadership Award, and I’m humbled to do so. It’s five years since I sat the Mini MBA programme and I recognise the importance of celebrating achievements in leadership and management. Driving the change improvement agenda requires strong leaders and courageous conversations and it has been an inspiration to be present with such a capable group, and gain and share insights."