Case Study

Fern Snailham

BA (Hons) Business and Management, 2017 UneekStaffing.co.uk

2017 graduate Fern Snailham wasted no time in setting off on her dream career path, launching her own business, Uneek Staffing, just weeks after graduating.

Fern was studying at college and working part-time in the promotions industry when she came up with her business idea.

She fell in love with the industry and decided to take a year out after finishing college to gain more experience. Travelling around the UK, she had the opportunity of working on different projects across the country promoting various businesses from supermarket products to cars.

Speaking about her idea, Fern said: “I've always been ambitious and wanted to get into business to learn how I could build my own career path. I wanted to create something for myself rather than help someone else get where they want to be by working for their business.

"I decided to go to the University of Sunderland to study Business and Management to prepare me with the knowledge I needed to be able to run my own company. The course included modules in entrepreneurship and marketing and prepared me to map out my idea and write a business plan."

With seven years of experience under her belt and approaching graduation, Fern joined the Enterprise Place as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence to begin to set up her company, Uneek Staffing.

Since joining the facility, she has been given a professional space to run her venture from, as well as access to expert business advisers and a place on the Start-Up Skills course to add to her business knowledge.

Talking about her company, she said: “Since launching in September I have built a database and begun recruiting staff from across the UK. I have secured several contracts and begun to build up business contacts.

"Uneek’s first event takes place next month and I’m so excited to be hosting this event. I have built up a close relationship with the company and hope to continue to work with them in future.

"Since starting my business I have faced some hurdles, the hardest part is you have to be a jack of all trades, learning things you’ve never done before. There’s no one to tell you if you’re doing it right or wrong, you just have to trust yourself but the best part of working for yourself is doing things that typically you would never have done in any other career.

"My advice to others would be to do something you’re passionate about and interested in, don’t worry about knowing everything, just do it and learn on the way. You’re never going to know it all or you’d never get started. Be committed and be prepared to put the hours in because that's what it takes if you want to make it work. Use your time at University to plan what you want to do after graduation, set a goal and plan from there.

"Having Enterprise Place membership has provided me with a professional office space which makes my business look credible and established and is somewhere I can come to focus on work. I have access to meeting rooms and have been able to network with the other entrepreneurs. I was given a place on the Start-Up Skills course and have met with business advisers to get their expertise on my idea and have taken up all opportunities given to me by the Enterprise team.

"As a young entrepreneur, I was given the opportunity to launch YENA in the North East, a network for young entrepreneurs and professionals. The first event was held in Newcastle in October and had a fantastic turnout.

"One of the opportunities highlighted to me by the Enterprise team was the If We Can You Can challenge, a regional business competition for early-stage businesses. I'm delighted that we've been chosen to take part in the final on November 15 during Global Entrepreneurship Week and hope the competition will help me to grow my contact base further."