The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies Bicentenary

Student trio shares business contest prize pot

Three Easter Bush-based students have been recognised for their innovative business ideas.

Gilbert Eshun, Laura Higham and Saline Owaga have each been awarded a share of the £1,000 prize pot for the Easter Bush Business Ideas Competition.

The contest, run by Edinburgh Innovations, aims to support student entrepreneurship by recognising and rewarding submissions with commercial potential.


aerial image of easter bush campus

Recycling waste

The first prize of £500 was awarded to Gilbert Eshun, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar undertaking an MSc (One Health) at the Vet School.

Gilbert’s business idea, Ecopotash Ghana, focuses on recycling cocoa pod husks, millions of tonnes of which are disposed of each year.

Recycling husks into fertilisers and caustic potash – used in areas such as batteries, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics – could help to address environmental concerns while also enhancing soil health and crop productivity.

Driving sustainability

The Vet Sustain CIC business idea put forward by Laura Higham, a PhD student in the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems, won the second prize of £350.

Vet Sustain CIC is a not-for-profit social enterprise aiming to enable and inspire veterinary professionals to drive change for a sustainable future, through the delivery of tools, training courses and events, community engagement, and partnerships.

Vet Sustain CIC has also been selected as a finalist for Edinburgh Innovations’ Inspire Launch Grow awards. Laura will compete in the Launch-Impact award category for a £10,000 prize.

Tackling pollution

The third prize of £150 was awarded to Saline Owaga, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar enrolled in the MSc (One Health) programme at the Vet School, for Eco Shell Solutions. Saline’s business idea focuses on addressing the issue of widespread disposal of eggshells by street vendors in Nairobi, which causes environmental pollution.

This involves collecting and processing shells and re-purposing them into valuable products like calcium-rich powder, helping to promote sustainability and resource efficiency in urban areas.

Campus innovation

Alongside world-leading research, the Easter Bush campus provides a first-class environment for entrepreneurship and innovation.

A key national hub for the Agri-Tech, Aquaculture, and Animal Bioscience industries (3As), we collaborate with the public, private and third-sector to promote interdisciplinary research and innovation at local, national and global levels.

Supporting entrepreneurship

Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service, aims to inspire and equip students and recent graduates with entrepreneurship skills to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.

It offers a wide range of free, tailored support for students. This includes 1-2-1 meetings with business advisers, events, competitions, online courses and resources.

Related links

Edinburgh Innovations

Easter Bush Campus


About the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies  

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is a one-of-a-kind centre of excellence in clinical activity, teaching and research. Our purpose-built campus, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park, is home to more than 800 staff and almost 1400 students, all of whom contribute to our exceptional community ethos.  

The School comprises:  

The Roslin Institute  

The Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems  

The Roslin Innovation Centre  

The Hospital for Small Animals  

Equine Veterinary Services  

Farm Animal Services  

Easter Bush Pathology  

The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education  

We represent the largest concentration of animal science-related expertise in Europe, impacting local, regional, national and international communities in terms of economic growth, the provision of clinical services and the advancement of scientific knowledge.