Party for profit

October 22, 1999

Oxford frowns on it; Bill Gates made a million at it; Strathclyde positively encourages it. Anne Sebba reports on the UK undergraduates setting up their own companies

Kate Jillings (left), 19, is entering her second year at Christ Church, Oxford, reading politics, philosophy and economics and has set up an events organising company called Solar to host two "cool parties" for students, one in November in Oxford and one in December in London.

"These are not balls, not black tie, they are much more cutting edge, with the right sort of music and DJs. We have 200 VIPs from the music and fashion world coming, talent scouts from a major modelling agency and we have built up a database of target people to invite so we are not just handing out flyers to anyone who can pay Pounds 19."

Kate and her business partner, Julie Wilks, set up the company through Barclays Bank with about Pounds 2,500 of their own savings. They hope to recoup that with the first party and make a profit at the December event in a converted former cinema in King's Cross with a video screen just behind the huge dance floor.

"It's unlikely we'll make a fortune, but eventually I want to work in public relations, so this is ideal because of the experience gained and the contacts made."


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