Student Enterprise at Surrey

Support, encouragement and skills development for enterprising students

Surrey Start-up Stories: We Are Millennials

The third installment of our “Surrey Start-up Stories” features We Are Millennials (WAM), the platform dedicated to promoting millennial talent.

Name: Bayo Akinmejiwa

Course: Business Management 2013-16

Business: We Are Millennials (WAM)

WAM logo

Summaries your business:

My business is a platform to promote and share millennial talent. We choose a new millennial each week to promote as well as constantly supporting them through advertising on our social media and website.

The website is www.wamvoice.com
Facebook: WAM
Twitter: @WamVoice
Instagram: WamVoice

How and when did your business idea come about?

The Summer of 2015 whilst I was interning at Mass Challenge UK. MC is a business accelerator and on their cohort in the UK they had 90 different start ups working in the building in Shadwell. Being in this environment just made it evident that this is something I wanted to do and a running theme that I felt they all wanted to tap into were millennials and I felt that I had some insight or at least knew a good few amount of millennials too.

What (Student Enterprise or external) start up support did you use and how did it help?

I received mentoring from Travis Lee Scott (external).

How has your business developed and what are your ambitions for the future?

For the future we aim to establish a presence on YouTube and use this to help us trend. Beyond that we want to establish ourselves as the gateway to uncovered millennial talent and help integrate brands and resources with the correct millennials.

What has been the best/worst part of starting/running a business?

The best part is being able to see a vision you had in your head come to life and constantly been tapped into daily. The worst is when the business demands have no leniency on your personal life, e.g. exam period, so sometimes it is a stress to multi task.

Do you have any words of wisdom for budding entrepreneurs?

See it as an obstacle course, as things which can go wrong do often go wrong but everything can be overcome.

 

Surrey Start-up Stories: Bike Bros

As part of our new series “Surrey Start-up Stories”, we’ll be featuring interviews with student and graduate entrepreneurs about their businesses and entrepreneurial journeys.

Our second student start-up story is Bike Bros, run from the Enterprise Studio on campus by Dimitar Kutsarov and Yousif Sadik.

Name: Dimitar Kutsarov & Yousif Sadik

Course: PhD in Electronic Engineering / PhD in Chemistry

Business: Bike Bros

Bike Bros

Summarise your business:

Located at the heart of the University of Surrey in Guildford, we provide services to both students and the broader community.

We sell second-hand bicycles carefully refurbished by us to guarantee you a safe and smooth ride that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.  We also provide all types of bicycle repair and servicing tailored to your needs and at highly competitive prices.  If you’d prefer the full works, we also sell new bicycles, and stock a large range of accessories, such as helmets, bike locks, mudguards, tires, lights, and much more.

We want to lead the way in keeping Surrey’s environment clean and it’s people healthy. That’s why we don’t scrap bicycles; we recycle them, refurbishing them to a high standard. That way, we can offer safe, comfortable, and affordable rides to all. Because what better way to get from A to B? Cycling saves you time, money, keeps you fit, and protects our environment!

How and when did your business idea come about?

After a passionate discussion about bikes in 2014.  We set about to offer a comprehensive bicycle repairs and sales service.  We offer the following:

  • Competitive Prices: we provide bicycle repair and servicing at highly competitive prices – take a look at SERVICES page, and let us know what you think!
  • Cycle & REcycle Scheme: are you looking for a second-hand bike but are unsure what to look out for? Buying a second-hand bike from us, you can be sure that we have carefully checked all of our bicycles and fixed any issues, ensuring you a hassle-free experience. All you need to do is start cycling! In fact, we are so confident about our services that we provide a one month guarantee on all second-hand bicycles – any problems, just drop by and we’ll sort them out.
  • Advocacy of health and environmental issues: we work together with various departments and student organisations at the University, as well as with the local borough council to promote the health and environmental benefits of cycling. Take a look at our press releases to see the ways in which we’ve volunteered our time to engage with our local community!

What (Student Enterprise or external) start up support did you use and how did it help?

