A coffee liqueurs business that started life as part of a student’s enterprise placement year has won the grand final of a national ‘young entrepreneurs’ competition entitled TestTown.
Panda’s Kitchen won £10,000 for its creator Huddersfield advertising design graduate Stephen Bond, pictured, and began only after an earlier business collaboration fell through during his placement year.
Since its official opening in Huddersfield’s Byram Arcade less than a year ago, Panda’s Kitchen has gone from strength to strength.
“Winning was never my main goal going into the competition,” said Stephen. “I saw TestTown as an amazing chance for me to test my obscure products on a tough market and there were many other fantastic businesses and entrepreneurs who competed, but nevertheless winning is the icing on my liqueur-filled cake!” he added.
Backed by the Carnegie UK Trust, TestTown is designed to boost economic regeneration by challenging young entrepreneurs to showcase their business ideas in towns across the UK. Between July and December 2015, the TestTown competition began with ten towns from across the UK hosting an enterprise challenge in town centre spaces, with each challenge tailored to local economic needs.
Since winning the title Stephen has been thinking about what to spend the money on. “I would love to invest in some better industrial equipment for my shop in the Byram arcade and to start attending wholesale events and wedding fairs,” said Stephen.
“It’s an extraordinary amount of money and in order to not waste this life-changing opportunity given to me by TestTown and Carnegie UK Trust, I am going to really sit down and plan how to use it effectively,” he added.