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Wednesday 15 April 2015

5 lucky students awarded share of £21,000

Five young people, aged 18 to 24, have been awarded a share of £21,000 of funding through the Solent LEP’s (Local Enterprise Partnership) Young Entrepreneur Fund.

The lucky recipients were unveiled on 23 March at Southampton Solent University, who provide training and support for those selected.

L-R Luke Parker, Professor Graham Baldwin, Bryony Gordon and Mauro Farmhouse at Southampton Solent University

Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor at Southampton Solent, says: “The University is very active in encouraging and developing student entrepreneurs, which makes us the right fit to deliver training to recipients of the Young Entrepreneur Fund.”

Among those getting a head start in business thanks to the cash injection is 22-year-old Solent University graduate Bryony Gordon from Southampton, who plans to set up a mobile app to connect people working in the creative industries.

Bryony, who recently graduated with a First Class degree in BA (Hons) Fashion Styling, created the app as part of her major project at University. She says: “My app works in a similar way to something like LinkedIn, but is specific to people in the creative industries.

“It will be really useful for students, freelancers and agencies, and the funding I’ll receive will help me with marketing. Ultimately, my plan is to firmly establish the app in the UK and then introduce it to Europe.”

Also benefitting from Solent LEP funding is Luke Parker, an 18 year old from Fareham. Luke’s business, ALL7 Productions, offers a videography for businesses service.

“The funding is the backbone to my business and without it I wouldn’t have been able to buy professional camera and editing equipment, as it’s just so expensive. It was really easy to apply for the funding, and meant I could just get on with starting my business,” he says.

Mauro Farmhouse, from Portsmouth, has set up Chasing Mula, a clothing company that aims to represent street life. He says, “The funding is helping me progress my business with promotion and marketing, and to build the brand quickly.”

The fund has now been reopened and a further £35,000 is up for grabs for the most promising of the region’s budding business brains.

Anyone in the Solent area aged 16 to 24 with a strong business idea is urged to apply for the next round of funding, which is open for applications now. To find out more or apply visit

Chris Allington, Solent LEP Board member says: “The young entrepreneurs get support and mentoring from many organisations across the region through the fund, which helps to kick-start their businesses.

“Entrepreneurship and SMEs are the future of our economy and that starts with young people, which is why the funding is so important.”