According to research*, 80,000 UK university students run a business while they study to achieve their degree, with a quarter planning to turn it into a career when they graduate.

Despite undeniable entrepreneurial spirit only 4% of young people go on to create a company capable of paying a wage and making a profit.

Paul Hargreaves, Founder of Cotswold Fayre said: “The growing number of young entrepreneurs looking to start a business is a fantastic sign for the fine food industry. However, the prospect of starting a business with little or no experience can be incredibly daunting.”

To help support these young entrepreneurs into the food industry, Cotswold Fayre runs a start-up support scheme, Young Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the Year.

Now in its third year, the initiative aims to help food entrepreneurs aged between 16-25 years old who are looking for help and support with their business.

Paul adds: “The winning entrant will receive not just monetary support but also sound business advice to help face the difficult and often unexpected challenges of setting up a new business.”

The winning applicant will be awarded £1,000 to help grow their company. On top of this, they will be invited for monthly mentor meetings with Paul Hargreaves to discuss and develop their business plan, while gaining industry insight and advice.

In addition to this support, Cotswold Fayre’s in-house designer will work with the winner to develop a strong brand identity through design.

Last year’s winner, Chris Hannaway, co-founder of Overly said: “Winning this award has been great. As a business, we’ve managed to get a listing with Cotswold Fayre, the UK’s best wholesaler for farm shops and delicatessens. They really are a great team that are so helpful and supportive to new suppliers.



“On an individual note Paul’s advice has been great. He’s helped me to develop the way I think about the industry and has given me some great ideas as to how we can take the business forward.”

Click here to read 'An Overly Good Catch Up'... In the next year Overly hope to secure listings with gym chains, universities and further independents with a new dynamic look that jumps of the shelf in a crowded market.

*Santander, 2014