Meet the Selfies, 2019

A group of students have started their Self-Employed Placement year, taking their first steps in developing their own business supported by the ASPIRE team at Kent Business School.

These students have chosen to spend their next academic year, known as the Selfies, as an alternative to the traditional ‘Year in Industry’ placement. Their year-long journey began with a two-day programme led by the ASPIRE entrepreneur in residence, Adam Smith.

On August 14 and 15 the Selfie induction took place which offered the students the chance to get to know each other and learn about the fundamental areas of starting a business. Key skills including diary and time management, making sales and building professional networks were complemented with the chance to understand contracts and inventory, tax and marketing.

The Selfies programme is now in its third year with a track record of supporting successful start-ups including TabCare and Jehu-cal.

ASPIRE (Accelerator Space for Innovation and Responsible Enterprise) is the University of Kent’s space for supporting student business. As well as the Selfies programme, ASPIRE is home to the Business Start-Up Journey, a 15-week co-curricular programme supporting students interested in starting their own business or developing entrepreneurial skills to enhance their employability.

Meet the Selfies 2019


Tyra Lewis

BA Business and Management, Medway

Business: A selection of different pancakes and waffles. Inspired by an American pancake house, Tyra’s business will have an American theme with a London twist.

“I am looking forward to taking my food out to festivals and food events and getting feedback to help develop my product line and menu. Eventually, I want to have a permanent shop in London.”

Lia Bacon

BSc Marketing, Canterbury

Business: Currently called MakeYourLifeGlow. Lia is partnered with a network marketing company called Nu Skin which acts as a platform for her business. Nu Skin enables Lia to distribute over 250 products in the UK alone (600 worldwide) and they pay her a profit on each product she sells. Lia also scouts for people who want to earn an income from their phone, on their own terms, by using the product range.

“I always knew that I wanted to work for myself, from my home, instead of working for a company and having to travel far each day and work long hours for someone else to achieve their dream. I wanted to run with this opportunity to make the most of the one-to-one professional support from Adam and Rebecca over the course of the year, as well as having the time to put into building my business.”

Nadia Simpson

BSc Accounting and Finance, Canterbury

Business: Called Nadia Esi, Nadia hand makes natural oils and products for hair and skin. Nadia provides healthier options for hair care and skincare that everyone can use.


“I am looking forward to the Selfie year because it gives me the chance to fully focus on my business and grow in these 12 months.”

Lemuel Maize:

Accounting and Management, Medway

Business: An app that creates a platform for musicians, singers, DJs and event planners to connect, allowing event planners to hire musicians, singers and DJs and for musicians to find available gigs.

“Running my own business has always been something I’ve been passionate about doing. I believe that this year will equip me with the skills and experience that could potentially make my idea and future ideas successful. “

Dacia Matis

BA Business and Management, Medway

Business: Fortuna Tailors, an up-and-coming bespoke tailoring business, creating unique clothes and bags for their customers. View the business at @fortuna_tailors.

“I chose to do Selfies on my year in placement because I want to start up my business in a safe environment where I can get the support and guidance from the team to drive me in the right direction.”


Are you a University of Kent student and interested in starting up your own business? Get in contact with ASPIRE:

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