Students from the University of Birmingham have teamed up with Pura Cosmetics to become the first-ever UK winners of the Amazon Campus Challenge, and they beat 200 teams that took part.
Pura Cosmetics was founded by Rose Dyson, a 20-year-old multi-award winning entrepreneur from Barnsley.
An unexpected venture, Rose decided to enter her local enterprise challenge at just 15 years old, back in 2015. She spotted a gap in the market for eco-friendly and principled beauty products, and with just £25 to kickstart the company, Pura Cosmetics was born.
Since then, the business run by former student Rose has grown rapidly. They sell quirky lip-scrubs in flavours such as ‘Passionfruit Martini,’ and are now stocked at independent retailers such as Wearth Beauty and Plastic Freedom.
The accomplished entrepreneur has won many awards including winning the F Factor in 2019, the UK’s premier start-up competition, with funding from the co-founder of Lastminute.com, Brent Hoberman.
Arushi Madan, Nikhila Chittoor and Arun Venu of The University of Birmingham approached Rose of Pura Cosmetics with the hopes of collaborating to enter the Amazon Campus Challenge.
The challenge aims to connect local areas with the world of e-commerce, with the first prize including a cash prize of £10,000 and an opportunity fast-track in the interview process for an Amazon Graduate Role.
During the competition, the team worked on a strategy for launching Pura Cosmetics’ vegan and ethical lip care products and gift sets on Amazon’s website. The challenge took place over 9 months and included building brand visibility and showcasing their skills in business management, logistics and marketing.
The challenge included three stages: the first was Preparation, which included the team working on the e-commerce strategy for selling the products on Amazon. The second was Online Sales, a stage to learn how to use development tools on Amazon.
In the final stage, the remaining five teams were judged on the volume and value of sales that their partnership business had generated throughout the competition. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the final submission, a video pitch and online report were judged virtually by a senior team at Amazon.
The restrictions of the pandemic clearly did not disconcert the hard-working team, as they placed first out of the last five and now split the sought after prize between them.
Student, Arushi Madan says of the experience: “It has been nothing but great working with Rose and the team at Pura Cosmetics for the Amazon Campus Challenge, as they didn’t just guide us but also lent their ears to our fresh ideas. Working with Pura Cosmetics gave us insight into the behind the scenes of running an eco-friendly cosmetics start-up and we would not trade this experience for anything!”
Rose Dyson, Founder of Pura Cosmetics says, “I was delighted to be approached by Arushi, Nikhila and Arun to enter the Amazon Campus Challenge with them. Being a young entrepreneur myself it was great to work with like minded young people. I’m absolutely delighted we have won the competition, success and growth on Amazon is a great milestone for Pura Cosmetics and we’re proud to bring a sustainable product offering to Amazon’s growing beauty and personal care space. It’s great to see our team have the opportunity to further their careers and showcase what great talent they have.”
Pura Cosmetics’ products start at £3.99 and you can find them at https://puracosmetics.co.uk/ or stocked on Amazon.