CityStarters Weekend winner targets UK market breakthrough with skin care product made from citrus peel

Bayes student to build sustainable brand Citrus Cycle and is targeting the university community.

A Bayes Business School budding entrepreneur is gearing up to break into the world of sustainable skincare after earning top prize at the CityStarters Weekend.

Students from across City, University of London were selected to pitch their ideas at the hybrid event which celebrates innovation and start-ups.

Prachi Jhaveri, 20, and her team created Citrus Cycle which creates skin care products from wasted orange peels collected from organic juice stores. Prachi was supported by Elbert Jonathan Salim, Nikita Gondalia, Paris Papacharalambous, Ammar Abbas, and Ana Hysenaj.

The idea was a triumph, with Prachi, a BSc Business Management, Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship student, now turning her attention to getting the product onto the market after leading a team and building an idea from scratch.

“I’m so pleased to have won the prize to develop this idea, which I am very enthusiastic about. I always use orange peel skin care for my face as it often gets dry, and it helped me so much.

“I needed to come up with a business idea for my course and during my research I found out how much orange peel is thrown away each year, and I couldn’t believCityStarters winning teame it. This was an idea that hadn’t been properly explored in the UK and I wanted to take it forward myself. I thought this competition was a good starting point.”

Prachi found that 3.8 million tonnes of citrus peel in the UK goes to waste every year, and 24 million tonnes globally. Orange peel is thought to improve skin health as it contains natural antioxidants, antibacterial properties, and Vitamin C.

Competition in the industry is fierce, with the global skin care product market worth £130 billion in 2020.

Citrus Cycle is targeted at female university students, including those with skin allergies exacerbated by chemicals in skin care products, and students looking for natural and sustainable skin care products. The product will be marketed through partnerships with organic juice stores and university pop-up stores.

Market research the team conducted showed that 73 per cent of those surveyed were interested in using the product, and Prachi is confident it can be a success.

“Why throw away the peels when we can use them to our benefit? Universities students are conscious consumers who value sustainability.

“The prize money is going towards certification, testing, and licensing, before we start approaching juice companies to talk about collaborating. All being well, we are hoping to launch the product in April or May 2022.”

Prachi praised the organisers of the CityStarters Weekend, citing improved confidence and team building work because of the experience. She is now looking forward with her business partner and fellow City student Sashreeka Pandey (BSc Mathematics with Finance and Economics, 2021) and is excited for the future.

“CityStarters was a lot of fun. It was a chance to meet new people and pitch ideas, which made for a great collaborative experience.

“It was a bit overwhelming at first as people pitched themselves to me and it was up to me to decide who I wanted on the team. But there were so many people interested in the idea and we all have different skills and that contributed to its success.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Citrus Cycle.”