AN ENTERPRISING student has filled up his piggy bank just months after launching a new business.
James Wright, a fourth-year business studies undergraduate at the University of Chichester, set himself up from scratch as a pig farmer while working towards his final exams.
With no former agricultural experience or family background, he combined his love of livestock with the business knowledge gained through his degree.
James said: “I’ve thought about being a farmer since I was about four and went to a farm.
“When it came to setting up Sussex Pigs, my degree gave me a good foundation in business, with lecturers encouraging me to question things and look behind what’s going on.
“I’ve learnt a range of business and marketing tools as well as how to think analytically – this takes a lot of training and is a real skill that can’t be learned off the internet.”
Keen to get ahead in the jobs market, and with a desire to be his own boss, James researched food prices and the agricultural trade, before speaking with friends and family about what they looked for in their produce.
He followed this up with business analysis learnt from his degree and saw a market for good-quality meat, while further research revealed rare-breed pigs offered a good return on money. From this Sussex Pigs was born.
The business began trading in August and, thanks to James’ ability to balance studying with running a labour-intensive company, it is proving a success.
He currently owns 30 pigs on his farm, but will finish next year with nearly 500 – worth an estimated turnover of £154,000. James currently sells direct via his website, but is in the process of setting up contracts with butchers and restaurants, and selling at farmer’s markets – while studying for his exams.
To find out more, visit www.sussexpigs.co.uk