Lower Sixth Business students were recently treated to a hugely interesting and applicable insight into setting up your own business. We heard from entrepreneur, Jonny Cazaly (founder of Spruce). As Jonny entered his 30s and focused more on health and wellbeing he was more conscious about what he was putting into his body and the environmental impact of his consumption decisions. He was keen to develop a great alternative to squash, ‘sprucing’ up tap water. Having worked as a management consultant at Accenture, Jonny was keen to pursue his idea and chase his dreams. After a gruelling two years and with plenty of help from family and friends, ‘Spruce’ was born. Launched 6 months ago, Spruce has targeted the relatively untapped market – providing consumers with a delicious, healthy and plastic-free natural hydration. 

Students were treated to a business masterclass. Jonny talked through his story from idea to development with some insight into the challenges he has faced thus far.  Bringing the theory to life Jonny covered his story and entrepreneurial risks. He explained the importance of market research, the benefits and the drawbacks (particularly during COVID) and how it was and continues to be vital for the success of his product and brand. He gave us an insight into how he built his brand and the importance of ethical sourcing. He alluded to the challenges of pursuing promotion in a dynamic market and how important social media is for tracking consumption data. 

Students were lucky enough to be exposed to financial data and operational data where Jonny broached the challenges of keeping his gross profit margin healthy whilst managing his relationships with suppliers. With so many links to the A Level course there was almost too much to cover in a relatively short time. Students were invited to sample the product at the end (overwhelmingly positive praise) and many stayed behind to gain some additional insight into Jonny’s personal experience. We are hugely grateful to Jonny for giving up his precious time to benefit our budding entrepreneurs.