Start-up funding

Funding for your start-up can appear complex. We offer advice and tips from entrepreneurs, plus a summary of the legal and financial obligations to investors.

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retailENTERPRISE supports individuals in their journey to become the next generation of fashion retail entrepreneurs.

In partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and Hammerson, the initiative supports GCU undergraduates, postgraduates and alumni who have an early stage business idea and want to learn how to set up their own retail business.

Each individual that applies has the opportunity to secure a scholarship to attend a postgraduate business related course at GCU. The individual will pitch to a panel of leading figures in retail for a share of the £30,000 seed investment and trial their business concept with free pop-up space across any Hammerson shopping centre.

Meet our Scholars

Scholarships 2017 - 2018


Elsa Armet, BA (Hons) International Fashion Business

“I can’t thank you enough for providing me with further encouragement and support to succeed. I am so excited to start my course at GCU this year, combining fashion business and design so that I can be a strong competitor in the fashion retail industry.”

Jason Gallagher, BA (Hons) International Fashion Branding

“This scholarship will allow me to study fashion with less restraints and also allow me to invest more of my time at university into the industry, by opening up a chance to see fashion shows and the cities they take place in. From this I can build my own knowledge of the industry and the world I want to work in. Thank you retailRIGHT for this opportunity.”

Sonia Kaur, MSc Luxury Brand Marketing

“I am thrilled to receive the retailRIGHT scholarship as it will allow me to move to London and study at the British School of Fashion. The programme will equip me with the knowledge and experience I require to begin my career in London's luxury fashion industry which has always been my ultimate goal in life.”

Chivonne Gray, MSc International Fashion Marketing

“This scholarship makes the world of difference to me. For as long as I can remember I have always been obsessed with the fashion industry. Now, with support from retailRIGHT I am in a position to follow my dream career choice.”

Seed funding 2017 - 2018

Seed funding

Isatou Njai, International Business graduate

Business: Baotic

Drink Baotic is a dairy free, high fibre prebiotic drinks range, made from raw and organic African Baobab super fruits, a delicious, nutritious multivitamin drink beneficial for gut health on the go. We are on a mission to inspire and empower healthy communities around the world, building on ten years of personal experience supporting female co-operatives in rural Gambia to help improve income, health and nutrition.

About the funding

“We are very excited and honoured to be one of the winners of the retailRIGHT seed fund, a fantastic partnership between GCU, retailRIGHT and Hammerson. The last few months have developed exciting conversations with some larger retailers so the opportunity to develop pop-up shops will help build access to market. The funding along with the exciting opportunity to work with retailRIGHT will help engage with retail networks and continue to build up consumer and business to business retail opportunities. It’s a great chance to be showcasing Baotic in an environment with like-minded healthy and ethical customers.

“We have to say a huge thanks to all the partners. Opportunities like this within the retail environment are rare and we are sincerely grateful and excited and are very much looking forward to working with all partners to make this a reality. We are super excited and can’t wait to showcase Baotic.”

Emma Russell, International Fashion Branding graduate

Business: pplrstrange

Pplrstrange is an online brand and agency built on the lack of authentic and creative platforms in Scotland. We aim to collaborate, converse and support local talents, young creative and brands all over the country - bringing cool fashion and art work to the public online. We are a young, fresh and innovative brand with networking at the heart of our business. Our designs and collections aim to empower girls and boys who are bored of the high street, mainstream brands and crave something different in their wardrobes and to hang on their wall. The brand is a celebration of diversity.

About the funding

“I would like to thank retailRIGHT, Hammerson and GCU for awarding me with this funding. The grant will enable me to grow my business quicker than anticipated. I really appreciate the faith that you have put in to me and my business idea, it honestly means the world. I promise to work hard and use the money in the best way possible!

“I have been awarded with £5k funding and will use it in many ways to benefit my business. As a new business, this funding will have such a great impact; enabling me to do a focused plan and timeline to market my brand efficiently. I will use the grant towards marketing costs such as paying for collaborations with influencers and bloggers and adverts in suitable print ads and social media. I will also use the grant towards bringing out a new collection and stock which I will launch at a pop-up store. The money will help me pay for rent of a pop-up shop and make it an unforgettable day and night.

“Until now, I have been doing shoots with my friends and in free locations; now I have my grant I can organise a professional shoot, paying for models, location, make-up artist and props! The money really will go a long way.”

Samantha Newell, MSc Fashion Business graduate

Business: Yard + Parish

Yard + Parish is a heritage brand based on the Afro-Caribbean ancestry of its creators, and demands a superior level of quality and innovation. All products are carefully curated from a variety of emerging international brands with an ethos of facilitating the globalisation of our partners and catering to a growing niche market.

Born in Toronto, Canada, I moved to London in 2013 to pursue a formal education in Fashion Design, and Entrepreneurship. While pursuing my Masters course, I developed the know-how required to successfully create and operate a fashion business. Furthermore, GCU has provided amazing mentorship opportunities and support for my dreams. Continuous learning, and growth are very important to me. Therefore, I am grateful for your feedback regarding my pitch.

About the funding

“Being awarded seed funding from retailRIGHT, Hammerson, and GCU has given my career a kick-start, and provided the brand with early-stage traction. It’s been an amazing journey so far. It feels so rewarding and I’m so excited for the future. I’ve been taking everything I’ve learned on board. retailRIGHT has awarded me funding and I’m going to use that funding to launch my online retail business. It’s really exciting and I can’t wait to get started. You should be seeing something in the new year!

“I’m launching an online multi-branded retail platform where I’ll be sourcing material from all over the world, specifically from the African diaspora and also from the African continent. Without the support from Retail Trust I’d be at ground zero and I’d be scrambling for ideas on how to get funding to get this going but thankfully I’m ready!”

Ana Ruales, MSc Fashion Business Creation

Business: MAKIKUNA

MAKIKUNA is a brand that offers fashionable accessories inspired in Ecuadorean culture and its people, aiming to reach the modern and conscious consumer that looks for authentic, unique, well-spoken and statement pieces sourced from a sustainable supply chain and directly from the makers. With ethical and sustainability thoughts at its core, the brand promises to create beautifully high quality pieces that tell the story of the makers and their culture. Offering contemporary designs of Panama hats, knitwear from the finest fibres, jewellery and bags, the brand seeks to curate the most unique pieces sourced from Ecuador and the Andes region.

About the funding

“With my deepest appreciation, I wish to thank retailRIGHT, Hammerson and Glasgow Caledonian University in giving me the opportunity and granting me this funding to support the creation and launching of MAKIKUNA.

“The past year and a half my life changed when I start studying the MSc Fashion Business Creation at GCU London. This experience has opened the doors for my future success and the support I have received from the university, retailRIGHT and Hammerson will be honoured with hard work and commitment to grow my business within the UK, Europe and Ecuador.”

For more information, please visit the GCU website.

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