Exeter students create social enterprise to help local charity
Tamara Moule celebrates Exeter’s new Happy Carrot enterprise
A Group of Business and Management students from the University of Exeter have started the social enterprise Happy Carrot, which sells environmentally conscious products with the added aim of donating their profits to the Exeter Foodbank, a charity providing emergency food packages for families in need in the Exeter area. The group of seven students is selling reusable shopping bags shaped as fruits and vegetables during the month of March to raise money and awareness for the local charity.
Ione Hale, HR Officer for Happy Carrot, explained that the group came up with the idea after becoming aware of some of the issues that the Exeter Foodbank was facing.
“We wanted to make a difference both with the local and wider community. Exeter Foodbank has been running since 2008, yet they still face problems with individuals being too embarrassed to ask for help”, she explained. Concerned with this ongoing stigma, particularly during such a difficult time in the midst of a third national lockdown, the students were keen to raise awareness for the charity and destigmatize the act of approaching the Foodbank.
“One of the ways we are doing this is by sharing stories of individuals who have turned to the Foodbank for help and sharing ways our community can support the Food Bank going forward” Hale explained. The group hope that this will improve the visibility of the charity within the local community.
A further issue the foodbank faces is a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables to donate to families in need. Enthusiastic to tackle this problem, the Happy Carrot team decided to add the option for buyers of their product to donate a small sum directly to Exeter Foodbank to enable the charity to purchase fresh produce for their food packages.
Conscious of the project’s environmental impact, the students opted for a product that would help in reducing plastic waste in Exeter. The choice of reusable shopping bags has enabled them to create an environmentally conscious product at a competitive price, all while supporting the Exeter Foodbank through the profits gained.
Happy Carrot reusable shopping bags will be on sale from 1 March, and can be purchased through the website, or via the company’s Instagram page @happycarrotexeter. All profits will be donated to Exeter Foodbank.