Former England and Chelsea football captain John Terry has helped kick-start the career of a Northumbria University business student after becoming one of a growing number of famous customers.

Entrepreneurial Business Management (EBM) student Ollie Simpson has set up his own business selling rare, out of stock trainers as part of his business degree course. The 21-year-old set up the venture just two years ago and has already sold trainers to some of the Premier League’s biggest names. Ollie now has over 9,000 followers on his website www.solescene.com and his Instagram @thesolescene.

As well as John Terry he has also sold his trainers to top-flight football players including Newcastle United’s Matt Ritchie, Liverpool’s Andy Robertson and Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay. Ollie is delighted with his success, explaining: “Attracting customers like John Terry has been incredible and has given me an enormous amount of confidence.”

Ollie believes his EBM course and the lecturers at Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School have been instrumental in his success so far. “My assignments have played a pivotal part by helping me bring the theories taught by my lectures to life within my own business,” he explained.“I also really value the support of my tutor Sam Clegg. He is always willing to go the extra mile for students and has been at the end of the phone for me more than once to help with some big decisions I have made”.

Students studying the EBM course at Northumbria are required to set up and manage their own businesses as the core part of their degrees. The programme is all about experiential learning designed to empower students to create and explore how to manage and grow their own ventures independently. Students on the course are also provided with a variety of opportunities to network, including trade fairs where they have the chance to showcase their products to industry experts and local businesses.

Senior Lecturer and EBM Programme Leader, Lucy Hatt, said: “Ollie has worked so hard to make his passion for trainers into a successful business and his determination, business acumen and hard work are really paying off. The EBM programme provides the optimum learning environment for enthusiastic students such as Ollie to maximise their entrepreneurial business success and maximise their personal development. I’m really delighted for Ollie that his business is securing such high-profile clients, it’s very exciting for all of us!”

Associate Lecturer, Sam Clegg added: “Ollie has worked tirelessly on his business for over two years, whilst still balancing the requirements of the course and student life”.

Ollie plans to maintain the business over the next nine months until he graduates then expand his customer base further into the Premier League and football league.

For more information please see: www.northumbria.ac.uk