This week we have another SPARK business blog post. Leeds student Jumana talks about setting up her Retrasafe – an award winning ladder stabiliser business.
My Business Journey
I started my business with my partner two years ago after my first year at Leeds. This was my first business venture and so had no clue what to do. My partner had a problem trying to use his ladders safely in many places so we decided to tackle the problem that many others also struggled with. We had designed a retractable ladder stabiliser and set up Retrasafe to make and sell the stabiliser systems. We launched the product a year ago and the product has won British Safety Industry Federation Commended Award for Product Innovation in 2016 and was a finalist for Association for Project Safety Health and Safety Innovation Award 2016. We have done exhibitions both here and abroad and have got a lot of interest around the product from small and big companies. I also got to visit the House of Commons and meet the Duke of York when I won the Duke of York Young Entrepreneurs Award 2017. We have now got a couple of different products that we are marketing and selling.
This week, Broadcast Journalism grad Em Sheldon talks about how she turned her blog into a business and gives some great tips for students who want to get into blogging.
About my business:
I started Emtalks in 2012 as a way to get onto my University course, never in my wildest dreams did I expect for it to turn into my full time job. I called the admissions tutor at the University of Leeds two days before UCAS application and asked what I can do to get onto the course. He told me to start a blog. I started one and didn’t think anything of it, until I realised I was so passionate about blogging. After ten months I won Cosmopolitan’s best newcomer award, it was this moment when I realised this could be a business. I rebranded and focused on my quality. It’s only now, years on that I’m truly happy with my content, it was difficult to juggle University and blogging so I often found myself sacrificing my quality. Since then, I’ve gone on to collaborating with brands such as Clinique, asos, adidas, Nike, L’Oreal and many more. I recently won InStyle magazine’s top lifestyle blogger award. Continue reading
Sam, a MSc International Business grad, tells us about how he co-founded YellowLabel, an app that helps prevent food waste.
YellowLabel is a mobile app that allows users to prevent food waste, and save some money in the process. We advertise food around Leeds that would, without our help, be thrown away. These items are reduced in price, shown with a new ‘Yellow Label’.
We advertise these products to help prevent food waste. The items have a short shelf life, and if they are unsold, end up in the bin. YellowLabel allows users to see what is on offer in their local area, and then go to the shop to buy them. The business is aimed at anyone who would like to save some money on their food shopping, would like to prevent food waste, or enjoys cooking with a wide variety of items. At YellowLabel, we think that it is terrible so much food is thrown away, and yet our wealth is also going down. Continue reading
Graphic and Communication Design grads Abigail and Chloe talk about how they set up their own design business, Buttercrumble. They talk us through their entrepreneurial journey and the help and support for their business they got at Spark. If you are interested in start up don’t forget to check the blog regularly for contributions from other Spark businesses.
We are Abigail and Chloe, a design duo, who are also known as Buttercrumble. We are passionate about collaborating with other creative people who believe in the power of good design. We’re a super-synced twin team, born and bred in Yorkshire, who graduated from the University of Leeds in 2016. We’ve had a lifetime love of art and design so it was a no-brainer when we applied to study Graphic & Communication Design. The skills we’ve developed at university have been vital to the growth of our business.
This week, Jack, a New Media graduate talks about his experience of setting up his own business, WayWest Design – he explains how the Enterprise opportunities at the University have helped him throughout his entrepreneurial journey and what benefits this experience has brought him. If you’re interested in starting your own business, read on and don’t forget to check out the Leeds University Start up Service page on our website for more information.
About my business:
I’m Jack Weston, founding Director at WayWest Design. We provide expert services in Web and App Development, Digital Design and Illustration, Photography, Videography, Motion Graphics, SEO Consultancy, Marketing Consultancy & Digital and Marketing Strategy to our worldwide client base. Our purpose is to deliver specialist knowledge in our field as well as maintaining a personal quality for our clients.
WayWest was established whilst I was still studying at the University of Leeds. I have always had passion for design so I began designing logos, graphics and websites for friends and family members free of charge in order to gain experience and add to my portfolio. From there, I was recommended to people and businesses outside of my network, rapidly increasing my profile and has spiraled into the successful business that it is today.
This week, Mercedes and Rocio talk about starting their own business – the online platform ResearcherSkills, and offer some helpful tips for students who are interested in staring their own business. They reflect on their entrepreneurial journey, and explain how the University’s start up service SPARK has helped them. If you’re interested in start-up, stay tuned – the ‘How I started my own business’ series will feature blog posts from different UoL start-up businesses throughout the year.
We are the team behind ResearcherSkills, the online platform that allows scientists from any discipline to connect, collaborate and outsource research-related services.