I have had many highs and lows during my enterprise, my success during Christmas of reaching over £15,000 in sales was a huge accomplishment. But I feel that the greatest accomplishment is honestly the feeling of independence and freedom which this enterprise has given me.
Ben Clark is a third-year student currently undertaking his Year in Enterprise. His business started as a product sourcing business in which he was selling novelty gift based items, he has since moved away from product sourcing for the most part, as his focus is mainly on importing wholesale stock for resale in a few different markets.
Ben initially got in contact with Spark midway through second year, as he had been running an enterprise successfully for approximately 6 months but there was a lot of essential advice that he was missing. Although a placement year was always a possibility in mind, when the opportunity of the Year in Enterprise came around, he entirely focused on his progression on the scheme.
I kept in contact with Mark Taylor, one of Spark’s advisors and when I heard about the Year in Enterprise it was an opportunity which I couldn’t ignore.
How it all started… “I entered the Year in Enterprise with a business which was selling 1-2 items a day, it was a functioning e-commerce business on a very small scale. Prior to the Year in Enterprise I found myself working on this enterprise for approximately an hour a day with no real long-term goal or sense of accomplishment. The YIE gave me the opportunity to focus entirely on my enterprise, I started spending 5-6 hours working on my business. Finding new products, growing my website and also expanding onto Amazon. The ability to remove the focus on studies from my life and to fully focus on my business is what really made the difference.” Says Ben.
I have grown the enterprise greatly since starting this year, to put it into perspective I sold approximately 500 items in my first 12 months. This December alone I sold over 500 items.
In the next 6 months, I want to focus on the products I have established, I have just launched on Amazon with some success but I am looking to begin using Amazon fulfilment by the end of February.
Year in Enterprise applications for 2019/2020 are now open, find all the information you need here https://cees.leeds.ac.uk/year-in-enterprise/ and if you have any questions about the application please contact Dr. Joanne Dickinson at J.H.Dickinson@leeds.ac.uk.