As some of you may know I studied Textile Crafts at the University of Huddersfield, I graduated in 2012 and with the help of the Enterprise Team at the Uni I started pursuing the dream of Crafty Praxis!
I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and was eligible to apply for the Activ8 Scheme offered by the Enterprise Team at the uni, using funds from the European Regional Development Fund. The Scheme helped me financially, through training opportunities and facilitated access to industry professionals.
Funding is always tough to come by, as I said I was lucky, and I have recently found out that while there is a new round of funding potentially available from the EU but our current uncertain EU future is jeopardising access to this for our future young Entrepreneurs.
The funding and mentoring I received from the University really helped me with my start in the bricks and mortar business world, without their sound advice and financial help I’m not sure I’d have had such a strong start as simple things like display items and promotional materials, which are costly, would have taken a back seat to important bills such as rent and I’d have made many more mistakes!
Fast forward three years and it’s my turn to give back to current students and recent graduates planning their own businesses. The Enterprise Team runs a programme of talks and workshops throughout the academic year and I took part in one of these, entitled ‘Question Time’ earlier this month.
I gave a presentation and answered questions posed by the audience, this was my third Question Time session and each time is completely different. I find it an interesting opportunity to meet other businesses helped by the Enterprise Team and this years were no exception. Katie Mallinson from Scriba PR was up first, then my neighbour in the Byram Arcade, Stephen Bond of Panda’s Kitchen and following myself was, Warren Sharples and Jordan Connolly from U-Lott Ltd.
It was fascinating to see how each of these completely different businesses has been helped by the Enterprise team and answer questions posed by entrepreneurs on the start of their journey.
Not everyone is eligible for help from the University, you have to be a current student or recent graduate but there are other places you can get help and advice such as The Prince’s Trust. I am also happy to give help and advice using my own knowledge and experiences, just pop in and have a chat or send me an email and I’ll do my best!