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Cheeky Ps

Newcastle University graduate recognised with entrepreneurship award

Published on: 24 July 2018

A Newcastle University graduate has received the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for growing a healthy snack start-up into a commercial success.

Gregory Goh, from Malaysia, who has launched his own brand of flavoured chickpeas called Cheeky P's, collected the award from the Duke himself at a special awards ceremony.

The Accounting and Finance graduate said: “I am very humbled and honoured to be Newcastle University's Duke of York Award Winner.

“It was an incredible experience to meet the Duke of York in person and have a conversation with him about our start-up journey.”

In just a year after its launch, the roasted chickpea snack is available at more than 100 outlets in the North East, including award-winning Keelham Farmshop, and brewery taprooms such as Beavertown and Cloudwater Brewery.

Gregory Goh showing the Cheeky P's range to the Duke of York and his START UP business adviser Jackie Wade

Support for student and graduate entrepreneurs

The young entrepreneur was backed by START UP, Newcastle University’s support for students and recent graduates looking to become self-employed and start new businesses.

The University supported him in gaining endorsement and applying for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa. Gregory also received a grant from the University to grow his idea into a viable start-up. 

Gregory said: “While I am truly honoured for being a recipient to this prestigious award, I believe this award is a credit to the University START UP Advisors who invested time in our start-up journey and the incredible distributors, stockists, and customers who have supported us and shared their love for our peas.”

Jackie Wade, Newcastle University Business Adviser, provided guidance and support for Greg and is delighted with Gregory’s business success

She said: “Winning the Duke of York Award is a seal of approval for Gregory and his business, and it’s great to see a more traditional business recognised in such a way.

“Gregory’s success is down to an attractive product and a really good distribution network. He has also done an incredible job with his branding. However, Gregory is also very driven and passionate, not afraid to seek advice and knock on many doors. I admire his persistence, tenacity and enthusiasm.

“Gregory has been involved with START UP for two years, during which time he came up with the idea and developed his product. He worked with other Newcastle University students and graduates who have taken the plunge in the food and drink market.” 

Top 5 in the UK for graduate entrepreneurship

Following the successful launch and growth of Cheeky P’s, Gregory is developing new flavours to complement the existing curry and black pepper range. He is working with his sister and co-founder Gracia, who is also a Newcastle University alumna.

Gregory said: “One flavour that has been in the works for some time now has been Barbecue flavoured Cheeky P’s and we are very excited about introducing this new flavour.

“Apart from that, we are also working closely with the Department of International Trade and will hopefully be exporting our products in the near future.”

The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards began in 2013 with award winners from each of the 10 Yorkshire and the Humber-based universities, and 2016 saw the awards extended to all Northern universities. The awards were organised and hosted by the University of Huddersfield.

The Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HEBCIS) data places Newcastle University in the top 5 in the UK for graduate entrepreneurship, based on the turnover of businesses supported by the University, and positioning it as the best performing research-intensive university in the north.

The survey also shows that the start-ups Newcastle University creates are the most investible university supported businesses in the North East, having raised more than £9m in external investment between them.


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