6 Student-Owned Businesses that are Rocking It - Part II

As I promised you earlier this week, I'm showing you 3 more incredible students who acted on their business ideas despite the heavy schedule of classes, study meetings, exams and other life commitments. If they can do it, so can you!

🌟 Clea Watson - Priceless Clothing UK

1. What is your business about?

I am the designer and creator of Priceless Clothing UK. 18 months ago, when I was 14, I started my clothing line. I'm hugely inspired by 90's hip hop, and it has a massive influence on my designs. I make and customise my garments from home, using my own vinyl cutter and heat press equipment. I found a gap in the market for unique urban clothing for young people like me. My main logo uses Hindi writing that means priceless. I love the beautiful style of Hindi writing. I've introduced a number of new designs, and I'm really excited to be launching my new collection; urban fashion with a style function. I will be making clothing that is accessible for all, including disabled people and children with sensory sensitivities. Have a look at some of my designs on my website at www.ceeceetm.com.

2. How did you decide to start a business while studying?

Initially, I started out wanting to make my own clothing. I was let down by a company in America when I ordered a jacket. I am really into fashion and I like to have my own style. This is kind of where it all began. I made my first hoodie using a local printer, posted an image on snapchat and within 24 hours I had over 50 message orders + was delivering them all over Bristol. 3. What was the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge I have faced so far has been dealing with GCSEs and looking after my mum and sister while trying to keep the business organised. It was hard to stay on top of my orders, especially during exam time as each garment takes a long time to make. Also, I found it difficult to regularly post on social media. I have found a real lack of support for young entrepreneurs in my city, this is something I would hope to change when I become really successful. 4. What was your first big milestone?

My first big milestone was was getting international orders - from the States and the Netherlands. Knowing there are people in different corners of the world, wearing Priceless Clothing had a huge impact on my determination to succeed. I have a map on my wall with pins dotted on all of the different places my clothes have reached, I would really like to see some pins on Australia and South America soon. 5. How did you go about promoting your business and growing your client base?

I have attended fashion shows, community events and had stalls at local festivals. I was invited for an interview on a local radio station Ujima FM, which was an amazing experience. A local online magazine Bristol 24/7 wrote an article about me and the challenges of being a young carer and kidpreneur. I did my first live TV appearance on Made In Bristol TV, it was really nerve racking, but gave me a lot more confidence in building my brand. Social media is still my main channel of promotion.

Clea is simply blowing my mind! Follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

🌟 Deep Kakkad - Rakht & HireSolve

1. What is your business about?

I actually run two businesses at the moment. The first one is called 'Rakht - Save lives'. Rakht (translates blood in English) decreases the number of deaths occurring due to unavailability of blood in emergency situations, by connecting the person who needs blood with a person who can donate, in a matter of seconds. Our research states that, 47.7% of deaths occurring due to unavailability of blood can be eliminated using our Android app.

I started the second startup, HireSolve, when I went to Kuala Lumpur for a hackathon, called Angelhack in 2016. The prototype I created was selected as one of the finalists, which inspired me to work more in the same direction. Later that year, HireSolve won a competition organised by the government of India and soon after, I and HireSolve were selected to attend a Business Accelerator for Young Entrepreneurs (aged 18 to 23). I was among 25 other entrepreneurs from 50 different countries.

2. How did you decide to start a business while studying?

Well, it was not intentional actually. I saw someone dying due to blood unavailability. It was my trigger for starting to work on a possible solution for such problems. I wanted to prevent further deaths caused by such an amendable problem and that's how Rakht was born. People were amazed! I teamed up with a few like-minded people and our work got published in newspapers and we took part in TV shows. Incubators and Accelerators approached us. It was at that stage when I knew I wanted to do business.

3. What was the biggest challenge?

Finding good team-mates is a challenge. Some possess the skills, but are not passionate. Some are passionate, but not quite there on skill level. Sometimes, finding people who resonate with your energy is hard. There's a common saying: "Ideas are worth cents, it's all about the execution". I believe, "Ideas are worth cents, it's all about the team".

4. What was your first big milestone?

Astonishingly, the first biggest milestone was to secure an Angel investment just after a month of launching Rakht. Money is not everything, but money buys you freedom to be creative. You can spend it trying and taking risks. Without funds you are tied up to a standard approach or a mediocre way of developing your product. Securing investment also boosted my confidence about what I was working on.

5. How did you go about promoting your business and growing your client base?

Marketing & User acquisition is my forte. I have worked with 30+ startups as a Marketing consultant, helping them strategise their campaigns. From my experience with other startups, I find it easy to create a good ROI on the marketing campaigns I run for my own businesses. Specifically for my product, I used a couple of famous growth hacks: 1) Piggybacking - AirBnb Case Study 2) Referral system - Dropbox Case Study

Other than this, I love cold calling and cold emailing. For some it is tiresome, but I like crafting a good speech or an email to impress and convince the customer that what I offer is actually worth their time.

You can learn more about Deep and his business ventures on his LinkedIn profile. Have a look at www.hiresolve.com to check what they offer and visit Google Play to download the Rakht app. Deep is also publishing a book, called "Marketing Your Startup" soon. Why not prebook?

🌟 Nwobasi Rowland Daniel - NaijaCliq.com

1. What is your business about?

I run a blog - Naijacliq.com, where I share interesting stories about Nigerian celebrities, promote upcoming artists and their music, and also provide my readers with a video download portal. It has proven to be a great way to make money since I get paid by musicians to review and promote their songs and also earn extra cash from affiliate marketing and ads on my blog.

I'm soon to launch NaijaCliq Online TV where Nollywood addicts and afropop fans can come to enjoy themselves.

2. How did you decide to start a business while studying?

I started blogging at the age of 14 when I was still in high school. I've always loved writing. It is my passion and since so many people were telling me I have a talent for it, I thought the best thing to do is to monetise that talent. Entertainment industry in Nigeria is huge and once you get the right connections from a young age you are sorted for life.

3. What was the biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is finding TIME. It's hard to balance school and consistent blogging. Selling a yesterday's story today wouldn't work for a website like mine. My visitors know I always get the latest gists, that's why they keep coming back on regular bases. Another challenge is distributing money. I pay my school fees myself, so whatever I earn from my blog goes towards my tuition, I re-invest some and use the rest for my personal expenses.

4. What was your first big milestone?

It was a splash of joy when I first met a Record Label owner, Obieze Kene. He offered a collaboration between him and NaijaCliq. It wasn't just a step, it was a leap forward. The best thing is, I didn't even expected it to come at the time it did, because I was just starting off.

5. How did you go about promoting your business and growing your client base?

I promote my website online. I draw the most traffic from social media, especially Facebook and Twitter.

Get to know West African celebrities better on www.NaijaCliq.com. I'm going right away!

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