Support through Propeller
Her business mentor, Craig Lawrenson, offered her advice through 1-1 meetings and also recommended she attend workshops on ‘Understanding Business Finance’ and ‘Bookkeeping for Beginners’. Craig has been working with Katie throughout the year and has helped her to register as self-employed in June 2020. This support has been part-funded by the ERDF U Start programme and will offer a further 12 hours of support with the business post start-up.
In November 2019, Katie was awarded a Propeller Enterprise Award, a small pot of funding given out to promising business ideas to help them get started. This was used to increase manufacturing capacity and allowed her to reduce production time. Rather than making 6 candles per pour, she can now make 100 – increasing capacity 15-fold. Not only has this has helped to keep up with demand, buthas lead to a £2,000 net income.
Katie also made the most of the high level of expertise of UCLan students by participating in a student project. Four students from the Web Development course worked with Katie on a live project, creating a website for her business. Many courses take on enterprise elements such as this to provide students with the chance to gain real work experience and develop professional skills whilst working towards their degree.
“All 4 students behaved professionally. Their organisation skills, made me feel at ease, as well as arranging meetings, regular communications and updates. I was treated as a ‘real client’. The students worked fantastically as a team which was noticed immediately from the first meeting. They explained everything to me, without assuming pre-existing knowledge without being patronising. They all went above and beyond and I am extremely grateful for their time and efforts.”