Golfing friends launch College Forage business to help Staffordshire students

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When Belinda Martin and Catherine Cassidy set out on a round of golf, they didn’t expect a conversation to spark a business idea.

But their tee-to-green chat helped Catherine become the driving force behind a new scheme – which could help thousands of students around the country.

The entrepreneurial duo have devised a new business, called College Forage – a website in which students can buy and sell unwanted stuff.

Now they plan to launch the site aiming at students at Staffordshire University, Keele University, and MMU in South Cheshire.

Belinda, 53, from Cheshire, said: “Catherine was a student at Chester University studying business and was moaning about having no money.

“I said to her what do the other guys do – you must have something you can get rid off! And she said all she had were student books.”

Having switched from a medical degree to business studies, Catherine was left with several expensive medical books – some worth as much as £100.

Belinda added: “I thought that’s just mad.

“I said can’t you sell your books, there must be a website.

“A couple of days later she came back to me and said, I think that idea has legs because there’s nowhere out there that is doing this.”

That was 18 months ago.

Since then, they have teamed up to create College Forage.

After some initial teething problems, including a rogue website designer, the site is now live and students have started to buy and sell items.

“There’s an awful lot that has to be done behind the scenes and it took us a good six to eight months to get all these bits and pieces tied up, to the point where we’ve now got a working website,” added Belinda.

The next aim for the founders is to link up with universities around the country – and donate a percentage of each sale to the Unions!

“What I hope to do is get in touch with the Presidents of Student Unions at university or higher education.

“Catherine plays basketball, netball and golf, she’s very sporty and was saying that the Student Union has to do everything themselves.

“If they want new basketball kits they have to pay for them.

“We thought if we give back to Student Unions that’ll help in two ways – the students and the business.”

You can visit College Forage at https://www.collegeforage.com

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