Norwich Business School has developed a strong community of alumni from around the world but some of our enterprising alumni have chosen to start their own business ventures and base them in the East of England.
Starting and running your own business is not for the faint hearted as it requires a lot of discipline, resilience and determination and as a business owner the buck stops with you. However, the rewards are the excitement of founding your own enterprise, the potential to earn far more than you would earn in salaried employment and to enjoy a lifestyle governed by your passion. If you are not financially motivated you may consider establishing a social enterprise where you can really make a difference societally either in your own country or on a global scale.
Our selection of case studies below feature growing businesses that have been founded by our recent alumni. Some of whom have benefitted from the support UEA offers to student and alumni enterprises in collaboration with Santander Bank.
If you feel you possess the necessary qualities and passion to begin your business, why not have a chat with our Director of Employability and Innovation, Dr Graham Manville.
BSc Business Management 2005 - Matt Legon
Now a widely recognisable brand, Gnaw was co-founded by 2005 BSc Business Management graduate Matt
There’s so much serious stuffy chocolate out there. Everyone had forgotten the joy, fun and playful surprise of eating this scrummy, yummy and thoroughly delicious stuff? Certainly not for Matt & Teri, the Gnaw Creators.
They decided to embark on a cocoa-dusted mission to bring the excitement back into high quality chocolate. As a result, a shiny new factory sprung up ready to produce the premium chocolatey bars and treats and the Gnaw brand launched in 2011. Going from strength to strength, 2017 saw the launch of the exceptional single origin chocolate bars, Brooke & Amble.
The scrumptious bars, nibbles and hot choc shots have received a fabulous reception - Apparently there was a big hole in many-a-chocoholic’s tummy waiting to be filled by these deliciously quirky flavours.
BSc Accounting and Management 2016 - Jacob Freshwater
Upon graduating with a Starred First Class degree, I chose to pursue my passion for business rather than enter the Finance corporate world. To date, the business has grown considerably from £250k to £1.3 million revenue in our second year, receiving a national Car Dealer “Rising Star” Award.
Having recently moved premises to a large indoor showroom, we continue to embrace our 21st century approach with keen motivation pursuit for growth and local employment.
BSc Business Management 2014 - Nick Yeandle
AV Xpert Limited is a local audio-visual company based in Huntingdon,Cambridgeshire. Established by Nick Yeandle in 2014, whilst in his final year of studies at UEA, AV Xpert was set up with a vision to provide audio-visual equipment hire, sales and installations.
Nick graduated in 2014 with a first class degree in Business Management and had aspirations to grow the company from its beginnings, with basic storage and office space at his Cambridgeshire family home, to a size that would support the local community with new employment opportunities.
In January 2018 AV Xpert announced their move to a new commercial premises at Hinchingbrooke Business Park. The brand new facilities provide 168sq metres of warehouse space and office facilities, allowing for an expansion of rental and sales stock and enabling the company to take on more staff.
The company’s hire stock of PA systems, event lighting and projection equipment is growing rapidly, and is now at a point that AV Xpert can cater for functions and events with over 1500 guests. The firm also continues to secure increasingly larger and more prestigious installation jobs, and is seeking to continue to establish and maintain on-going relationships with clients including Cambridge Colleges, Schools, Hotels, Restaurants, Conference and Events Centres and Venues across the East of England.
Nick is very excited about the growth prospects for AV Xpert and has continued to double sales revenue on a yearly basis since its incorporation four years ago.
BSc Business Management 2015 - Alex Osen
Agile Sports Management Ltd is an elite sports agency representing professional athletes at the highest level including World, European, Commonwealth and National Champions.
ASM was started by 2015 UEA Alumni's Harry Scott (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) and Alex Osen (Business Management). Harry and Alex combined their knowledge not only from what they learnt on their respective courses, but how to present themselves in a professional manner, as well as the networks they created while at UEA.
During his second year Alex attended a workshop hosted by EXTREME CEO Alistair Gosling. From this, one of ASM's clients is now working with EXTREME. ASM is in communication daily with huge brands such as Under Armour, Red Bull, BBC, British Cycling and ASOS.
ASM is now entering its 3rd financial year and is aiming to achieve revenues of over £250,000 this year. The aim is to do this by increasing their cliental and entering into new sources of revenue for the business. Harry and Alex continue to work hard daily taking the business to the next level with the aim of putting ASM along side some of the biggest agencies in the world.