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NEWS > Alumnae News > Taking the Unconventional Route

Taking the Unconventional Route

Bella Burns, Class of 2019, is still at university but she's already launched her own company and is planning to build an app which will bring sports gaming and quizzing to a whole new level.

After leaving LEH Bella worked in several different roles and industries which allowed her to discover her real strengths and interests. She says: “Cringe as it may sound, I’ve really found myself and my purpose now.”

She’s worked as a nursery practitioner, an assistant producer, a broadcaster, a social media coordinator, and a sports coach (her current job) and she’s also undertaken two internships in digital marketing and business operations.

After taking 12 months out, she is currently in her second year at Sussex University, where she’s studying Psychology.  “Taking a gap year was the best decision I ever made!” says Bella.  “I’ve always taken the unconventional route in life with everything I’ve done but I truly believe without all these experiences I wouldn’t be where I am today: developing my first start-up company.

“I’ve always been an avid sports lover, particularly of football, as I played for Chelsea FC when I was younger.  I’ve always wanted to find a way back to the sport. The start-up company I am currently developing is called ‘Namepix’ and is a sports quiz app game with a twist! It was an idea that came to me during COVID when I suddenly had a lightbulb moment after watching reruns of some Manchester United games.”

Discovering her passion has given her a renewed sense of purpose and vision. “I truly never knew the challenge that being a founder of a company would bring, however I have loved every single second in the world of entrepreneurship, and I can truly say it has taken over my life; but, I have never been more motivated.

“I was recently selected to be part of a five-week accelerator programme dedicated to start-ups at my university and have been awarded grant funding by them. I also won a Santander start-up competition where I received their ‘Elevate Grant’. I felt that even being one of seven shortlisted was such an achievement!”

Bella is now at the stage of pitching and raising investment to build the app. Her first fully-funded intern has just joined her this week and will be working until September, with three more set to join her for work experience later this month.

“I will be doing a crowdcube fundraising round at the end of July but until then it is work, work, work! It should be launching in around 11 months’ time so I’m very excited. I absolutely loved my time at LEH, and I truly do feel very blessed to have the teachers that I did because even when I didn’t believe in myself at the time, they always supported me and encouraged me and held me accountable for everything I did at school and without those interactions I really could have lost my way!”

Good luck Bella – we’re all cheering you on. Watch this space and we’ll keep you updated on her progress and how we can show her some LEH support. 

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