Supporting former postgraduate student with sustainability business

A former Birmingham City University postgraduate student is readying the launch of her new socially conscious lifestyle brand, thanks to the support of BCU’s BSEEN startup support programme

Posted 10 November 2021

Postgraduate student Fiona Pryce has had help from BCU in launching her sustainability business.

An ethical brand

Bianca Pryce is targeting the growing number of ethical consumers with her new brand, Fontein.

The business partners with carefully selected manufacturers to offers its ethical traceable products from emerging African economies, where the products and the people are paid what they are due.

Bianca is now undergoing market research in order to help with product development, with people invited to complete a form to provide more information.

The importance of ethics and sustainability

Fontein will be a welcome addition to business, with one-third of consumers claiming that they have stopped purchasing certain brands due to ethical and sustainability concerns.

According to a 2021 report from Deloitte into sustainability and consumer behaviour, consumers are focused on reduced waste and packaging when they do their food shop, and a reduced carbon footprint is at the top of their wish list when they shop for household appliances.

When it comes to clothes and footwear, the origins of the product, working practices and human rights issues are important to them.

With the ethical consumer market currently estimated at £98 billion, Bianca’s business could prove to be a huge success.

Invaluable startup support

Bianca Pryce, pictured with Richard Scutt and Jennine Jones at the launch of STEAMhouse Incubator. In order to help Bianca ready Fontein, she partnered with BSEEN, a 12-month business support scheme to help aspiring entrepreneurs with their business ideas.

Furthermore, Bianca has also enjoyed business support and access to a workspace at the STEAMhouse Incubator, located in BCU’s Millennium Point building.

The business incubation space, which celebrated its launch event earlier in November, offers a variety of opportunities, including:

  •         Access to all start up incubator facilities and support
  •         Dedicated workstations and high speed digital connectivity
  •         Collaborative workspace, breakout areas and networking facilities
  •         Bookable meeting rooms and workshop theatre
  •         Business start-up workshops, guidance and literature
  •         Talks from business start-up and growth specialists
  •         Business Plan Development support

“Currently, I am working on trying to understand my future customers and the gaps in the market in terms of the type of products they're looking for,” Bianca says.

“For me, it's important to use insight to inform business decisions. The next stage for me will be product development, then I will move on to proof of concept to test market viability with the view to launch by summer 2022."