A STUDENT from the University of Worcester has set up her own award winning business.

Imogen Mounement set up Penny and a Pearl earlier this year thanks to a business start-up grant from Worcester City Council.

21 year-old Imogen set up the business, which supplies luxury handcrafted lingerie and sleepwear 'make your own' kits, and was crowned the winner of this year's WINN 'Make It Happen Challenge'.

She said: "I entered on a whim. I got the application in by the skin of my teeth.

"I went along to the awards event and was totally shocked when they announced I’d won."

WINN is a Worcestershire Innovation Programme formed by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire LEP (local enterprise partnership).

Imogen impressed the judges with the strength of her market research and the sense of where the business was positioning itself.

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Apart from the recognition associated with the award, it provided a £5,000 cash boost and £10,000 of sponsorship from a range of partners including accountants, solicitors, website developers and photographic services which she can use to help develop her enterprise.

Originally from Wiltshire, Imogen has always enjoyed sewing and dressmaking and decided to do a business degree to help harness her creativity.

She applied for her Start Up Grant from Worcester City Council which was approved in February this year. She received £470.

She said: "Getting the grant was the starting point. I would not have got anywhere without it.

“The university has also played an important part in helping me with my business.

“I would recommend anyone starting a business in the city applies for a Start Up Grant from Worcester City Council.”

Worcester City Council economic development officer Janet Yates said: “We are delighted Imogen applied for one of our grants and it just shows how this can help to convert a creative idea into a going business concern.”

For more information about the council’s Start Up Grants go to www.worcester.gov.uk/business, email economy@worcester.gov.uk or ring 01905 722106.