Student entrepreneur wins award for dog delights

Level 3 student Bethany Braithwaite has been awarded the top prize by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), winning £150 for her unique business idea of offering dog owners a gift pack of treats and helpful tips.

The FSB in Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull launched this award to celebrate and recognise local students who show a flair for enterprise. Open to students aged 16-19, or those under 25 who have special educational needs, and are studying at one of the participating colleges in the local area, were asked to demonstrate how enterprising they are in business.

Beth’s business ‘Doggy Delights’ offers pet owners, for less than £5, a pick ‘n’ mix treat bag that includes a toy, health product, a booklet with recipes, veterinary & training practice, along with a useful product for the owners, such as a paw cleaning cloth for the lucky pooch.

Starting from creating a small business idea as part of their business course, which included creating a mock website, the project evolved into three Hereward students submitting their concepts to the FSB, with Bethany emerging as the winner.

Beth was presented with her certificate and prize of £150, which she intends to reinvest into her business, by experienced teacher and FSB judge, Becki Coombe: “The judges liked Bethany’s application because she has created a business using her experience and passion for a product, and because they felt it was a business that could be developed beyond the college environment. Her application was well presented and her plans for the future were ambitious.”

Beth said: “It is a real shock to receive this award, but I’m very proud of my achievement. It has given me a lot of confidence that it could actually work outside of a college project and to take the innovation forward. I’d really like to thank my tutor Alison for all of her encouragement and the FSB for this fantastic opportunity and investing in young people’s ideas.”

Ian O’Donnell, FSB Warwickshire & Coventry Chairman said: “We know just how creative students can be, and we want to encourage students from all areas of education to look at self-employment and enterprise as a real career opportunity, whether that be in professional services, catering, building or the arts…we want this award to help them to be work ready and to understand what it takes to make a successful business, from the concept and ideas phase right through to marketing and winning customers.”

The FSB hopes this competition will help the students develop the top five employability skills that FSB members feel are needed for the workplace, including general attitude to work, communication and people skills, self-management and literacy.

A further £300 will go to the student who is crowned the overall winner from Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull.