Jollie Goods donate a pair of thick walking socks to a homeless shelter for each pair of high quality socks they sell.

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Student entrepreneur takes a step forward with support from Exeter Innovation Centre

Did you know it’s currently Global Entrepreneurship Week?

All this week courses, events and workshops will be run across the UK to encourage young people to innovate and start their own businesses.

In recognition of all the great work entrepreneurs do we are taking a look at one of the student entrepreneur success stories from the University of Exeter.

Jollie Goods was founded by student  Ed Vickers and is just about to celebrate its first successful year’s trading.

Ed hit upon the unique idea for his business while volunteering at Crossline's homeless shelter in Exeter.

Following requests for spare socks and determined to provide further help, Ed had an idea – he would set up a high quality socks retail business and for each pair sold would donate a pair of thick walking socks for the shelter to distribute.

To take his idea forward, Ed spoke to the University’s Student Entrepreneur in Residence, a student entrepreneur who had already successfully started his own business. From there, Ed presented his idea at a pitching competition run by SETsquared, a collaboration between five UK universities founded to support the growth of new business opportunities.

After proving he had a solid, well-thought out plan and thoroughly explaining how he would use the grant to develop his brand and website, Ed won the funding to grow his business.  

From there, the Innovation Centre team worked closely with Ed to launch his business, providing business mentoring and support.

Ed said: “The support from the Innovation Centre to develop my business plan allowed me to apply for the Student Start-Up Grant and without that I would never have been able to get Jollie Goods off the ground.

“It is great that the grant is there to help students like me pursue their business ideas”.

Combining the Start-Up Grant with funds provided by social enterprise body UnLtd, Jollie Goods began trading in December 2012.