If Rebecca Mann isn’t studying for her BTEC in agriculture, there’s a good chance she’ll be baking.
That’s because Rebecca is the brains behind Country Bumpkin Cakes – a business supplying cakes for weddings and special events.
The young entrepreneur set up the business at the tender age of 15 and has quickly developed it into a profit-making company.
The experience has taught her a lot about the fundamentals of running a business.
“Obviously I had a number of start-up costs, but once I got into doing weddings and getting other enquiries I was able to start making a good profit,” she explains.
Rebecca has established a website and a Facebook page for Country Bumpkin Cakes, but says that one of the most important things she has learnt is that word of mouth and personal recommendations are the most powerful tools for new business.
She also believes that A levels and university are not the only route to a successful career.
Rebecca enrolled on a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at Hartpury College instead, and she describes it as one of her “best decisions yet”.
“Schools focus on getting you to university – as though that’s the only way you’re going to make a career – which it’s not. With my diploma opportunities will open up and it’s not as though I’ve dropped out of the system; I can still go on to a degree if I want to.
“From this month, Rebecca will have to combine Country Bumpkin Cakes with a year’s work experience with Wiltshire beef farmer and Ladies in Beef co-founder Minette Batters, who also runs a catering business.
She has also secured work at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park starting in February, which she hopes will stand her in good stead for future farming opportunities.
“My family’s farm is a tenancy so there are no guarantees that I will be able to take it on,” she told Farmers Weekly. “I need to be ready to take an opportunity, if and when it comes up.”