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My journey from accountant to baking entrepreneur

Happy Donut Bakery co-founder Meg Smith (BSc Accounting and Finance 2020) on how her degree helped her to launch a bakery business in Bath.

Two people posing in pink sunglasses surrounded by balloons
Meg (right) and Nat don't just bake donuts: they sell cookies, brownies and more

When the pandemic started in 2020, I was completing my final year of my Accounting and Finance degree. My girlfriend Nat was on furlough and wanted to learn something new to keep busy. Banana bread was having a moment on social media, but Nat decided to make vegan donuts instead. Before long we were baking and delivering donuts every day.

Word got out on Instagram and our donut orders grew and grew, so I decided to take the plunge and co-run The Happy Donut Bakery full-time. On a typical day we get up at 4am to bake, before carrying the goods down five flights of stairs, loading up the car and making deliveries.

We ran a pop-up bake sale and made the local news when hundreds of people queued around the streets of Bath! Most customers are surprised the donuts are vegan: they can’t tell the difference.

Networks, opportunities and support

My Accounting and Finance degree helped in ways I didn’t expect. When I realised I didn’t want to be an accountant, I was able to delve into other areas of business without changing my course.

I took classes in marketing, HR, business and innovation. In one project, we had to think of a new idea and work as a team to make a business plan. That’s exactly what I’ve done in real life.

There are lots of opportunities available to you as a student. I applied for the Santander Entrepreneurship Fund and was awarded £2,000 to help set up the business. With this support, we were able to buy essential equipment, and cover the fees for a market stall.

The School of Management also helped me make connections. The alumni network is very supportive and happy to share their experiences and advice. Now I’ve graduated, the School keeps in touch with alumni newsletters and invites me to loads of events.

Ambitious thinking

To me, ambition is having a goal in mind and not letting a lack of resources stop you. We’re 23 years old and built our business from home, with very little funding. Now we’re proud finalists in the 2021 Bath Life Awards’ New Business category.

Until now, it’s been our aim to make this our full-time job, but eventually we want to own a café in Bath. Watch this space.

We both love the city and all its charm. It’s so different to where I come from, a small town in South Wales. I visited lots of universities at open days and really liked Bath’s campus and the course. Then I fell in love with Bath and didn’t want to leave.

The alumni network is very supportive and happy to share their experiences
Meg Smith BSc Accounting and Finance (2020)

Study at Bath