BUSINESSES launched by teenage students are having a major impact on the Cornish economy.
The Entrepreneurship degree at Falmouth University has already spawned dozens of companies in a variety of sectors, creating jobs and generating thousands of pounds in UK and overseas sales.
Falmouth Business School say the drive and ingenuity of cohorts across all three years of the course is a “breath of fresh air” and will have a positive impact on the region for years to come.
Among those making waves on the south coast are Holly Fowler, Lennie Jones and Ming Dawe, directors of Zennor Glass.
Using glass they collect from beaches on the south coast, the trio create beautiful handcrafted necklaces, earrings and custom pieces that have proven popular with customers from as far away as the United States.
“People seem to love what we’re producing, which is so heartening because when we started – and I guess it’s the same for any business – it was very nerve-wracking,” she said.
“You put yourself out there and hope people will buy it, and they have been – the response has been fantastic.”
Those words were echoed by Taylor Lindores and Williams Griffin, who graduated last week.
They look forward to taking their social media and internet marketing agency – Lindores & Griffin – to the next level.
“The business has been evolving over the course of a year now, which combined with our degree,” said Taylor.
“Earlier we were trying to strike a balance between the degree and growing the business, but now we are at the point where we know what we are doing and the direction we are going in – we want to really push on.”
Other Falmouth University start-ups include Graciefully Made crafts, Cultivate Cornwall social enterprise, Rough Cut Coffee, Student Survival Pack, Fal Uni Wear, Hannon Recruitment, and Small Wallets.
And one which has really had the champagne corks popping is Bewley and Ware, a wine labelling venture which counts comedian and actress Dawn French amongst its supporters.
Director George Bewley says Falmouth played a big part in giving him the confidence to take his first steps in business.
He now balances his studies with day-to-day operations, including a partnership with top vineyards Camel Valley and Knightor.
He even supplied bottles for last year’s graduation and says the influx of firms and sole traders emerging from the university is of no great surprise.
“There are so many directions I can take the business, it could roll out across the country and beyond, but here in Cornwall is definitely the best place to start as it’s probably the strongest area in the UK for wine production,” he said.
“Falmouth University has given me firm foundations on which to build the company through support and advice, as well as resources and expertise I would not otherwise
“It’s now up to me to complete my degree and take it forward, which I’m excited about.”
Falmouth Business School has launched six new degrees that will begin this September: business with digital marketing, data analytics, business and entrepreneurship, management, financial technology (FinTech) and business development management.
For more information, visit www.falmouth.ac.uk/falmouth-business-school