‘Inspiration is being able to see the positive impact we are having on others’

White paper aeroplanes moving in one direction with a single yellow plane taking a different route

The Disruptor of the Year category at the Suffolk Business Awards will recognise a business which has coupled a great idea with commercial awareness to bring together an inspiring new enterprise - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Solving problems that can transform lives is a key attribute that Professor Gurpreet Jagpal, pro Vice-chancellor of Business and Entrepreneurship at University of Suffolk, is looking for when judging the Disruptor of the Year category at the Suffolk Business Awards. He tells us more.

Why were you keen to get involved in the Suffolk Business Awards?  

My role as pro vice-chancellor of business and entrepreneurship at the University of Suffolk involves leading Suffolk Business School and the university’s Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship activities.  

Both teams are focussed on building collaborations between the university and businesses to support both our teaching and learning provision and research activities. We are very outward focussed in what we do and always looking to work with innovative and disruptive individuals and firms to support their growth and, in turn, for them to support us.  

Have you ever been judged for an award yourself? 

During my career, my teams and I have been privileged to be recognised with several entrepreneurial awards. We’ve also had a number we have not won!

Awards provide a great opportunity to benchmark your work and seek recognition for the positive impact you make.  
Understanding the process from the ‘other side’ provides a great insight into judging awards, and allows judges to ask the right questions! Having been involved in these awards previously, and many others nationally and internationally, as judges there are key areas we’ll be looking for.  

Professor Gurpreet Jagpal, pro vice-chancellor of business and entrepreneurship at University of Suf

Professor Gurpreet Jagpal, pro vice-chancellor of business and entrepreneurship at University of Suffolk - Credit: University of Suffolk

What will you be looking for in the winner?  

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I will particularly be looking for an individual that has disrupted the marketplace with a new product or service to solve problems that can transform lives.  This is a fantastic category to be judging and I’m really looking forward to reviewing the entries.   

What inspires you in business? 

Impact! Making a difference to people we serve. As businesses we exist to address a particular challenge or problem, and for me the inspiration is being able to see the positive impact we are having on others through the work that we do.  
It is always inspiring to hear stories of success as a result of the work we do, and this drives us to continue our work and always be looking to be more innovative and creative.    

What advice would you give to a business that’s considering entering? 

Don’t think about making an application, do it! Awards provide a great opportunity for you to pause, reflect and capture the impact you are having.  
Whether you win or not, the process of applying enables you to think and discuss internally, and then collate the evidence to support your application.

DISRUPTOR OF THE YEAR CRITERIA

The winner will have clear purpose and be disrupting their sector with their drive for forward-thinking change. The judges will be looking for evidence of a clear and assessed understanding of the need for change which is supported by a focussed implementation strategy.   
This award is open for both individuals and businesses to enter.

The closing date for entries is August 15. To enter, go to www.suffolkbusinessawards.co.uk

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