Meet the Nottingham students running their own high street businesses

  • Phil Brewster reports

Setting up a business during a global pandemic might seem a risk, but three young entrepreneurs from Nottingham have proved it's possible.

Despite the fact thousands of businesses have closed or gone bust in the last year, these university students have opened up on the high street.

Lashon James

Two weeks ago, 19-year-old Lashon James opened up his own shop in Nottingham buying and re-selling limited-edition sneakers.

The first year Business & Economicx student at Nottingham Trent University says business is booming.

"We had lines outside from opening day, it's just crazy."

Lashon began his business online two years ago, after winning a pair of trainers in a competition, and selling them on to buy more footwear with the money.

The venture grew from then, allowing him to open his Sneakrverse store in Bridlesmithgate, Nottingham.

He juggles uni work and running the business by spending a few hours upstairs at the shop studying.

In the future, Lashon wants to open another store in Birmingham, and more nationwide.

Al Squires and Will Barratt

Final year students, Al Squires and Will Barratt, teamed up with an Italian street food restaurant to launch a pop-up bar.

It's the city's smallest terrace bar, located in Market Street.

The pair admit it was something of a leap in the dark, but the launch was an astounding success.

Al and Will also plan to open a speak-easy style bar in the restaurant's basement, when Covid restrictions allow.

The pair also want to open more pop ups with other independent eateries in the city.

To juggle university assignments, Will works at the bar until 10pm and then studies in the university library until 3am.

Neither of them say they are put off by the challenges of studying and starting a business during tricky pandemic times.

It's as almost 1300 shops closed across the East Midlands region in 2020 alone.

"I'm young, energetic, and I'm only 23. You don't start a business if you don't want to take a risk" says Will.

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