Ali Bennett, a Bournemouth University alumnus has won the Young Entrepreneur Award at the South Devon Business Excellence Awards in February this year.
The young entrepreneur award winner credits an internship carried out while she attended Bournemouth University Business School with helping her start her own business.
Miss Bennett said she originally attended the university to pursue a career in accountancy, but she changed her mind during her internship.
“Part of the degree had a year’s placement, which was supposed to be financial, but I was mainly placed in IT, something I had no interest in. Through this experience I decided that I wanted to work for myself and I have changed my aim.”
Miss Bennett started sourcing products for her company Sparkly Nails, an online store selling specialist nail art supplies, just after
completing her course in 2004.
“During my final year at BU I also completed a manicure and pedicure course at Bournemouth College with an aim to set up an actual nail business/salon (not online) as I wanted to work for myself.
“Through not being able to source the nail art products (a valuable add on service for any salon) I looked into becoming a supplier myself.”
Miss Bennett said the business degree gave her the motivation and confidence to start her own business.
“I believed in my ability to learn and without the degree I wouldn’t have taught myself the web design, and other useful skills. I believe more of the teachings like management style will come into practice when the business grows further”