George Bailey on how the eco-friendly glasses company he co-founded is about to make waves, thanks to the UEA Enterprise Fund.
I have so much gratitude to the people backing us."
George Bailey, Co-founder of Coral Eyewear
When I arrived at UEA, I found everything a budding entrepreneur could need. You've got the freedom to manage your time, access to great facilities and a network of contacts. Plus, of course, the UEA Enterprise Fund.
The UEA Enterprise Fund provides business support to help students like me become entrepreneurs, including life-changing grants and equity investments into our companies.
From idea to reality
I'd spotted a gap in the market to combine my passion for the environment with an everyday product. I thought it might be able to make a real impact, so I went to speak to the team at UEA's Enterprise Centre.
Aged 19, you're often told you need more experience. Here, I've received nothing but professional-level support and advice that's helped develop the idea into a fledgling business.
Coral Eyewear was born. Today we're pioneering the use of discarded ocean plastics and recycled fishing nets to produce sustainable glasses, sunglasses and accessories.
Scaling the business
We received a £50,000 equity investment from the Enterprise Fund- the largest award available. The money is massively accelerating our business. We've commissioned an industry-leading designer, bought materials, and are developing our website and marketing ready for launch. We want to get our products onto the high street, reduce harmful plastic waste and make a positive difference for global wildlife and biodiversity.
All this would be our of reach for the vast majority of students. UEA's investment makes it possible.
Could you help support a business like George's?
You can make a gift today to help support the UEA Enterprise Fund. With your help, we can reach more students and change more lives.
Or, if you’d like to find out more, please contact the Development Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a business of your own?
To apply to the UEA Enterprise Fund, visit our Student Enterprise page.