University website supports student and graduate traders

Published on: 17 September 2014

The Student Traders website launched in March 2014.

Exeter is not just an academic hub; it has an eye for business too and a new website is helping students to showcase their business services and products to the public. 

The University of Exeter’s Student Traders web pages support budding student entrepreneurs by helping them to connect with people who may want to use their services.

All the businesses featured on Student Traders have been created by students in between their studies, often as social enterprises, supporting the local communities via charitable returns or sourcing of materials.

Social enterprise Jollie Goods is featured on the site, creator and biology student Ed Vickers, said: “The Student Traders web pages have provided me with an additional and free marketing platform, helping to showcase Jollie Goods to a wider audience. I have already seen an increase in orders since using the web pages.”

Mammal Swag, a quirky Exeter-based independent personalised clothing brand, is using the website as an extra advertising platform, hoping to improve sales on their clothing products. Jon Mills, founder of Mammal Swag, has used the knowledge from his Economics degree to aid in the development of his business.

Jon said: “I can’t say I ever expected to leave university with a profitable business to boot. Better still, I have the satisfaction of seeing people around campus wearing the t-shirts I have drawn. I know it would have not been such a successful venture without the help of university and its facilities.”

Singer Ella Janes is using the site to sell her second EP, Many Miles Away. Selected for Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Longlist in 2013 Ella has already toured with nu-folkers Ellen and the Escapades, and played alongside the likes of Abigail Washburn, Molly Jones and Lee Southall, and Fossil Collective. Using the Student Traders website will showcase Ella’s music to a wider audience and help to advance her already impressive music career.

A range of services are also on offer on the website including academic tutors, gardeners and events staff, musicians (such as accordionist Tadas Jukevicius), photographers, and design artists. The site also encourages members of the local community to get in contact if the desired service is not listed; providing a bespoke service search within the student cohort.

English student Kate Walker is using her self-taught photography and design skills in her Marquee Lights studio business. She provides services in design, editing and photography and has even gained employment with the University as a Casual Services Designer.

The Student Traders website was launched in March 2014 and the scheme has already attracted praise from the public.

Rachel Dawson, who used the web pages to find a singing teacher for her daughter, said: “I love the idea of student traders, and am certainly happy to have a great singing teacher for my daughter – we had a great session interviewing excellent candidates, and have someone working with us who my daughter relates well to.”

Rachel added: “I have recommended this scheme to a local school and to friends. We’re also considering it for my son next year so he can learn guitar.”

With an ever increasing demand for students to stand out from the crowd, the Student Traders website provides a showcase opportunity and helps individuals develop in a professional setting by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.

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