A student from Leeds Trinity University has received Royal approval from HRH The Duke of York for his business enterprise, EdgyArts.
Joe Edge, 21, collected The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award from The Duke himself at a special awards ceremony, organised and hosted by the University of Huddersfield.
He said: “It was such an honour to collect the award – especially from The Duke of York. It’s given me the drive to continue working hard and further the business, especially in the run up to graduating in July.”
Joe describes himself as an urban artist; using spray paint and stencils to create Banksy-esque artwork and posters. He launched EdgyArts in 2013 just before coming to Leeds Trinity to study Digital and Social Media, and utilised support from the university’s Enterprise Centre to develop his business.
Joe said: “It was only once I began my degree I realised the support I could have by setting up my business professionally – I’ve learnt about building a brand, marketing my products online, launching a website and networking with local companies to create business.
“I can’t praise Leeds Trinity enough for the opportunities they’ve given me; and the support and tolerance they’ve shown over the past three years! It’s been the best experience and one that has taught me skills that will stay with me for life.”
When Joe first arrived at Leeds Trinity, he made contact with the Careers and Employability team and showcased his work. This lead to a commission to produce 12 pieces of artwork for the student bar and generated such high interest that Joe was asked to reproduce the artwork as posters to go on sale at the University’s Freshers’ Fair. To date, Joe has sold over 50 pieces of original artwork and in the region of 1300 posters.
Ray Lloyd, deputy vice-chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, was at the awards ceremony with Joe.
He said: “Everyone at Leeds Trinity is extremely proud of Joe’s achievements and I congratulate him on receiving this award from The Duke of York.
“Joe benefitted greatly from the help provided by the excellent team in our Enterprise Centre who offer support, opportunities and facilities for any of our students wanting to develop entrepreneurial skills.
“Launching your own business whilst studying at university is not an easy task, but we are committed to supporting the ambitions of our students and happy to invest in the facilities to support them.”