We successfully applied for the Student Enterprise Kick Starter fund of £500.

How has your business developed and what are your ambitions for the future?

After some very hard work we managed to grow up from a small bicycle repair workshop to a proper bicycle shop at the heart of the University of Surrey, where our customers can find recycled and new bicycles together with various accessories and repair services at affordable prices.

In the future we want to grow the business even further and become the first real bike shop on the University of Surrey campus offering services and bicycles not only to students but for the whole Surrey community.

Do you have any words of wisdom for budding student entrepreneurs?

Find the person who shares the same passion as you do and you will easily overcome any hurdles on your entrepreneurship way.

Surrey Start-up Stories: Modern Men Barbershop

As part of our new series “Surrey Start-up Stories”, we’ll be featuring interviews with student and graduate entrepreneurs about their businesses and entrepreneurial journeys.

Our first student entrepreneur in focus is Jenno, who runs Modern Men Barbershop from our Enterprise Studio on campus.  He shares his journey so far and words of advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business.

Name: Jenno Thanikkal

Course: BSc Business & Retail Management, final year

Business: Modern Men Barbershop

Modern Men logo small

Summarise your business:

I have opened up a Barbershop, Modern Men Barbershop, nearly 2 months ago and it has been thriving since.  We are based on campus, which gives us a geographical advantage to our competition. We are very active on Social media such as Facebook and Instagram.

How and when did your business idea come about?

I have always wanted to open my own business since day 1 of my university life. However nothing really excited me and then about 3 months ago I was talking to my favorite Barber in town, about Studio on campus. I explained him that it is a great opportunity, since there are around 13000 students and 2000 staff on campus every day. And then 3 weeks later I opened up my own Barbershop.

What (Student Enterprise or external) start up support did you use and how did it help?

Unfortunately for this venture I haven’t used any of the start-up support, because I didn’t research enough.

How has your business developed and what are your ambitions for the future?

The business has been growing since day 1 and I am proud to say we are still growing in customer numbers. We are fortunate to have regular customers who appreciate our service and love our convenience. For the future we want to give incentives to our customers to enhance the customer experience.

What has been the best and worst part of running a business?

Running a business is by default a pleasant experience although undoubtedly tiring. The best feeling is simply the sense of achievement no matter how small it is. In the last year we managed to achieve our targets (albeit with some delays) and collaborate with major names in the industry as well as strong and aspiring start-ups. The worst part is the moment knowing that you have to repeat something for the 10th time, which is a reality of multiple collaborations and more often in our own personal endeavours.

Do you have any words of wisdom for budding student entrepreneurs?

Fail and try, never fail to try.  This helped me a lot, in the beginning stages of the business.  Don’t just dream about it, just go ALL IN and do it.

 

Stay tuned for the rest of our ‘Surrey Start-up Stories’ including an aerial photography business, a bike shop and a platform celebrating the success of Millennials.

What exactly is Student Enterprise? Why should I get involved?

Have you ever wondered what Student Enterprise is?  Have you even heard of it?  Perhaps not…  It’s not quite as self-explanatory as the other support offerings on campus: Student Finance, Student Accommodation, Student Welfare…  You may not even be aware it exists at your university (it probably does).

Whether you’ve just secured your place at university for September (congratulations!) or are a returning student, you probably know that university is much more than attending lectures; that’s the minimum you should be aiming for.  There are so many opportunities on campus that it can all seem a little daunting.  What to get involved in?  How much time to dedicate to extra-curricular activities?  How to make sure your studies aren’t affected?  After all that is still the main reason you’re here…

Legal information for start-ups – Register today!

Solicitor, Mark Glenister will be leading this workshop that takes place on Wednesday 11 March from 5:30-7 pm in LTA.

The workshop will cover the main legal forms of businesses (a sole trader, in partnership or a limited company)  and the pros and cons of each.  There will also be an overview of how the law and authorities may affect a busines  Finally, Mark will highlight  the importance of clear agreements in developing a business and avoiding disputes.

To reserve your place, please email enterpriseevents@surrey.ac.uk.

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