Peace is a first-year undergraduate studying BSc Accountancy and Finance at the University of Birmingham, and has created a retail business called Olive & Abi. Her business sells fashion items which can be customised with crocheting (similar to knitting).
“I am an artistic person, but I also enjoy maths and factual studies. Owning my own business is one way I see of creating a harmony between these two. I would like to have a business up and running by the time I leave University that can sustain me. BSEEN and EI [Entrepreneurship and Innovation]have improved my knowledge and confidence in pursuing a self-owned business.”
Peace acts as a great example of someone who has come to the University of Birmingham and showed entrepreneurial spirit from the word go. She began working with Olive & Abi in the first year of her studies and balances the two well. Her course helps her with the financial side of the business, but her company has sprung out of a past time which she has developed into a business.
She gained help from Entrepreneurship and Innovation team from a very early stage and used one of the programmes to increase her knowledge and understanding of running a business.
“The ongoing encouragement from the enterprise society and careers network helped me decide to go onto BSEEN. I hope to gain the basic fundamental knowledge of owning a business by the end of my first year. There are others who aimed to launch or have launched handmade retail business, but rather than compete against each other we learn from one another as there is an excellent entrepreneurial spirit around the University which has helped me to progress.”
Three key skills
- Financial recording
We asked Peace whether she encountered any problems or issues which held her back.
“The other issues arise due to the legal requirements with the government and BSEEN programme. If, like me, you are going into something like this for the first time, it may be a little overwhelming at times.
Careers networkhas offered useful workshops to help me advance in the employment sector.
BSEEN and EI have helped increase my understanding and confidence in pursuing a self-owned business.
After exams in the summer, I plan to dedicate a lot of my time in pushing forward the business, as other commitments would have ended.
I think that the opportunities available at careers network and EI should be at the forefront of pitches, talks and advertising to students who are to decide their university of study. As it is very relevant to a student future.”