Former University of Leicester student named Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year

Posted by er134 at Apr 09, 2014 10:20 AM |
University’s Career Development Service committed to supporting best entrepreneurial talent

University of Leicester Press Office on 9 April 2014

Contact to request images

A former University of Leicester student has been named the Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year.

Suleman Sacranie, who is the driving force behind the Leicester-based 99 Shopper network of franchised stores, won the highly-esteemed accolade at the recent Midlands Business Awards.

The Midlands Business Awards provides the platform for any business, from any industry, across the whole region to celebrate their success story. The event was held on Friday 28 February in Birmingham.

After completing the Enterprise Inc Programme, which is funded by the University of Leicester and the European Regional Development Fund, Suleman has enjoyed an exceptional start to his entrepreneurial career. This includes winning the Midlands Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2012, along with recently securing a multi-million pound deal for one his business ventures – Mad About Deals – which specialises in online sales and distribution of discounted deals and clearance stock.

He has also starred on the BBC Series ‘Million Dollar Intern’, in which he posed as an intern and successfully re-energised a failing business from the bottom up.

Rajinder Bhuhi, Enterprise Manager in the University’s Career Development Service, said: “We have a great tradition at the University of Leicester of supporting business start-ups where students and graduates can freely access the quality training, support and resources needed to help develop business skills and make ideas become a reality.”

The Career Development Service is currently supporting around 100 new business ventures created by students and graduates of the university and actively collaborates with high profile organisations such as the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, The Mighty Creatives, Princes Trust and Santander and NatWest Bank, in addition to local successful entrepreneurs.

In a commitment to supporting the best entrepreneurial talent, the University recently hosted the NatWest Mobile Business School – a unique 1960s style double decker bus that was on campus to talk to students and local residents about starting their own business.

Nutan Vadera, NatWest Business Specialist in Leicester, said: "We were delighted to be able to bring the Mobile Business School to the University of Leicester and to work alongside the local community. The bus provides a unique way of taking support, advice and expertise out to future entrepreneurs."


Notes to editors:

For further information: please contact Rajinder Bhuhi at:

East Midlands 2007-13 ERDF Competitiveness Programme

About ERDF nationally

The ERDF Programme aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by supporting regional economic development.

The ERDF objectives for England are:

  • Promoting innovation and knowledge transfer
  • Stimulating  enterprise and supporting successful business
  • Ensuring sustainable development, production and consumption
  • Building sustainable communities
  • Improving accessibility and connectivity (for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly only – as part of their Convergence Programme).

A Programme Monitoring Committee consisting of regional stakeholders such as Government Offices, RDAs, Regional Assemblies, Local Authorities, Sub-regional Partnerships, Higher Education Institutions, Trade Unions, and the private and voluntary sectors will monitor and oversee programme implementation in each region.

For more information on ERDF funding generally, please visit or

Share this page: