Each summer the Basecamp team provides aspiring entrepreneurs with grant funding and support to maximise their potential. You can benefit from funding of up to £1,000 to support your work during 8 weeks of the summer, as well as a business mentor and hot desking space. Applications are open between 5 and 26 April 2019.
Ruth Bannister, a History with Innovation student and founder of Roo Jewellery, received funding through the Enternship scheme. Here’s her story:
What was your idea?
“In a nutshell, I design and make pieces of jewellery inspired by Ancient World histories to bring artefacts into the everyday and make ancient design both accessible and educational.”
How did it all start?
“The idea was conceived in 2014. I would drool over treasures in the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert. I wanted more than to just look at the old gold, I wanted to touch the pieces, wear their adornments, and learn more about their past. I decided to make myself jewellery inspired by some of my favourite artefacts, and then I decided that I wanted to fill the market gap I had discovered.
I’m now studying History with Innovation and I am developing the future of my brand as part of my innovation coursework. I’m gaining credits for designing the future I want, and I love it.”
How did the funding help you?
“I applied for the Enternship scheme and was lucky enough to gain a place. After a mentor matching speed date session, I was matched with Danielle Morgan who comes from a marketing background and works as a consultant to many businesses including a fabulous independent shoe designer. I did a little happy dance when I got matched with Danielle – she was just perfect for me. I knew we’d get on well and I have loved the support I’ve received from her. We’re still in touch even after the summer Enternship scheme.
The funding allowed me to make such positive progress. It allowed me to pay my rent over the summer and keep my makings to pump back into the business to produce my collections, create samples and organise my first photoshoot.
I now sell online, am stocked with multiple UK independent retailers, and had my first press feature in AnOther Magazine. My name was alongside Dior, and I can honestly say without Enternship support this wouldn’t have happened.”
What support have you received?
“Basecamp have been great. I love my meetings to catch up with the staff and get advice. They’re so genuinely excited and interested in what I’m trying to do. Their suggestions are always valuable. They’ve given me the encouragement to go for this, and I shall!”
Do you have any top tips for entrepreneurs?
“Take opportunities wherever you can. I am so grateful for the Enternship scheme. I also took the summer to do an enterprise course with PrincesTrust for additional support.
If you’re interested in starting something up, then use your time at university to play with potential business ideas. Being at university is a safe bubble to explore ideas and see what works. It doesn’t take much money to get something started, and social media is on our side. Just play, explore and see where it takes you!”
Interviews will be held 3 May and mentor matching on 12 June.