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BE NICE SOCIALStudents in The Arc in Bury St Edmunds with some of their craft stalls, funded by Place 21 NASCENT and supported by Valeries Watson-Brown from The Lively Crew.

Our Business, Retail and Marketing students launched their own business models as part of a mission to start training as young entrepreneurs. Working closely with Valerie Watson-Brown, Director of The Lively Crew marketing agency, the twenty students were tasked with coming up with a full end-to-end business model where they will be setting up their own businesses from scratch.

Shops Without Windows took place in the Arc shopping centre on the Monday 16 March 2020, though the preparations started back in November (read more about that here). The aim was to run market using quirky stalls inspired by the Frome Independent market. The Retail and Marketing students started by devising an idea for a new start up business, where they developed a business plan involving business ownership, legal status, target audience, market research, as well as financial and legal documentation.

The students then went on source their products from various businesses, including an international pet supplier and collaboration with the art and design team, negotiating prices and stock levels. The stands were created using existing items including vintage suitcase, step ladders and crates, where students build their displays as well as planned the overall retail environment taking into account customer traffic flow and use of space within the venue. The students then planned and managed the overall event which involved them setting up the event license, conducting risk assessments and liaising with events managers at the Arc. Additional collaboration with Conservatoire East resulted in flash mob performances during the event to create additional atmosphere and attract attention to the market.

The project has been funded by PLACE 21 NASCENT and supported by Valerie Watson-Brown from The Lively Crew, who carried out a number of workshops during the project to offer industry knowledge on marketing and events management. The Bury Free Press also visited.

Profits support GeeWizz Charity.

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