Budding businessman scoops £1,000 in Santander business awards


Cardiff Metropolitan University's Student President Josh Barnett has been named runner-up in a prestigious business award with his clothing label, Treatment Clothing.

The former Cardiff Met Sports Coaching student has been awarded a cash prize of £1000 in the Santander 60 Second Pitch after creating a 60 second video illustrating the business plan for his 18-month-old label.

He was initially shortlisted after the first round, before his plan was included in an online vote. 

Josh said: "I was really pleased to be shortlisted in the top 10 initially with such a great variety of businesses all across the UK.

"And Cardiff Met contributed massively to my success. I was in my final year when I started Treatment, so guidance from Natasha, Lauren and Dewi from the University's Centre for Student Entrepreneurship and Lee, who used to work there, was invaluable.

"They also gave me the opportunity to deliver a workshop to current students, which has really helped me."

Josh, who won previous Santander funding via the Flash Fund, which he match funded himself to buy a new sewing machine, has seen his clothing business boom since launching in 2013.

He initially hit on his business concept when he was at home in Andover and at a loose end. He found an old sewing machine and decided to teach himself to sew.

He said: "I ordered 10 tops and customised them for friends and figured I should put the money I made from selling them towards making more and starting my own company.

"I purchased 100 items in the September, and the aim was to sell them by Christmas. I have since released over 250 since January 2014."

Josh now has Little Mix band members and the cast of MTV's The Valleys among Treatment's celebrity fans and has made significant progress since combining his studies with designing and sewing clothes in his bedroom in his student digs, with either playing or providing football training every night.

He has always made his own clothes and the business advice he received at University helped hone his skills in fabric design. Last year he also won Countdown to Launch, a five day business start-up event run by the University's Centre for Student Entrepreneurship, which was also funded by Santander under the Santander Universities partnership.

The Centre aims to help support students who are interested in starting a business as well as developing their entrepreneurial skills, to assist them in securing further employment.

Cardiff Metropolitan University's Entrepreneurship Education Manager Natasha Hashimi said: "We are very proud of Josh for coming second place in the Santander 60 Second Pitch. It is testament to the hard work and dedication that he has shown for his business and the innovative style of his clothing brand. The Centre is really pleased to have been able to support Josh on his business start-up journey and we're very happy to see Josh achieving such success. 

Josh added: "When I was launching Treatment, the team at the Centre for Entrepreneurship was able to advise me on things like how to access funding along with building and pitching my business, which was all new to me, and they also directed me to Textiles specialists within the University's Cardiff School of Art and Design, where I learnt about the range of sewing machines.

"I am ecstatic about this achievement and would like to thank the University, the Students' Union and the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship for assisting me with promoting the voting process. Fingers crossed the additional funding will take my business to the next level."