Regional Finalists: East Midlands

We were delighted to see some brilliant ideas from the East Midlands this year, founding region of the Programme and home to Ingenuity HQ at the University of Nottingham.

Shoana Qureshi-Khan and Caron Boulghassoul are tackling food poverty in deprived areas across Nottingham with their People’s Pantry, helping low-income communities to access cheap subsidized food. The People’s Pantry helps them to ensure that they and their families can have a healthy, balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs and ensures that no one need go hungry in our communities.

Inspired by her experiences working for the NHS 111 during the pandemic, Kathryn Moore is aiming to tackle the lack of resources available to people suffering from poor mental health through her Community Connect idea. Community Connect aims, through weekly meetings, to bring together people of all ages within the local community. Kathryn hopes the social enterprise can lower the strain on the NHS and its services by enabling people within the local community to meet one another and form networks to try and prevent loneliness.

Kathryn Moore

University of Nottingham Psychology student Alexia Jeayes wants to fight fast fashion and encourage lifestyle change with Restyle, creating affordable, sustainable and recycled clothing options.

Naomi Ngondi’s Uhuru Activewear aims to use recycled materials to create fashionable, sustainable plus size activewear for women and femme people, aiming to improve their physical and mental health.

Buddy is an app designed to combat early symptoms of isolation and loneliness in young people. Ahmed Elamin, who splits his time between London and Nottingham, is using his coding skills to help his friends and peers look after their mental health, creating meaningful social interactions to support people from social isolation. 

Ahmed Elamin

Abigail Whitehead is aiming to build stronger communities by addressing the issue of loneliness, lack of ambition and imposter syndrome in teenage girls. Inspired by her own experiences, her idea, GirlBoss, will look to connect young women with a female volunteer mentor with experience in their career of interest.

Inspired by her own experiences as a cancer survivor, Alexandra Perry’s H.E.R Bodywear will help to address self-esteem issues faced by women who have been diagnosed with, and undergone surgery for breast cancer. H.E.R Bodywear, will produce a range of ultra comfortable, non wired, yet still feminine and visually attractive lingerie that is designed to empower and boost self esteem, allowing women to take back and own their femininity, instead of feeling striped of it.

Alexandra Perry

University of Nottingham graduate Ryan Brown co-founded Cilo, a mobile carbon tracking app that helps users understand and reduce their carbon footprint. By educating individuals on the carbon impact of their daily decisions, they hope to encourage people to make informed decisions, and direct spending power away from polluter industries, towards sustainable products and services.

Charm Daley is aiming to improve children’s health and wellbeing, and celebrating diversity and culture through her interactive and inclusive Charmed Fitness dance workshops.

Haris Mohammad wants to improve social cohesion with a series of tailored workshops which aim to tackle and challenge pre-existing views by allowing a space for dialogue and discussion. Aimed at local schools, the workshops will hope to reduce ignorance and prejudice in our communities.

Jessica Langton, who helps to run a dairy farm in the East Midlands whilst studying at the University of Nottingham, is looking to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers in the age of mass supermarket consumption. Your Online Dairy’s key goal is to promote sustainable eating, whilst allowing farmers to secure a higher and fairer price for their produce creating positive change throughout the farming community.

Jessica Langton

Jhama Malla is aiming to tackle health inequality in South Asian communities in the UK, particularly Nepalese people who face language barriers to accessing healthcare. Jhama wants to create a phone-based service where a Nepali speaking health coach will support and guide the customers to develop sustainable healthy habits in order to improve the customer’s health.

DeMontford University student Melvin Riley wants to break down barriers for black students in the UK, who often struggle to feel a sense of belonging and community at UK universities. His idea, Atls•Blk, is a social media app that works as a guide for black students, making their university experience that little bit easier, improving wellbeing and strengthening the community.

Syed Gohar Hasan wants to tackle the detrimental effect the fashion industry has on the world’s climate. His Imperishable Clothing idea has a three-fold impact model that seeks to sustainably produce, re-use and recycle clothing, offering a guaranteed buy-back clause to ensure the clothing does not end up in a landfill.

Syed Gohar Hasan

Ben Keeble is developing a mobility aid for elderly people who have difficulty sitting and standing. His Mobiliaid seat raiser aims to increase wellbeing by giving people their freedom back by giving them the opportunity to go to places which were previously impossible without constant assistance.

Emma Mallett wants to combine animal welfare education, social media and therapy pets to create an easily accessible app and website for a social networking space where people can post, discuss and read all about pets and animals. She’s hoping to improve mental wellbeing and animal welfare through the online community.

Marcus Giles and Stephane Bangabothi want to combat the profound lack of connection and intimacy within contemporary culture and improve people’s relationship to nature, other people and themselves. Through their Firefly Movement Initiative, they are hoping to bring young people into contact with nature and help them find ways to become active and responsible individuals for the betterment of society.

University of Lincoln student Bahar Tomek wants to support the sustainable development of women entrepreneurs with her We Are The Change idea. We Are The Change is a platform to share experiences and search for collective knowledge, focusing on supporting Women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, bridging the gap between universities and business to strengthen female students and women’s gender equality-based business life.

Bahar Tomek

Dylan Bowater’s Reel Memories wants to help our ageing population to reconnect with their memories by digitising analogue formats such as photographs and VHS. Reel Memories’ holistic approach to this process will aim to improve wellbeing by reducing loneliness and health-associated costs.

Mariyum Khan is aiming to tackle attainment gaps in the education system by supplying ed-tech software that focuses on student progress to secondary schools. BIA Inc will focus on creating equal opportunities for students/families from lower income backgrounds, so even if they cannot afford external tuition, they can get more effective academic help/guidance from their schools and teachers and know how to help themselves too when it comes to revision/exams.

If you’re inspired by our participants’ stories, and want to support their businesses, get in touch at




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