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My Graduate+ and STEAM House Experience 

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Student discusses exciting new business programme. Third year Business Management student Sophie Cleaver talks about her experience working with Graduate+ and why she has signed up to the STEAM Incubator and Hatchery programmes, new initiatives that offer BCU third-year students the chance to earn part of a £10,000 prize fund and turn their business idea into a reality with the support of the university.

With different experiences in the sales and events industry, as well as a role in BCU’s Graduate+ office, in my experience inventory, I have harboured ambitions to launch my own business for a number of years. I hope to build my own digital handmade business through my very own website. I began creating my own wax melts during the first lockdown in 2020 and what began as a hobby has turned into a real desire to turn it into a business.

I have been lucky to receive a great deal of support from the graduate+ team, who encouraged me to apply to the STEAM House programs and really helped me to push myself out of my own comfort zone, in line with the graduate+ philosophy. With the support of BCU and STEAM House experts I hope to finally launch my website and digital store front across multiple social media platforms. I am excited to bring to life my vision for Sophire; an environmentally friendly and more accessible alternative to the traditional candle form. I also have ideas to trial different structural formats for wax melts, which will have benefits including increasing the scent throw and ease of use of wax melts.

I am also looking forward to getting to work in the new facilities, in an environment that promotes creativity alongside other entrepreneurs. I would greatly encourage other students to get involved in this opportunity as it is so unusual to find this kind of free support at the university level. There is so much to learn about yourself from beginning a new business.