Making your business our business
Lisa Burbidge-Brown, Lecturer in Digital Marketing and Enterprise tells the story of a chance encounter that ended up as a symbiotic partnership between an aspiring entrepreneur and the University of Wolverhampton.
Emma Williams, owner of Park Street Kitchen, first approached me via her sister who was a student on one of my enterprise modules. As part of her Business Management degree, Emma was looking to start-up her own street food business operating from home and delivering freshly made food to people in her local area.
Having experience in setting up and running my own street food business for several years, my role teaching enterprise and entrepreneurship, as well as mentoring local business and student start-ups – this could not have been more fitting.
I mentored Emma through the start-up stage and helped advise her on menu design, pricing, logistics, marketing, and operational issues for her start-up business Park Street Kitchen. The business flourished during the pandemic with more and more people relying on take-away and delivered food options as a bit of luxury.
Soon after, the opportunity arose for Park Street Kitchen to apply for growth funding and a permanent eatery within Wellington Market. I helped with this process and the design and layout of the kitchen and promotional materials. The business is now growing further and now employs staff to help cook and deliver the food, as well as trading at market events and the new Youth Market.
Park Street Kitchen has gained lots of press coverage in local newspapers, on social media and local radio. Emma Williams was also featured in the Business School’s annual ‘Women in Business’ conference sharing her experiences with other women who are considering starting up a new business.
I am so proud of how hard Emma has worked on her business and her success is well-deserved. Being a small part of that success is so rewarding – there’s no better feeling. I love seeing our students go on to start-up their own businesses that once was nothing but an idea, a dream they had. Then having return to share their stories and journeys with the next cohort of students is amazing and knowing that we have been on that journey with them – from student to entrepreneur is what being a part of the ‘University of Opportunity’ is all about.
Emma said: "Lisa really helped give me the confidence I needed in the early stages of my new business. Her knowledge was second to none. Having had the experience of owning a food business herself, she really helped me prioritise tasks in order to succeed. The time dedicated to help move Park Street Kitchen in the right direction was invaluable - I feel very lucky to have been able to take advantage of the business knowledge of a University of Wolverhampton lecturer to help get my small business get off the ground.”
As a result of this successful partnership with Park Street Kitchen, the Business School has developed a regular work experience scheme with Wellington Market for our business and marketing students to gain experience of working with the market’s marketing management team and providing valuable work links in social media marketing.
For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.