Final year Business Management student Neophytos Ioannou, with the help of the School of Management, has brought his innovative business idea to life and implemented a stationery vending machine into the Bay Campus library. Selling everything from stationery and headphones to chargers and USB leads. He spoke to us about how he initially developed the idea.
“I identified a need for a stationery vending machine within the university. I was studying one evening with my friend who’s an Engineering student and he had lost his stationery set. He was really panicking, as the shop on campus was closed and there were no librarians around so he was basically stuck. This is where my idea came from.”
During his second year of studies Neo studied the practical, project-based Applied Entrepreneurship module, where he got to develop a business plan on his stationery vending machine idea. He was awarded an investment of £1000 based on his business pitch to the School of Management Investment Fund. This investment allowed Neo to purchase the vending machine as well as the initial stock.
Neo said; “I received a lot of support from my lecturers. They helped me in terms of health and safety regulations and gave me lots of invaluable advice.”
He added; “The lecturers at the School have got real-life experience and some have even ran their own businesses, which is so beneficial to us as students.”
Now that the business is into its second year Neo has made some changes including: improving the range of products on offer; adding chargers and USB cables, increasing the prices and switching to new suppliers. He has made over £400 in profit. Once of the biggest challenges he has going forward is implementing a contactless payment system to the machine.
Neo hopes to go on to study at Masters at Swansea University, focusing more on Marketing. He finished by saying;
“I’ve loved my time at the School of Management. The fact that the Bay Campus is so close to the beach is a big plus point for me. I also like that Swansea is quite a small city so it’s not too busy and relatively cheap too. I’m able to live fairly comfortably as a student.
The Employability team at the School has been really supportive throughout my time here. I’d encourage anyone looking to develop their entrepreneurial skills to consider studying at the School of Management at Swansea University.”