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FridgeStreet founder named in Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs 2020

Date 30.09.2020

Kardi Somerfield, the founder of FridgeStreet, Doctoral student and Senior Lecturer in Advertising and Digital Marketing, has been named one of the semi-finalists in the prestigious Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs programme.

By day, Kardi can be found inspiring students on the Advertising and Digital Marketing programme, or studying at UON for her DBA, but that’s not all. Kardi is also the brains behind local business, FridgeStreet.

FridgeStreet is a business bursting with positivity for Northampton town, which creates unique illustrations of the iconic, well-loved, and beautiful places across Northampton, immortalising them on giftware including Fridge Magnets, textiles, mugs and most recently a jigsaw.

When Kardi launched FridgeStreet, she turned to the UON Enterprise Boost team for their expert support, training, and advice, to get the business off the ground.  Kardi, said, “I wanted to change the narrative around the death of the UK’s high street. Yes, out of town and online shopping is popular, but to save our high streets, we’ve got to get creative, so the idea for FridgeStreet was born.

“The advice from the Enterprise team helped make take my idea and turn it into a flourishing business. Thanks to the University’s partnership with Santander Universities, I was awarded an initial £1,000 seed funding, which gave me capital to purchase stock, as well as giving me fantastic advice on the best way to structure my business. I was then chosen to represent the University in the Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs programme.”

The Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs programme is a five-month business incubator scheme, where entrepreneurs, like Kardi, were supported to strengthen their business. Kardi joined over 80 other businesses, spread across regional competition rounds, in a bid to win an injection of capital from Santander.

Speaking about the programme, Kardi said: “Over the five-month competition we worked through structured workshops to develop the narrative and pitch for our business, and explore funding opportunities. We also had great support sessions designed to help boost our motivation and resilience, as well as networking with mentors, as well as competing against a variety of other businesses.

“I’m pleased that FridgeStreet, could compete with the other business in the regional heats, and I was delighted to get as far as the semi-final of the competition. Through the help and support of the programme, I’ve been able to make small changes to FridgeStreet, which have seen big changes, and importantly boosted product sales. May 2020, was my best months trading as I went online in lockdown, now I’ve learnt some lessons and I’m gearing up for Christmas.”

The Santander Universities programme is one of the UK’s largest entrepreneurial business pitching competitions for students, recent graduates, and University staff in which the best and most forward-thinking entries stand the chance of winning funding.

Simon Poulter, Santander Universities UK Relationship Manager said “The Santander Emerging Entrepreneurs competition celebrates the very best student led start-ups from across our UK network of 85 partner universities. It is testament to the University of Northampton, and to the enterprising spirit of all the student led start-ups, that such a strong and exciting business was nominated as Northampton’s representative for this year’s competition. I’d like to offer my personal thanks and congratulations to Kardi for her fantastic pitch and for engaging with our programme so passionately. Santander Universities is committed to supporting student led entrepreneurship and we look forward to continuing this activity in to the future with the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

FridgeStreet has a growing catalogue of over 230 local landmarks, mapping the towns’ pride in our sports teams, business, and even that time a badger fell through the roof of Superdrug. These are on sale across the county and in the FridgeStreet online shop.