Graduating university and entering the job market can be an incredibly scary process! 

With increased intensity on finding the perfect job and making a good wage, long and complex interview processes and just trying to stay afloat, it isn’t easy for graduates leaving university to figure out what they want to do and the best way to do it.

That is possibly why the number of recent graduates choosing to start their own businesses, rather than become employees, has nearly doubled over the past 12 months, according to new research conducted by PeoplePerHour
Speaking to 670,000 freelancers and small business owners, they found the number of graduates registering as businesses within a year of finishing university had risen by 97% with a 94% increase on recent female graduates.

And 23-year-old, Ellie Ruddy is just one of those graduates who is taking the leap, jumping from university life to that of a business owner!

Wirral based Ellie started her business; The Mixing Bowl just a few months ago after graduating from University, where she studied Food and Consumer Studies, in June 2016.

Ellie told us; ‘The Mixing Bowl provides celebration cakes for all occasions! But we specialise in buttercream cakes, brownies and dessert platters, using only the best quality ingredients.’

After graduating from University and beginning to look at graduate jobs Ellie soon realised that she didn’t want to go down the traditional graduate path; ‘I decided whilst I was still young that I was going to pursue my passion for baking and turn my hobby into a career.’

Baking was a hobby that Ellie had done for years, baking with her grandmother when she was little and continuing to bake throughout secondary schools where she revealed her entrepreneurial talents early, selling cupcakes to teachers and providing her school with raffle prizes!

She continued down the path of everything food related and went on to undertake her degree in Food and Consumer Studies at University continuing to expand her wealth of knowledge and her passion for food, baking and cookery.

After graduating and once she had decided that she would like to set up her own business, Ellie’s next step was to get in touch with The Women’s Organisation, and it was in fact her own Mum that told her all about the support we offer!

‘My Mum actually runs her own business and had worked with The Women’s Organisation herself, so she put me in contact with them and I went for an initial meeting with Senior Business Adviser; Claire Pedersen. We then had weekly meetings and I attended all of the courses such as Planning for Success, Basic Bookkeeping, Understanding Tax and National Insurance and Building a Social Media Strategy.’

‘Although nervous I was very excited to get up and running!’

Ellie admits that it wasn’t all easy going and the main barrier that she faced was the daunting prospect of starting a business straight after leaving university, and not having any prior knowledge of business processes or skills.

‘But weekly meetings with Claire, access to all courses as well as templates and documents that are needed for running your own business, was so helpful! Without The Women’s Organisation, I don’t think my idea would have been anymore than just that!’

And how is The Mixing Bowl doing now? Ellie says that business is going well!

‘I’ve just finished a busy summer season of events and food festivals, so now I’m turning my attention towards my Christmas range alongside completing cake orders and attending my regular farmers markets!’
Ellie took a massive leap of faith, and bucked the trend of finding a job, instead choosing to start her own business! And she’s enjoying every single part of it but says; ‘The best thing about running my own business is being a part of people’s special occasions and receiving great feedback afterwards – That always puts a smile on my face!’

‘I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved over the last 12 months! Being a young business owner has been nerve wracking, but many other business owners that I have met along the way have been supportive and given me advice about moving forward.’

And what are Ellie’s hopes and plans for the future of The Mixing Bowl?

‘I’m excited to continue to grow my business and explore the different directions I can take it in. A shop is definitely my next goal!’

We’ll watch this space Ellie!

If you’d like to find out more about The Mixing Bowl, you can do so using the contact details below.

Email –
Phone Number – 07805 804342
And if you’d like support starting your own business, like Ellie then get in touch with us today! Email or ring us on 0151 706 8111