Creators of an app for football fans have been named as Most Enterprising Business of the Year at the 2018 SME Business Awards in Buckinghamshire.

Dan Bedi, Omar Abdel-Rahman and James Owen co-founded JAFA (Just A Fan’s Analysis), an app for football fans to get the latest news and views, during their MBA at Cranfield University. The trio built on Dan’s initial idea and developed it into a functioning business.

The free app, which aims to ‘put football back in the hands of the fans,’ enables users to personalise their experience based on how they engage with it. Dan believes this addresses the downsides of other alternatives currently available.

He said: “It was frustrating that users had to switch between several apps to obtain sports news, and had nowhere to discuss debate and engage digitally.

“With JAFA, we connect fans with fans, fans with content and fans with business. Using our algorithms, machine learning and some psychology, we provide a personalised and engaging experience for users.”

The Most Enterprising Business of the Year category looks for business owners to demonstrate a willingness to undertake new projects by showing initiative by constantly moving forward in the world of business.

Dan added: “We took a six-month tenancy at Cranfield University Incubation Centre (CUBIC), after completing our studies, to get our heads down and begin our business journey. We have now taken JAFA to the next level and have been accepted into a competitive accelerator programme in London. We are recruiting new talent to drive towards our next goals.”

Dr Stephanie Hussels, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Cranfield, mentored the budding businessmen during their studies. She said: “I am very proud of the team behind JAFA. They developed their idea as a result of a frustration they faced themselves, identified how they could build it to be something that wasn’t available on the market and turned it into a viable business – and all within 12 months!” 

You can see more about JAFA and their story at www.jafaapp.com

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Cranfield is an exclusively postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

Cranfield School of Management

Cranfield has been a world leader in management education and research for 50 years, helping individuals and organisations learn and succeed by transforming knowledge into action. We are dedicated to creating responsible management thinking, improving business performance and inspiring the next generation of business leaders. We work to change the lives of our students and executives by encouraging innovation and creative thinking, as well as the drive to succeed and make a real impact on their organisations.

Organisations as diverse as Jaguar Land Rover, BAE Systems, Royal Dutch Shell, L’Oréal, UNICEF and the African Development Bank have benefited from our work, which ranges from management research projects, through staff talent management development on our MBA courses, to customised executive programmes.

Cranfield is one of an elite group of Schools worldwide to hold the triple accreditation of: AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) and AMBA (the Association of MBAs).

Cranfield’s one-year full-time MBA is ranked 3rd in the UK and 10th in the world (outside the US) in Forbes’ ranking of The Best International MBAs: One-Year Programs 2017.

It is in the Top 10 International Business Schools in the Forbes’ ranking.

Our customised executive education programmes are ranked 10th in the world, according to the latest Financial Times survey, and are best in the world for international reach. Over 15,000 people come to Cranfield each year to benefit from our executive and professional development programmes.