Their company, Green Bean Co, is a Young Enterprise company which sells kits for growing your own organic herbs using recycled coffee grounds.
After less than a year in business, the company has already secured a deal with leading coffee shop chain Costa Coffee which is supplying them with waste coffee grounds that were destined for the landfill.
The business is an offshoot of Young Enterprise, a competition that encourages young people throughout the UK to build a team and develop a business, product or service that is innovative and exciting.
Green Bean Co has already won the South Yorkshire county finals of Young Enterprise, and will now go on to represent South Yorkshire in the Yorkshire and Humber regional finals next month.
The competition has seen the team promote their product, going to trade fairs, raising money and presenting the business to judges.
Green Bean Co combines the nutrients in peat free soil with recycled coffee grounds to make a more eco-friendly soil for herbs to grow in; adding coffee grounds to soil brings down the cost while still keeping all the same nutrients as pure soil without affecting the growth time.
Managing director Alysha Love said: “We have never come across a product remotely similar to ours.
“Integrating used coffee grounds to grow a variety of garden greens is not common knowledge to the majority of people, and we pride ourselves on the innovation of such a product.”
As well as the everyday challenges of running a start up business, the Green Bean co team has had to face extra demands, Alysha said: “Our biggest challenge so far has been to balance our education and running a business.
“All 17 students who are involved with the company are studying four A Level subjects – none of which are business studies.
“The time required to run a company is immense, but to do so whilst still being in school has been a challenge we have all faced.”
The Green Bean Co team now have plans beyond the Young Enterprise finals in June, and are already looking at ways to expand their business, Alysha said: “In 5 years’ time, we hope to be collecting coffee grounds from a large variety of sources as well as finding new, innovative ways to reduce waste.”