Shovon Wiggan

Business Management - BA (Hons)

After becoming a mum, Shovon didn’t think her dream of going to uni was achievable. Now she’s not only nailing the final year of her degree, but she’s also launching her own business through BCU’s STEAMhouse.   

"After having time out of education to have my son, I went back to college to do an access to business course. This gave me a kickstart onto the path I wanted to pursue at BCU studying business management.

I was inspired to create my own business whilst studying after my niece approached me expressing her feelings about her ethnicity. She felt that she wasn't beautiful because she didn’t look like all the pretty toys she sees in the shops. This instantly broke my heart; I knew I had to show her that she is beautiful, and her differences are what make her so unique. This moment was when I created my business, Inspire a Doll – a children’s doll range. 

I had my business idea, but I didn’t know how I was going to make it into a reality. BCU have an initiative called STEAMhouse - a place where I can bring my ideas and get advice and guidance from business experts and academics. I got access to facilities, offices spaces, workshops and more, anything I needed to start my business. 

Being part of STEAM has helped make me feel really at home. The team are like my second family. I have been fortunate to have a lot of support from my business advisor, he has been so accommodating and happy to support me in any way possible. STEAMhouse gave me the confidence to reach out to manufacturers in China, helped me with branding and provided me with an office space to create my business.

I was nervous about being a mum at university but from the second I walked thought the doors of BCU seeing how diverse everyone is made me feel a lot more confident. 

Being a mum has been the most challenging thing for me so far, because many of my friends don't have kids so can do the whole partying and friendships part of uni life, so I would go home and feel like I was missing out. 

There aren't many people that speak about being a student and a mum, so my goal is to make it more of a norm. I got involved in a project called Change Makers. Here you speak about your lived experience as a student, and then you can inspire or be there to help those that you're going through. I thought if there's a mum that comes to uni next year, she might feel the same as how I felt, so I want to share my experience to help her. I think having my business has helped me overcome this challenge as I felt like I shrugged off the stereotype and created my own path by being all the things I am. So now I don't see it as a challenge, I see it as something that I should be proud of as I'm able to do so many things all at the same time. 

Despite priding myself on being a strong independent woman, having the support available has made such a difference to my experience here at BCU. Juggling being a mum, a business owner and a student has been very challenging, especially now I am in my final year. It's hard to balance everything as I want to give all areas of my life the same amount of my time. 

To me, 'I AM BCU' means resilience, tenacity, growth, personal development, networking, and just being the best version of yourself."

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