Grŵp Llandrillo Menai's thriving enterprise departments recently launched a 'Student Entrepreneur of the Month' competition to celebrate, highlight and reward the scores of budding 'Bransons' across the college group's 12 campuses.
January's recipient of the award is higher education student Ella Faulkner from Rhyl, who is studying Business Management Level 5 at Coleg Llandrillo's Rhos-on-Sea campus. Ella's jewellery company trades under the name of Ellagance.
Ella explained more about how the initial seeds were sown:
I started the business because one Christmas I wanted to give something personal to my friends and family and thought 'why not make them bracelets myself.
Ellagance has now been running since May 2019. It started off slowly, but since learning about marketing and digital marketing on her college course, and how to use social media in the correct way, Ella's initially small business has rapidly grown.
The best thing about being an entrepreneur is turning a dream into reality. My favourite part is when I get to create a unique style in the sequence of the various beads (rose gold, silver, healing and chakras crystals). Being resilient and learning from early mistakes is important, even being able to laugh at them: my first bracelet looked lovely, but the knot was not tight enough, so when I proudly picked it up, the beads went everywhere!
I am grateful to all of my customers for letting me help them create their bracelet stacking stories and to my tutors for helping me understand the business world and showing me how my little dreams can become reality. I just had to believe in myself.
Ella's tutor Stephanie Harding - who is the higher education enterprise officer and programme leader for the BTEC Year 1 Business at Coleg Llandrillo - said:
Ella has come on leaps and bounds in terms of her business of late. She has been particularly proactive in taking the advice from our Big Ideas Wales role models within her HE Digital Marketing lectures. These have enabled her to sharpen up her social media delivery in terms of content and the use of hashtags within Instagram which has enabled her digital presence to grow phenomenally. She is very passionate and hard-working and we wish her every success.
Coleg Llandrillo's enterprise officer Karen Aerts also congratulated Ella, and commented on the changes within the enterprise department since lockdown:
Over the past year Covid has brought about two main changes within the enterprise team. Firstly moving all of our services online - workshops, competitions, 1:1 support and events - as well as setting up our new page for any of our entrepreneurial students and graduates on Facebook Enterprise / Menter yn Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.
Secondly, it has brought together all of the enterprise departments within all of the colleges and universities across Wales to deliver some amazing pan-Wales opportunities, such as the Wales Student Market where all Welsh students can sell their goods/services online to reach a wider audience https://walesstudentmarket.co.uk. It has been amazing to work with our students and support them through this difficult time, watching how they have adapted their businesses and ideas to meet the 'new norm'.
For more information on Ella's creations, or to message her with your requirements go to her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Ellagance15/
Grŵp Llandrillo Menai's three colleges have just announced that they are now accepting applications for the new term in September 2021.
For more information about Business courses, or any other courses at Coleg Llandrillo, call the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.