Yuyo Drinks: a Seed Fund success story

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Calling all food and drink entrepreneurs of tomorrow!

Are you a small or start-up business looking to flourish in the food and drink industry? Would you like the opportunity to receive a year of support from a select team of mentors, alongside £100,000 worth of branding and marketing development?

Check out Rosie and Charles’ story – who have been able to hire Bath Spa students as a result of The Seed Fund’s support. This could be you!

“In 2014, my partner Charles and I co-founded Yuyo Drinks, a range of organic infusions with South American drinking herb yerba mate, inspired by our experiences travelling in South America.

“In early 2015, several months into our first year of our business, we applied to The Seed Fund, a philanthropic business accelerator award coordinated by local food branding agency The Collaborators. For fledgling food and drink businesses with a great product and proven concept, The Seed Fund offers critical support to reach the next level.

“At the time, we were still tiny: my partner and I were freelancing and house-sitting to get the business off the ground, and packing our own products with hairnets on. Oh, the glamour! Nearly two years on and our business has transformed, enabling us to hire Bath Spa students and graduates.

“Yuyo is a vibrant, growing brand sold by online supermarket Ocado, along with UK retailers Whole Foods, Planet Organic, Revital and more –plus we now export to Germany, France and Sweden. As I write this, I am working with our team of employees and interns around me, all of whom are former students from Bath Spa.

“Following initial contact with Bath Spa’s Careers service last summer, we have partnered on a series of placements, including a part-funded graduate internship. I was lucky enough to find Joana Garcias Águia, a former Publishing and Media Communications student – she’s been the perfect fit for us, with excellent design and communications skills and a creative, flexible and independent work ethic.

“Joana has been working on everything from sales to web design, attending trade events and even supervising students on a work placement with Yuyo. She is now applying to other jobs and I wish her every success in her next steps. It has been so gratifying to see the process through, and we’re indebted to The Seed Fund and Bath Spa for being part of our journey to becoming a successful brand and employer.”

Rosie Marteau, Yuyo Drinks Ltd

Keep an eye out for future placements with Yuyo Drinks on My Career. To apply for The Seed Fund please visit www.theseedfund.co.uk before Thursday 16th March.

 

Bath Sparks: who we are & what we do

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Are you an aspiring entrepreneur or freelancer? We want to see you succeed. Since 2015, Bath Sparks has been inspiring and supporting students and graduates with self-employed career aspirations.

Over one in 10 of our students are self-employed six months after they graduate. Bath Sparks offers you support in registering for tax, applying for funding, business mentoring and much more.

We also give you the opportunity to apply for funding grants in a series of challenges we schedule throughout the year. In 2015/16, we awarded over £12,000 in cash and support to students with business and freelance ideas. We have the same amount available for budding freelancers and entrepreneurs to apply for this year too. You can get involved by registering for free on our Wazoku platform – don’t miss out!

Students can find themselves in a range of roles, from directors of companies they’ve founded themselves to freelance artists, consultants and writers. While many students set up after graduating, some will get started alongside their studies. University is the perfect ‘bubble’ to take a few risks and try out your bright ideas. Imagine if one of them takes off and you find yourself doing what you love for a living?

Throughout the year, we run the Graduate Venture Fund – from which winners take a share of a £2,200 pot and three months’ mentoring support – as well as a series of challenges:

  • Create It – a rolling small grants fund for testing your ideas
  • Pitch It – our Dragon’s Den-style business plan event to win up to £1,000 in term one or two
  • Change It – an opportunity to pitch your ideas to make change and win three weeks in Kenya on an experience of a lifetime
  • Build a Better Bath Spa – a competition with a £100 cash prize and £1,000 funding grant for ideas to improve life on campus; and Do It, our end of year awards that reward four students with up to £500 each for already doing business

Statistically people who work for themselves are happier. However they often earn less than those in conventional employment. Self-employment relies on your drive to seize opportunities, give excellent service and stick at it through the tough times.

Email the team now at bathsparks@bathspa.ac.uk.