Case Studies

We've supported a number of entrepreneurs, social innovators and creative thinkers to evolve their ideas to the next level.

Case studies

We've supported people from all across Brookes to develop their talent and build ambition. Find out what they have learnt at Brookes Enterprise Support and how it has helped them bring their entrepreneurial aspirations to life.

OBU Atelier - Etain O'Caroll

Brookes student uses their industry knowledge to create an artistic space for Oxford Brookes Art and Design Students and Alumni.

Etain O’Caroll is a soon-to-be Masters graduate in Fine Art. Understanding how hard it can be to break into the art industry without gallery representation, Etain founded OBU Atelier to support Oxford Brookes art and design students and alumni who wish to break into the industry/

Etain was a part of the 2021 Autumn Spark cohort and found the programme beneficial in helping to fine-tune and develop their business idea. As a winner of the programme, they received £500 in business seed-funding to contribute toward their business’ growth.

Here’s what Etain told us about their experiences with Brookes Enterprise Support:

Etain O’Caroll

McEntee Racing- Oscar McEntee

Oscar McEntee is a current Brookes Philosophy Student set to graduate in 2024. Alongside his studies, Oscar is the Director and Team Principal for McEntee Racing Team (MRT33), a professional Motorsport team that was founded in 2018.

Oscar was one of eleven who competed for up to £3000 business development funding in the 2021 Autumn Fuel award pitches. He successfully secured funding to support his business scale-up plans.

Here’s what Oscar told us about his experiences with Brookes Enterprise Support:

Oscar McEntee

Viaduct Gen - Duray Pretorius

Duray Pretorius is a recent Brookes graduate in Sport and Exercise Science from the class of 2021. He realised his business, Viaduct Gen, through ambition and determination.

He took part in our Spark, Fuel, Catalyst and Mentoring and Advice Clinic programmes which helped him during the process of creating and improving his business. 

Duray Pretorius

HandHeld Health - Stan Windsor

Stan Windsor is a member of staff and Brookes alumnus. He graduated in Branding and Marketing of a Healthcare Product from the class of 2013. He dedicated himself to the realisation of his business, HandHeld Health, which was formed in 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Stan wanted his project to thrive in the world of business and it did. He received help from our Catalyst programme which gave him a better understanding of the branding and marketing of a healthcare product. 

Stan Windsor

Credible Coach - Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker is a Brookes alumni who graduated in International Hospitality Management. She worked hard on the realisation of her business, Credible Coach, a coaching platform which works in collaboration with credible and proven coaches.

By taking part in our Catalyst programme, Victoria was able to see her business idea turn into reality and further develop, thanks to the mentoring that Brookes Enterprise Support provided her with.

Victoria Barker

CarGuide - Mima Rybanska

CarGuide founders Mima Rybanska and Olli Astley come from the automotive background and felt frustrated by the lack of information, guidance and transparency available when it comes to buying a used car, leasing or getting a car subscription.

In order to fill this gap and grow her business, Mima applied to Catalyst. Catalyst is an intensive 10 week programme delivered by Brookes Enterprise Support in partnership with The Institute for Ethical AI. It gives tech businesses training and mentoring to strengthen the foundation of their business and get investment ready.

Mima Rybanska

Comtura - Hector Forwood

Hector Forwood, a Brookes alumnus, graduated in Biomedical Science in 2015. He has applied his knowledge and studies to develop Comtura - a SaaS platform within the Revenue Enablement ecosystem. After winning Fuel, he was able to further develop his business and take it to the next level.

Hector Forwood

Belvedere Apparel - Daniel Satch

Daniel Satch is a Brookes student completing his degree in Sport and Exercise Science. He is also an athlete and a physical training instructor and combat engineer in the British Army. Fitness has always been a passion of Daniel’s. This passion fueled the ambition to start his business, Belvedere Apparel, which aims to create sustainable sportswear and gym apparel. This year he had the opportunity to perfect his ideas by taking part in the Spark Awards - and he was one of the winners! 

Daniel Satch

Typedia - Tumi Onanuga

Tumi Onanuga is a Brookes graduate in Human Resources Management. After finishing her Master’s Degree Tumi followed her passion for creative writing and decided to start a business making getting published more accessible.

After partaking in our Start-Up Visa, Rise and Spark programmes, Tumi took what she’d learnt from industry experts, workshops and webinars to develop Typedia; a fiction publisher that simplifies the publication process.


Tumi Onanuga

BioBright - Vanessa Barzasi

Brookes recent graduate uses their knowledge of Biotechnology to create an innovative new product.

Vanessa Barzasi is a 2019 graduate in Economics. She co-founded her business, BioBright, alongside her brother, Ayrton, with the aim of creating a new innovative and affordable way to make natural mood lights.

Vanessa was a member of the Spark Cohort in Autumn 2021 which helped her to develop her business idea and take the first steps toward registering her business. As a winner of the programme, she received £500 seed funding which she will be using to get her business started. Following this success, Vanessa and her brother went on to complete the Fuel Programme in Spring 2022 where they successfully secured business development funding. Vanessa was also a member of the most recent Bloom Cohort in 21/22.

Here’s what Vanessa told us about her experiences with Brookes Enterprise Support:

Vanessa Barzasi

Trendineer - Matt Woolford

Matt Woolford is a Brookes student in Computer Science who will graduate in 2022. He put all of his effort into his business, Trendineer, an online marketplace which makes online shopping a social, interactive and engaging experience.

