Graduates team up to make their green dream a reality

A trio of Swansea students didn’t just bond over their passion for the planet, they went on to a forge fantastic new idea for a green business of their own.

Joe Sevenoaks, Emily MacAulay and Rhiannon Barriball have just graduated from Swansea University but will continue to work together as they build up their firm Easily Eco.

The venture started, thanks to the University’s first ever £100 Challenge initiative during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018. It saw small teams of students given £100 and the chance to make as much profit as possible in four weeks, provided their idea was legal and ethical.

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Emily MacAulay, Joe Sevenoaks and Rhiannon Barriball from Easily Eco.

Management graduate Joe, Emily and Rhiannon who both studied geography, used their £100 I cash to buy stock to make up plastic-free hampers which they sold at a pop-up Christmas market at the University.

They went on to sell at other locations around Swansea including Mumbles and Uplands markets and as well as at a pop-up shop on campus supported by the Students Union.

The team then entered Easily Eco into the University’s Big Pitch competition which saw them line up alongside other young entrepreneurs to present 25 business ideas to a panel of industry judges.

It was one of seven successful businesses chosen to receive £1,250 seed corn funding which has been used to create a website and help it go from strength to strength.

Joe said: “We are so pleased we have been able to extend the range of products on offer – and none of it would have been possible without the University’s Enterprise Team.”

Emily added: “The help we have had has made all difference. The team’s fantastic events have given us the courage to turn our passion into a business. We are excited in continuing our journey further with the help of the seed funding.”

Entrepreneurship Officer Kelly Jordan said: “It was a privilege to support students who are so committed to encouraging others to be more environmentally aware. This social enterprise has already had a phenomenal impact at the University.”

University Head of Engagement, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Emma Dunbar said she was delighted to see the competition support and help create new student entrepreneurs.

She said: “With the recent launch of our Student Entrepreneurship Strategy, we recognise the importance to provide our students with opportunities to test and validate their business ideas in a safe environment, gain valuable real life experiences and to develop their skills to meet the challenges ahead.”

Emily said: “Now we have graduated we intend to stay in Swansea, continuing to have an impact on the region, our next target is to have our own branded products and have our own shop in the future.”