April 17, 2018 | Simon Jenkins
A local business is supporting the entrepreneurial dreams of student Harriett Howe – and also giving her practical advice to get her business off the ground.
Management student Harriett has developed a range of modern and fashionable underwear targeted at young women who need additional support. She was among the winners of a university-wide contest for students hoping to take a year away from their normal studies to focus on bringing their products to market.
The students’ business plans were studied by a judging panel including University staff and local businesspeople. Among the judges was Rachel Taylor, a director of Shipley-based key recovery and assistance specialist Keycare, which has now provided Harriett’s £5,000 scholarship and are mentoring her during the year.
“Starting a business at University is a bold undertaking,” says Rachel. “But Harriett is an inspirational young woman, ready to rise to the challenge. We are delighted to be supporting her and acting as a sounding board to help her turn her vision into reality.”
Harriett hopes to launch her business, Lunebelle, in the summer of 2018. Lunebelle will produce luxury large-cup lingerie ranging from D-G cup, but it will also educate young women on breast health and bra fitting as well as giving them a comfortable and positive environment to transform their body confidence. She’s currently working with a specialist bra maker who works for top brands and who will transform Harriett’s designs into beautiful products for the 15-25yr old market.
“Spark is the most incredible resource for student entrepreneurs,” says Harriett. “The Spark team and the network of professional advisers are helping me turn my dream into a reality. Winning this award is brilliant because it shows their belief in my business – and in me – and this gives me the confidence I need, because I know they’re with me all the way.”
The other winners of the Enterprise Scholarship were:
- Geology student Josephine Canning who designs fabrics, gifts, wall coverings and accessories influenced by geological structures;
- Music student Louis Ewart who creates nightclub accessories such as glow sticks and glitter adornments;
- Film, Photography and Media student Owen Seabrook who provides social media and visual content for small businesses.
Each is taking a year out to set up and run their own business, benefitting from office space, financial support and professional business advice.