Barnsley College is celebrating the success of a growing number of students who have launched new business ventures, with support from the iTrust initiative – here they share two success stories

iTrust is a joint venture between the College, Barnsley Chronicle and The Business Village which supports enterprising students by providing access to an array of information and guidance, including mentoring from the College’s Enterprise team, The Prince’s Trust, industry specialists and local businesses from the College’s Talent United networking community. The scheme can also provide a start-up grant of up to £250.

Jess Widdowson, enterprise team leader at Barnsley College said: “We have seen a record number of businesses launched over the past year, with support from iTrust and the practical guidance and advice contributed by established business professionals.

“Talent United partners can devote as little or as much time as they wish and there are some extremely worthwhile benefits associated with the scheme, not least the fulfilment gained from mentoring a young person and watching a fledgling business grow. The College continues to Transform Lives and help our students to fulfil their potential throughout this difficult time.”


Student Kelsey White stirred her love of sweet treats into a business venture after her fondness for hot chocolate inspired her to start selling chocolate stirrers and other confections.

Kelsey became familiar with entrepreneurship after helping out on her mum’s market stall selling sweets and children’s toys. She began working on flavours and recipes during lockdown, while curating a Facebook page for her business. Just three weeks later she had sold more than 2,000 hot chocolate stirrers. She has since been awarded an iTrust grant of £250 which has allowed her to invest in chocolate moulds, tags, packaging, and ingredients leading to a higher sales and increased profit.

Kelsey, currently studying Level 3 Travel and Tourism at Barnsley College, said: “I have to say a big thank you to iTrust for supporting me constantly with my business – all of the team are amazing! I would recommend other students get in touch if they have a business idea as they provide so much useful help and support. In the future I would love to own my own successful restaurant or cafe!”

CH House of Beauty

Student Chloe Hewett recently picked up the keys to her very own beauty salon having worked hard to hone her skills and establish her business, with help from iTrust.

Chloe said: “My interest in nails started as a hobby in 2017. I found employment at a salon and that’s when I realised I could earn more by being self-employed, but to be able to do this, I needed more qualifications, so I decided to enrol at Barnsley College.

“When I was studying Nail Technology, my tutor was fantastic. She really believed in me and my potential and spurred me on lots.”

Lockdown enabled Chloe to complete online courses to further her knowledge, and she also joined virtual groups to network.

Jess Widdowson added: “Chloe first came to me in February 2020 with a full business plan and a list of long-term goals. To achieve so much in such a short space of time is an excellent example to all our students that anything is possible.”

To find out more about iTrust or employer engagement initiatives offered by Barnsley College, visit or email