Aston University graduate, Ben Smith, has set up a new company, Frumtious, to produce snacks containing tasty and healthy ‘superfruits’ that contribute to the daily recommended dose of fruit and vegetables and help combat the UK’s obesity epidemic.
Ben has developed his business through the help of the Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN) programme, which supports students and young graduates to start up profit-making businesses or social enterprises. BSEEN has been able to provide Ben with financial help as well as access to expert advice from business mentor Emma Jennings, Director of Events at city centre meeting and events venue thestudio.
Through working with Emma, who is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme run in the Midlands by Aston Business School, in partnership with Goldman Sachs, Ben has been able to access her catering management expertise, use design agency contacts for help with product branding and even hold a product testing of his pots of real fruit jelly at thestudio. Ben plans to sell Frumtious snacks as stand-alone products that can be enjoyed on-the-go or used to liven up porridge or yoghurt. He is hopeful of having them on sale in high-end coffee shops and snack food outlets before Christmas.
Frumtious has already received high praise, having recently been shortlisted for the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Awards, giving Ben the opportunity to win £1000 of funding for his venture. Ben also runs BKSK Inspire, a social enterprise which seeks to inspire current and former youth offenders with enterprise through training, mentoring and support. BKSK recently reached the final of The Pitch 2013, Britain’s largest small business competition.
A former Vice President of Aston Students’ Union, Ben graduated from Aston University in 2009 with a 2:1 BSc in International Business and Modern Languages. Alongside setting up BKSK Inspire and Frumtious, he has already worked as a business strategy consultant on a transformation project designed to apply academic theory to improve business performance and launched a magazine app reviewing local independent entertainment venues.
Ben said of his business venture: “Aston University gave me the confidence and skills I needed to set up my own business. The University has a range of initiatives in place to encourage entrepreneurial activities. Working with the BSEEN programme through Aston has given me invaluable support in setting up Frumtious and in developing it further by working with Emma. I am very excited for the future of the company and I am looking forward to seeing my products in shops.” Click here to find out more about how Aston supports enterprise or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme, visit www.aston.ac.uk/10ksb