Stamford student aims for success with business launch

New College Stamford student Joe Hambleton is launching his first business, Divon.

New College Stamford student Joe Hambleton is launching his first business, Divon.

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A student who is still studying at college is preparing to launch his first business thanks to exposure gained in an enterprise contest.

New College Stamford student Joe Hambleton, 18, will hold a pop-up shop for his new clothing business Divon in the college foyer on January 26.

Joe was runner-up in this year’s Startup! Stamford competition. But he was introduced to Andrew Seaman, who runs My Business Workwear, and offered a chance to develop his idea.

Joe and Andrew have worked together to develop a smart clothing brand aimed at students. And Joe is now ready to show off his ideas to the world.

He said: “I’m having a pop-up shop at New College Stamford in the entrance for the day. Then I will have a website and try to get into as many shops as I can.

“I’m just trying to keep things locally-sourced, affordable for students with the best quality we can get for the best price.

“I’ve been interested in clothing since I was young. I wanted to launch my own brand for a while. This opportunity came along and I thought I would give it a go. Then all of a sudden I was launching in four weeks. It’s really exciting.”

Startup! Stamford mentors are now working with the 2016 entrants to develop their business ideas. Joe puts a lot of his success down to the exposure and advice he got during the competition. He said: “It was really worthwhile entering the competition. I almost feel like I got a better prize than if I had won.”

Joe, from Old Weston near Huntingdon, is in his final year studying business at college. He is still working hard, but said: “I never thought I would be starting a business before I left college.”