The Crucible Project is a business start-up initiative offering funding and personalised support for innovative DMU graduates.

Charlie Evans is a DMU graduate who has set up her own business – ‘Grey House England’ – designing and making high-end, sustainable cardboard backpacks with support from DMU’s Crucible Project.

Charlie graduated in 2014 with a first in Graphic Design and Illustration BA (Hons), and since then has been receiving support from DMU to help turn her idea into a business reality.

She has been hand-making her unusual backpacks and other accessories using an old 1942 Singer sewing machine, and is now looking to expand the business and manufacture in Leicester using sustainable materials.

Charlie is currently supported by the Crucible Project – she has received £8,000 for business and living costs, a specialised mentor, a business workshop, space in DMU’s Innovation Centre and access to investment.