Founder and Owner of Elemental Fitness
Leeds Trinity was delighted to welcome back 2009 Sport, Health, Exercise and Nutrition graduate Dave Kenyon as a guest speaker during the November 2015 Enterprise & Employability Week. Dave is a great success story from his department and as an entrepreneur. He founded Elemental Fitness when he was still a student and was innovative in not just utilising the support from the Careers Team but also in securing funding sources that were available. He also developed a business that had the unique selling point of combining fitness training with Karate and Kickboxing.
What inspired you to establish Elemental Fitness?
When I was a student I decided that I didn't want to work the stereotypical 9-5 working days and really wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to not only utilise my degree but also be innovative and find a niche in the market. I did this by incorporating Karate and Kickboxing in to fitness sessions.
What was the moment when you realised this was really taking off?
The changing point for me was when I attended business master classes in 2008 and won a Leeds Trinity University Business Concept Competition to receive essential funding to move forwards with my business plan.
How did Elemental Fitness develop?
Elemental Fitness was founded in April 2008 when I was still a student. After receiving the funding I taught in the USA and then began networking by attending various Business Link workshops and seminars. I undertook thorough market research before acquiring office space and then got a gym contact. In December 2008 Elemental Kickboxing Academy started trading.
What have been your highlights since starting your business?One of the obvious highlights was graduating from Leeds Trinity in 2009 and already having my own business. In this year I also featured in a Channel 4 Documentary for a Political broadcast. The impact of this was huge, afterwards I received positive reviews from the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Since 2014 I have had a 3000 square foot studio in Bramley, Leeds.
I also developed positive relationships with Gough & Kelly security Ltd and Resource Print Solutions and worked in schools teaching children. I have also worked with the NHS and West Yorkshire Police.
What would you put your success down to?
I always stayed professional, managed my work load well and prioritised clients and important tasks. I was well organised with seeking and applying for funding that was available.
What advice would you give to current students considering starting their own business?
You can find out more about Elemental Kickboxing from their website here
- Find a niche and produce a business plan
- Follow your passion and remain positive about realising your aspirations
- Take advice from professionals
- Be confident and professional
- Look for what funding is available and put together strong applications
- Get as many testimonials as you can
- Look after your own wellbeing along the way
- Don't be opposed to calling on as many friends in your network as possible for support