Students and Pura Cosmetics become first UK winners of Amazon Campus Challenge


Students from Birmingham University have teamed up with Pura Cosmetics, creators of the eco-friendly solutions to dry, chapped and sore lips, for the Amazon Campus Challenge and have been crowned the first UK winners. Participating and winning the competition has resulted in Pura Cosmetics’ popularity on Amazon and their lip products being available on Amazon Prime. The team of students have won £10,000 as well as being fast-tracked in the interview process for an Amazon Graduate Role.

The team of students, Arushi Madan, Nikhila Chittoor and Arun Venu, collaborated with Pura Cosmetics for this challenge, founded by Rose Dyson, a multi award winning 20-year-old entrepreneur from Barnsley, which formed a positive synergy of young adults showcasing their talents in business management, logistics and marketing. During the competition, the team worked on a strategy for launching Pura Cosmetics’ vegan and ethical lip care products and gift sets onto Amazon for the first time, building brand visibility on the popular online platform, over the course of 9 months.

Over 200 teams entered the Amazon Campus Challenge, which consisted of three stages. The first round of the competition was Preparation, in which the team worked on an e-commerce strategy for selling on Amazon. The second stage was Online Sales, learning how to use development tools on Amazon that can help the business grow, whilst facing the demands of online sales with real customers and real competitors. This stage also involved the team being confronted with real business and economic challenges.

The last stage was the Finals, where the competition was narrowed down to the final five teams and each were judged on the volume and value of sales their partner business had generated throughout the competition. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the team’s final submission was presented virtually by submitting a video pitch and an online report, which was then judged by a senior team at Amazon.

Student, Arushi Madan says:

"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.”

When Rose was just 15, she spotted a gap in the market for eco-friendly and principled beauty products, at a purse-friendly price point. Rose began creating her first lip care products from her kitchen, mocking up her initial batches before heading to local markets and fairs in the South Yorkshire area. Shortly after, the business’ following on social media (@puracosmetics) and number of customers started to grow, leading to the launch of Pura Cosmetics’ e-commerce website and sales through independent retailers.

The Amazon Campus Challenge is one of many competitions that Rose has won, previously winning TransferWise UK 20 under 20 Competition in 2018, winning £10,000 in investment and in May 2019, Rose won the UK’s premier start-up competition, the F Factor, winning another £10,000 in investment. Rose is also the youngest ever interviewee to appear on the BBC Business Live programme.

Pura Cosmetics aim is to fulfil the needs and desires of generation Z, whilst educating and empowering them to make their own responsible choices when it comes to their beauty consumption.