8 July 2024

The SoapBox Competition is run by Completely Retail Marketplace in partnership with Landsec, one of the UK’s leading commercial property development and investment companies. Elizabeth was one of nine chosen out of over 200 applicants to present their brand to a panel of judges and after deliberation was named the winning candidate.

Elizabeth’s TRU SKN aims to increase the diversity and inclusion in the cosmetics industry with sustainable products, prioritising ethnic consumer needs and giving customers more options and choice. She wanted to reflect her core values in the products, including confidence, empowerment, inclusivity and creativity.

The start-up was established in November 2022, and secured funding from the University of Westminster’s 125 Fund, now known as The Ignite Fund. The initiative provides funding to current Westminster students to realise their dream projects, such as start a business, develop a website, purchase equipment or take part in a course. 

In the same year Elizabeth received the Westminster Enterprise Network (WeNetwork) Rising Star award after taking part in the Westminster Big Idea Competition, an annual University-wide student and graduate business idea and innovation competition, in partnership with Santander Universities UK.

Throughout her studies and journey of developing TRU SKN, Elizabeth was supported by Westminster’s academics and alumni, including Tej Lalvani, Westminster alumnus, previous ‘dragon’ of BBC’s Dragons' Den and CEO of Vitabiotics; and Dr Irene Brew-Riverson, Senior Lecturer at the School of Organisations, Economy and Society (SOES).

Elizabeth said: “It feels so surreal; my vision of seeing TRU SKN in stores is coming to life! I've envisioned and worked hard every day to see TRU SKN on shelves, embodying our mission of increasing diversity and inclusion in the beauty industry. We're not just creating products but fostering confidence, self-love and individuality in the community. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to bring my visions to life. Watch this space; we have something great in store.”

Elizabeth’s success shows Westminster’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. Her business also directly contributes to SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities and 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, as she aims to increase diversity and inclusion within the cosmetic industry while creating sustainable products. 

Since 2019, the University of Westminster has used the SDGs holistically to frame strategic decisions to help students and colleagues fulfil their potential and contribute to a more sustainable, equitable and healthier society.  

Elizabeth’s store location is currently being decided and is set to open in the Autumn.

Learn more about Business and Management courses at the University of Westminster.