Barnsley College (@barnsleycollege) student, Kelsey White, has carved the path for her future by turning her love of chocolate and sweet treats into a business venture. This was made possible by support from iTrust, the College’s business start-up programme designed exclusively for students.
Before COVID-19, Kelsey often visited markets with her mother, selling sweets and children’s toys and later, as her confidence grew, she began managing stalls such as hook-a-duck at local events. One day whilst she was working on the stalls with her mother, Kelsey visited a well-known coffee shop for a limited-edition hot chocolate. When she was told that it had sold out, she was instantly inspired to start her own hot chocolate stirrer business: Chocoholics.
Kelsey began working on flavours and recipes whilst curating a Facebook page for the business; just three weeks later she had sold over 2,000 hot chocolate stirrers.
Kelsey attended a workshop organised by the College’s Enterprise team, which showcased the support that iTrust can provide to budding entrepreneurs. With advice and guidance from the team she began to work on a website for her new venture.
Barnsley College’s Enterprise department is home to the iTrust initiative, a joint venture between the College, The Barnsley Chronicle and The Business Village, which supports students interested in starting up a business in Barnsley. Students who choose to receive support from iTrust, will have access to an array of information and guidance such as mentoring from industry specialists and local businesses and financial investments.
As part of the programme, Kelsey has been awarded a grant totalling £250 which has allowed her to invest in more chocolate moulds, tags, packaging and ingredients leading to a higher volume of sales and increased profit.
Kelsey, currently studying Level 3 Travel and Tourism, said: “I have to say a big thank you to iTrust for supporting me constantly with my business; all of the team are amazing! I would recommend other students to get in touch with Enterprise if they have a business idea as they provide so much useful help and support. In the future I would love to own my own successful restaurant or cafe!”
Jess Widdowson, Enterprise Team Leader at the College, added: “Kelsey is an inspiring young woman who was already familiar with the realms of Enterprise by working with her mum for several years. Kelsey has a clear understanding of her market which really impressed both myself and Andy Callard from The Enterprise Skills Project at Sheffield Hallam University. I am really looking forward to seeing how Kelsey’s business grows over the coming months and years, and the new products she may add to her current line. It’s a pleasure to work with such a driven, motivated and knowledgeable entrepreneur.”