September 29, 2016, by International students
Jordana’s advice for international students on setting up a business in the UK
Hello! I’m Jordana and I am an international graduate from The University of Nottingham. I studied MSc Clinical Nutrition and my masters project focused on diabetes. During my studies, I came across the Postgraduate Ingenuity Prize (now renamed to Ingenuity16 for this year), a competition for students to submit their business ideas, organised by the Ingenuity Lab based at The University of Nottingham Innovation Park.
Having spent four years in Nottingham, I struggled to find any healthy, yet affordable, food outlets available in town. Fast food and takeaway culture is very popular in the UK: pizza, kebabs, fish and chips, Chinese and Indian takeaways are everywhere! However, most of these food outlets tend to be unhealthy. So I thought to myself, why don’t I start a healthy food service with my background in nutrition?
I then submitted my application, attended various workshops, developed a business plan and, at the same time, completed my masters degree. I attended meetings with Steven Chapman, the Ingenuity Lab manager, and I was given an opportunity to discuss the business idea and granted a graduate visa to pursue the business.
Since then, I have worked closely with the Ingenuity Lab and The University of Nottingham’s International Office, who have endorsed my Tier 1 Graduate Visa. They have been very helpful and the process has been made very simple by all the staff. They provided me with the guidance, mentoring and support I needed to pursue Nutri2Go.
Being a part of the Alumni network has also helped me greatly, as I can still be a part of the university community, have access to support, meet new people, and of course, it provides me with an opportunity to promote and market my products too.
After my graduation, I felt like it was the right time to start out on my own. I registered the business and this was the beginning of a long journey of learning and growing. Few months later, I finally launched Nutri2Go, a healthy food delivery service based in UoN, where I planned and prepared healthy and balanced meals and delivered them sustainably with bicycles to customers in Nottingham.
Nutri2Go caters for all occasions from individual lunches, group meetings to events and we offer personalised meals with meal options ranging from high protein, low carbs, vegan & vegetarian to gluten-free meals. You can also find us at various market events in Nottingham. We have made sustainability and environmental awareness a huge part of our business ethos by using environmental friendly and biodegradable packaging materials.
Now here am I, being asked to write about my journey. I wouldn’t say it’s been easy; in fact, it has been a steep learning curve. I have faced many challenges along the way and, not to mention, financial problems. But everything seems to fall at the right place now and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this opportunity to start my own business. As cliché as it sounds, I was in the right place at the right time and was given a chance to do something I was passionate about. There is still a long way to go in addressing dietary problems and I want to be a part of the change, one lunch box at a time!
If I were to give an advice to any students who wish to take this route, I would say to be prepared to fail and learn from your mistakes. Seek support and advice from the University (The Ingenuity Lab is the first place to start with). Starting your own business is difficult so make sure you have a passion for what you want to do!
For any students who wish to know more about starting up your own business or joining the ingenuity lab, I’m happy to have a chat. Please feel free to contact me at Jordana@nutri2go.co.uk.
Director of Nutri2Go Ltd.
Facebook – www.facebook.com/Nutri2goUK
Twitter – @Nutri2GoUK
Instagram – @Nutri2GoUK