Matt has worked hard on collaborating with businesses in the retail sector to make social shopping come to life, aiming to reach unlimited scope of scalability. He achieved his dream with the help of our Fuel programme, where he had the chance to talk to experienced professionals. This opened his eyes to the business world, informed and inspired him. 

Matt Woolford

Awakening Flow - Nila Matthews

Nila Matthews has recently graduated from Brookes after completing her Master's in Psychology. Before that she already had an impressive resume, having worked for companies such as Sky and Yahoo where she was in charge of leading the development for business-critical initiatives. Nila has always been passionate about empowering others and lifting people up from difficult places. She is planning to achieve this through her latest upcoming venture 'Awakening Flow' (website to launch soon). Part of the development of Awakening Flow came during Nila’s participation in the Spark Awards, a step-by-step programme offered by Brookes Enterprise Support that aims to make business ideas a reality. 

Nila Matthews

Her Empire Lifestyle - Andrea Kovacevic

Andrea Kovacevic is a Brookes student who is soon to graduate with a degree in Business Management. During her studies she found the time to launch the inspiring stationery company Her Empire Lifestyle. Combining her lifelong desire to have her own successful brand and her ambition to increase female empowerment, Andrea has managed to build a strong community of women who support each other through the amazing accessories Her Lifestyle Empire has to offer. In addition to all the success she has achieved so far, Andrea was also one of the winners at the most recent Fuel Awards after 8 weeks of vital learning on how to take her business to the next level. 

Andrea Kovacevic

Elideon Training - Ayo Mhlanga

Ayo Mhlanga has worked at Brookes as part of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences for a few years now and during that time has developed and co-founded the healthcare training company Elideon Training Solutions. Ayo was frustrated after her own personal experience of seeing the lack of skills some carers showed, especially when dealing with complex health issues. She decided a specialised training service would be the perfect solution. Elideon’s flexible approach allows their skilled paediatric and adult nurses to teach carers from the comfort of their own home. It explores everything from respiratory management to epilepsy awareness. Ayo was also recently able to showcase her business on this year’s Rise programme, which is aimed at amplifying the voices of ethnically diverse changemakers. 

Ayo Mhlanga

Edge - Rachel Hammond

Rachel Hammond is a MA Urban Design Graduate from the Class of 2020. Through attending our Bloom programme, she was able to expand her business Edge and strengthen the business foundation. Check out Edge’s Instagram page.

Rachel Hammond

More Than Just Views - Veronica Ferrari

Veronica Ferrari is currently undergoing her MA in publishing (Distance Learning). Through attending our Bloom programme she was able to set her business into full motion. More Than Just Views helps writers, authors and bookish creatives build a sustainable career with words. 

Veronica Ferrari

DaffDuff Art - David Onaolapo

David Onaolapo is a Brookes graduate in Business and Management from the class of 2019. He has taken his artistic talent to the next level to create his own business DaffDuff Art - selling his prints and working with clients to tell their stories in new and innovative ways.

David has worked closely with Brookes Enterprise Support on his business, having been accepted on our Rise, Spark and Fuel programmes, worked with a mentor and been endorsed for a Start-Up Visa. His hard work has paid off with his Instagram account, @daffduff_art, having over 50,000 followers and successfully selling his art on sites like RedBubble and Displate. To find out more about David and his amazing art, visit his linktree to find all his social media and where to support his work.

David Onaolapo

Oxonbox - Kat Clark

Kat Clark is a Brookes staff member who created a business which allows you to discover the various local products you can purchase and use. After taking part in our Bloom programme, Kat was able to take the advice given and use it to think about how she can grow Oxonbox further.  

Follow Oxonbox on Instagram and Facebook to find out more about their subscription boxes.

Kat Clark

Hug Hampers - Johannah Fening

Johannah Fening is a Brookes alumni who recently graduated with a Distinction in Applied Design in Architecture. Just a short time after her graduation she recognised the need for a gift-giving service that was more ethical and catered to our loved one’s cultural background. This lead her to co-found Hug Hampers - a gift-giving service which aims to make gift-giving a meaningful and memorable experience for both giver and receiver. In the process of finding her feet as a business owner, Johannah participated in the Fuel Awards, a programme powered by Brookes Enterprise Support and Santander Universities which teaches entrepreneurs tangible skills they can use to take their business to the next level. 

Johannah Fening

Mirage by Murage - June Murage

June is a recent Brookes graduate in Building Information Modelling and Management from the Class of 2020. She put a lot of effort into her business, Mirage by Murage, which produces sustainable scented candles through recycling and upcycling.

June created and improved her business with the help of our Spark, Fuel and Bloom programmes which she attended and found particularly useful.

June Murage

Seijaku - Joshua Hanlan

Learn how current first-year Business Management and Marketing Student Josh Hanlan is making an endeavour to restyle fashion through his unique clothing brand Saijaku, that aims to bring in a sustainable, handmade touch to your closet.

Josh attended our Spark programme, a 6-week programme introducing the key skills needed to start a business with each weekly session delivered by a different specialist mentor on various subjects to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses successfully. Josh pitched the idea of starting his own creative apparel brand and received full funding to take his idea to the next level.

Read about Josh’s new entrepreneurial venture and how he plans to expand it further in the near future, in his own words.

Connect with Josh and check out the latest updates on his soon to arrive collection.

Josh Hanlan

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