Barnsley College (@barnsleycollege) Horticulture students, Jonathan Carter and Finlay Green, have turned their gardening hobby into a career with the support of iTrust, the College’s business start-up programme designed exclusively for students.
Jonathan and Finlay have always had a keen interest in the gardening and landscaping industry and decided to study Level 2 Horticulture at College to further their knowledge and skills within the sector. Whilst doing the course, they decided to take their love for gardening even further and launch their own business, All Seasons.
After four months, their blooming business has 13 customers and they have recently signed an agreement with a private nursery and two estate agents that they will visit monthly for general garden maintenance and perform duties including: grass cutting; flower, shrub and small tree planting; turfing; and lawn care.
Jonathan and Finlay heard about the College’s Enterprise department through friends and have since worked with the team to create a full business plan and learn more about approaching people on social media.
Barnsley College’s Enterprise department is home to the iTrust initiative, a joint venture between the College, The Barnsley Chronicle and The Business Village, which supports students interested in starting up a business in Barnsley. Students who choose to receive support from iTrust will have access to an array of information and guidance such as mentoring from industry specialists and local businesses and financial investments.
As part of the programme, Jonathan and Finlay are due to receive a grant of up to £250 each. This will allow them to purchase full personal protective equipment, business insurance and new gardening equipment so they can grow their business and offer a wider range of landscaping works.
Jonathan said: “I have always had a huge interest in the gardening and landscaping industry and I really enjoyed gaining more knowledge and experience through my College lessons. As soon as I decided I wanted to turn this interest into a career, I visited the Enterprise department and I can’t recommend them enough; they provide so much support to those wanting to launch their own business. I’m looking forward to receiving my grant as this new equipment will enable me to provide a wider range of services to my customers and, hopefully, lead to increased profit!”
Finlay added: “I have been interested in Horticulture since an early age when I would garden with my Grandad. After that, I began cutting hedges and simply mowing lawns before I realised I wanted to be my own boss. My journey with the College’s Enterprise department has been fantastic, they are all so friendly and helpful and they have made sure I understand as many aspects of running a business as I can; I have learnt so much!”
Julia Davies, Talent United and Enterprise Officer at the College, added:
“Barnsley College is committed to transforming the lives of students, staff and communities and we have been thrilled to support Jonathan and Finlay on their entrepreneurial journey.”