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E-Factor is the University of East London’s business ideas competition for student and recent graduates. Successful applicants get the chance to join our intensive development and mentoring programme, before going head-to-head in the grand final.

Kick-start your business idea with £6,000

Now in it’s 14th year, E-Factor has seen over 1000 applications from sectors such as fashion, software, food, sport, music and renewable energy.  E-Factor is a fantastic opportunity for UEL students and alumni to embrace their inner entrepreneur; gaining skills in business planning, idea development, marketing, finance and pitching. Through our structured development programme students can refine their ideas through our 4 day boot-camp and 1-2-1 mentoring from our expert in house team. At the end of the programme selected finalists will go head to head in a prestigious live pitching final to an audience of industry professionals with the opportunity to win £6000 grant funding to kick start their business.

E-Factor Final 2019

Attend the final

Wednesday 29th May 2019 | 6:00pm –9.00pm | Natwest Conference Centre, 250 Bishopsgate

Join us for this evening of drinks, canapés, networking and most importantly some serious pitching!

Please note as this is a closed event only those who have RSVP'd will be permitted entry on the night.

Please RSVP confirming your attendance and the names of any guests you may wish to accompany you.

The Finalists

Abigail Lennox - Bread & Roses

Bread & Roses is a home delivery bakery service, born from a passion for creating delicious, high-quality artisanal bread, and a dream of ending the cycle of modern-day slavery through employing survivors of trafficking. We are a bakery business pioneering new ways to end modern-day slavery. Every loaf lovingly crafted and enjoyed supports survivors of human trafficking into lifelong wholeness and freedom.

Charlie Blair - The Blair Academy

The Blair Academy is for adults and children in the UK facing social isolation and loneliness. They curate hip hop dance workshops and events to engage people in social activity improve their overall well-being.

Their specialities include sessions for older adults, children and adults with disabilities, and those facing homelessness. The company is centred on hip hop, because it is ubiquitous, and its language is inclusive.

Dan Sharp & Arela Williams - Sharp Training

Sharp Training provides group and individual athlete development classes which combine the physical and mental aspects of well being. We guide youth athletes through their athletic endeavours and give them the tools they need to build strong mental habits. We aim to build a community who uplift each other and strive for self improvement.

James Firkins - MAN_AGE

MAN_AGE publishes meaningful stories of perseverance amidst mental health struggles in an effort to challenge unnecessary societal pressures and to create a community of voices and combat isolation.

They also develop tool-kits, self-help guides and workshops that educate men about health conditions, symptoms and early warning signs. Through these, MAN_AGE aims to reduce the time it takes to seek help, encourage and normalise male-to-male communication, and prevent suicides or avoidable terminal diagnoses.

Laetitia Zanga - Back In Time

Back In Time is an educational card game connected to an augmented reality app, that value the culture and history of countries around the world. It is ideal to play with family and friends, to learn with enjoyment and challenge their knowledge through completive games. ‘Back in Time’ celebrates diversity and brings people together.

Warren Kent - Veritas Technologies

The idea for Veritas was sparked by the devastating experience the loss of a family member can have when the right medical treatment isn’t immediately available.

This motivated Warren to ensure that everyone has access to lifesaving equipment at the lowest possible price. To this end, Veritas have revolutionised automated external defibrillators ensuring everyone can afford one.

Be The Difference. Save A Life.

The Journey

All subject to change


14 January - 25 March
Applications Open


15 - 18 April
Shortlisted applicants take part in a 4-day bootcamp to turn their ideas into viable businesses


1 May

Semi-finalists get pitch perfect with training from our industry partner, Wayra


7 May
Selected ideas go through to the semi-final at Knowledge Dock in front of a public audience


29 May
Grand Final at Natwest's Bishopsgate offices

Relive E-Factor 2018

In a year’s time I’d like to see the business being successful in New York and Los Angeles. And of course I’ll be back here at E-Factor 2019 to support next year’s finalists!
Jessica O-George , E-Factor 2018 Winner & Founder, The Well

What we are looking for

The Entrepreneur

  • Current Student or Recent Graduate
    (Up to 2 years post graduation date or part of a team where the lead applicant is a UEL student or recent graduate.)

  • Home Student - UK or EU
    (International students are not eligible due to visa restrictions) 

The Idea

  • New business idea or existing businesses trading less than 12 months
  • All Ideas and Sectors areas (Limited restrictions detailed in our T&Cs). 

Application Marking Criteria 

  • Innovative

  • Achievable 

  • Market Focused 

  • Financial Viability

  • Entrepreneurial Team

Past Winners

2017-2018: The Well

The Well (Formally known as The Art of Life) is a wellness and lifestyle consultancy which brings together a range of experts in health and wellbeing, with a common goal of helping women live well. Their goal is to support women in cultivating a life of greater meaning, connection, fulfilment and purpose, and to inspire women to personalise wellness into their own routines and daily practices, prioritising mental well-being alongside ambitious living.

2016-2017: vidiCREW

vidiCREW is an app-based service which allows guests at a wedding or other events to capture moments on their phones. These are automatically collated and sent to one of vidiCREW's editors who create a professional quality video at a fraction of the cost of traditional videographers.

2015-2016: Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a wholesaler of high quality fruits and vegetables. Nurturing close relationships with some of the most renowned British producers and influential chefs: pomegranate provides distribution and logistics for a range of produce, most notably high quality organic and biodynamic fruits and vegetables to establishments across the capital.

2014-2015: My Gammies

Combining forces, mother and daughter duo Rebekah Gooden and Marie-Anne Rase created their business My Gammies winning E-Factor 2015. The pair created a range of allergy-friendly health foods for children of nursery age, an idea that was borne out of personal experience struggling to find appropriate food in shops and restaurants for Rebekah’s daughter.

2013-2014: WOMMA

Growing from an identified gap in the market, WOMMA was created to provide women’s martial arts clothing and training gear and compete with the numerous options available to men.
Thanks to E-Factor, WOMMA have produced their first manufactured samples of their originally designed fight gear.