Aston University has selected Joseph Poxon, Founder of Rugged Nature, to represent Aston University in the prestigious national Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards for 2021. He receives £1000 in seed funding for this achievement.   

Joe who graduated last year in Product Design & Management, founded the all natural hair, face and body product business during his placement year with the support of the Aston Enterprise department. He went on to win the top prize in the Aston Enterprise pitching competition in 2020, receiving seed funding for the business, when the judges praised him for the remarkable progress he’s already made with his business and ambitious plans to scale in the future.  

He also successfully applied for an Enterprise bursary and is now developing his business further and has joined other early-stage entrepreneurs on the Aston Programme for Small Business Growth for the next stage of the growth of his business.   

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards were launched in 2011 and has become one of the UK’s largest student and graduate business pitching competitions. Entrepreneurs are rewarded with cash prizes, mentoring and start-up support and so far more than £590,000 has been given away to start-ups and small businesses. This year all the entrepreneurs selected by the partner university network will take part in a bespoke online programme of support to help their businesses to scale. The programme will culminate in a pitching competition, where businesses will pitch for their chance to win up to £75,000 worth of business support.

Enterprise Competition Final 2020


Joseph Poxon (2020 Graduate, Product Design & Management) – Rugged Nature with Paula Whitehouse, Associate Dean Enterprise, College of Business and Social Science