Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

Celebrating our female graduates’ entrepreneurial successes.

Date: 20 November 2018

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, an international campaign, sets out to empower women and girls to become active participants in the economy by creating their own startups.

London Metropolitan University is proud that, over the past ten years, many female graduates have gone on to find great entrepreneurial success in their careers. In 2014, Finnish students Anna Ojutkangas (BSc Sports Therapy) and Eveliina Suoyrjo (BA Fashion Marketing) founded Arctic Power Berries, a business importing traditional Finnish ingredients, with the support of Accelerator, the University’s specialist incubator for startups.

Launching success

London Metropolitan University encourages entrepreneurial activity amongst all of its student body. During the summer break, the Launchpad Programme takes place at Accelerator, London Met’s flagship business start-up programme. Taking place over an intensive 12 weeks, the mixture of students and alumni in attendance gain all the knowledge, tools and support to fast track their ideas into a viable startup venture.

Ella Deadman, a graduate intern at London Met, took part in the Launchpad programme to kick start her publication Pure Filth, a contemporary sex and design magazine. She said: “Pure Filth is a website and magazine which explores sex, gender and identity. It’s a twist on pornography, using the aesthetics of vintage pornography from the 70’ and 80’s, but changing the harmful message they convey. Pure Filth subverts the adult magazines that have come before it.

“The aim is to bring people together and create a positive dialogue about sex, by swapping strange and funny stories to uncover the human and forgotten aspects of sex, the things that make us us.

“Initially just a passion project, taking part in the Launchpad Programme helped me turn my idea into something truly viable. I was worried about figuring out how to manage the financial side of my idea. The programme not only explained how finance in business works, but also showed me how to deal with the financial aspects on my own, making me independent.

“The staff at the Accelerator are always happy to meet with you and help with any obstacle you’re facing. They provide ongoing support. At the moment, there are three Marketing students currently formulating a marketing strategy for my business, which is what I love most; they make it so everybody helps one another, and everybody learns.”

Lorraine Dillon, a current Postgraduate studying MSc Food Science, who also took part in the Launchpad Programme to help her business Chambucha, said: Chambucha is a new Kombucha brand aimed at young people looking for a sophisticated, healthy and aesthetically pleasing alternative to alcoholic drinks on a night out. The aim is to get the product kegged and served on tap at bars and restaurants. Ultimately, it’s a way to reduce people’s consumption of sugar.

“The whole team at Accelerator has helped enormously, providing me with a great source of information and support for my business, helping me identify the fundamental aspects needed to set up a business. The Launchpad programme is structured in a way which got my thinking about how to validate and test my product.

“I feel much more confident about moving forward with my business. Meeting and talking with other founders in Accelerator has given me the motivation to feel as though this is a viable, worthwhile venture for when I graduate.”