Student entrepreneur’s sustainable co-operative sweeps the board

A student-led business has swept the board at the Young Enterprise Student Start-up Regional Finals with an initiative which will help support communities in North Africa.

Set up by second year Global Entrepreneurship and Business Management student Jessica Kelly, 21, from Delamere, The Goat Tree is an argan oil co-operative, founded after a summer business trip to Morocco. The Fairtrade business will produce sustainably sourced 100% argan oil with no additives. Jessica will reinvest 20% of her profits back into forming education systems to help the 40% of Moroccan women who are illiterate and animal welfare projects for the donkeys that are abandoned at the end of their working life.

The Goat Tree beat stiff competition from other North West university businesses to progress to the next stage of the competition and represent the region in the national finals in May. Not only did it win Best North West Student Start Up, it also won Best Trade Stand and Managing Director Jessica was named North West Enterprise Student of the Year.

Dr Connie Hancock, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Business and Finance at the Universityís Business School, said: ‘Our students really were fabulous and are proof of the importance of practical, applied learning and innovative assessment.

‘Well done to ‘The Goat Tree’ and Jessica Kelly and many thanks to all colleagues who teach and support on programmes in the Business School.’

Jessica has been supported by fellow University student Ayoup Jarrai in her business endeavours.

Jessica said: ìThis is my passion which is driving the business start-up and we hope that we can communicate that through our product and brand. I would not be able to do this without my business partner and operation and sales director, Ayoup Jarrai, who has been so supportive.

‘I wanted to win for my lecturer, Dr Connie Hancock, who is such an inspiration. I am proud to represent the University and I hope that people see our passion for what we do. We will soon have our website launched and are in the process of updating our social media sites, so keep an eye out.’

Andy Firr, Young Enterprise Start Up Manager said ìGoat Tree will be fantastic ambassadors to represent the region. Their success is testament to their vision, passion and hard work. Young Enterprise is proud to be chosen and trusted by a number of colleges and universities to provide the operating framework, wrap-around mentor and business partner support that has enabled 400 North West students to set up and run their own business this year. Many of our Start Up students go on to successful careers and we look forward to following Jessica and Ayoupís future progress.î

The Global Entrepreneurship and Business Management degree involves planning and setting up a business in the second year of the course. To find out more visit

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