One of Manchester’s young entrepreneurs has set his sights on future growth with the help of a coveted business award win.
Specscart, based in Walkden Town Centre, was set up by Siddharh Sethi in October last year and is one of the fastest growing start-ups in the UK. Revolutionising the eyewear industry by changing the way people perceive glasses, Specscart aims to show that glasses are not just sight correction instruments – but affordable, fashion accessories.
After setting up a Manchester manufacturing and supply chain and investing in a game-changing website that allows users to choose and customise high quality eyewear, Specscart has won the Venture First Award for Business and a £10,000 cash prize. Organised by the Manchester Enterprise Centre, the Venture First Awards invite students and alumni from The University of Manchester to submit business proposals to an expert judging panel of enterprise and business professionals each year. Each of the four category winners receive a £10,000 cash injection to help realise their business goals.
Specscart’s founder Siddharth Sethi collected his award last month and plans to invest the £10,000 cash prize back into the business, which is currently trialling a 24 hour delivery service for prescription glasses. In the last five months alone, Specscart has sold 800 pairs of glasses and is on track to achieve a £200,000 turnover in its first year.
Siddharth is no stranger to winning awards, having been one of two winners of the Albert Gubay Enterprise Award last year. Sid’s commercial acumen and creative ambition were praised and rewarded with free retail space for a year on Walkden Town Centre’s new-look Edgerton Walk – part of the old town centre building that has been refurbished to appeal to independent retailers. Specscart also received a complimentary shop refit and marketing and business support.
Founder of Specscart and former University of Manchester student, Siddharth Sethi said: “I’ve always felt that a pair of great frames shouldn’t leave your wallet bare and so wanted to change the way that glasses are both sold and perceived. From the point of concept to opening the doors of our shop for the first time, we have been overwhelmed by the amount of support we’ve had from the Manchester business community and our fellow retailers and shoppers here in Walkden.
“We’ve spent the last nine months focused on getting our product right and setting up a strong local supply chain so that we keep Specscart’s success here in Manchester. Now with the help of the cash prize from Venture First we can look to keep growing the business and launch our new 24 hour delivery service.
Julian Dowe, Centre Manager for Walkden Town Centre said: “We are very proud of all that Siddhart has achieved, particularly in such a small amount of time, and are delighted that Walkden Town Centre is an integral part of his success story.
“Siddharth first came to our attention last year when he entered the Albert Gubay Enterprise Award and we were quick to recognise his ambition, creativity and commitment. We felt he was the perfect recipient of the first prize in honour of our late founder and we’re thrilled it has Siddharth a platform on which to keep growing his business.”
The Derwent Group is part of the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation and operates in the retail, leisure, industrial and commercial sectors. The group’s retail portfolio extends to 1.74m sq ft across nine retail parks in the north of England.