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Where Are You Now?

Steven Cadwell

Steven Cadwell

BA (Hons) Business Management 1995

Canals were at the heart of the development of industrial Manchester. They enabled coal and raw materials to be carried right to the heart of the city and finished goods to be transported away easily.

Now, a Sunderland graduate has provided commuters and visitors with the unique experience of viewing Manchester by water taxi (waxi).

Steven Cadwell, from Merseyside, is the Founder of Manchester Water Taxis Limited. After working on the concept for seven years, the Business Management graduate was finally able to launch his company in November 2016 after securing enough funding.

He said: “I developed my business idea because I got fed up of the congestion in and around central Manchester and thought there must be a better way to travel around the city centre.

"Commuters and visitors can hop on at Castlefield, Old Trafford, Intu Trafford Centre, Stretford, Sale, Spinningfields and Salford Quays, 364 days a year.

“Our ‘waxis’ go via England's oldest man made waterway The Bridgewater Canal, and soon the Manchester Ship Canal will be serviced by Manchester Water Taxis.” 

Steven, who has a 20-year career in advertising, was one of the first graduates from the then brand new Sunderland Business School.

He said: “The opportunity to study in such a great facility was a real draw to the University. As President of the Squash Club I made some lifelong friends and had some fantastic times travelling up and down the country representing the University.”

As someone who had to deal with knockbacks before realising his dream, Steven maintains that the ability to show resilience and being determined are crucial for any graduate entering the job market. 

He advised: “Follow your dreams. Be prepared for knockbacks but if you feel strongly enough about what you want to achieve then persist with it. Whether it’s going it alone or trying to break into a particular sector. Don’t give up.” 

In the near future, Steven is planning to expand their waxi brand into other UK cities. 

He concluded: “I would like to have the word waxi adopted by the English Dictionary and ultimately leverage equity from the waxi brand, but I might need the help of some clever legal type from within the Uni to achieve this.”

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