January 22, 2016 | Simon Jenkins
Alice Colligan (Industrial Biology 2014) knew that encouraging children to enjoy books was key to their progress at school. She came up with a versatile teepee design that could be used in the classroom as a reading corner – or in the bedroom as a fun play den.
“I wanted to create something special and inspirational,” she says. “I worked on my designs, carried out market research with teachers and parents, and took my business idea to SPARK.” They were impressed; Alice was awarded an Enterprise Scholarship to develop the business.
Alice remains grateful for the support she received: “Setting up as a sole trader, I’ve had to think about all aspects of the business and make all decisions myself. Without the SPARK team and their business advisors, that would have been an even more daunting prospect. The guidance I’ve received in everything from creating a meaningful business plan to building a website and giving confident presentations, has been absolutely essential.”