Starting a Business as a Student
The beepurple team recently caught up with Ben Brooks, Anmol Mangat and Ehab Ahmad – the Founders of UniiMarket, which is an exclusive online marketplace hub for students, by students.
Here’s what we talked about…
What inspired you to turn UniiMarket into reality?
After presenting a very rough sketch of the idea to our peers in one of our Business Modules during our first year at the University of Brighton, we discovered very quickly that there is a big demand for our platform, and crucially, there is no clear-cut solution to many students’ pain point: many wants but very few funds.
UniiMarket gives our users here in Brighton the space to buy, sell and trade items with one another. We know how important it is to make and save money at the same time!
What has been your greatest achievement since starting up?
Since starting up, we have achieved a number of goals that were set out in the first few meetings at UniiMarket HQ (The Aldrich Library). One to note in particular, is the recent success of our Soft Launch which now sees the app with 80 registered users before its official release!
What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt so far as a start-up?
As a start-up the biggest lesson we have learnt so far (amongst many!) is the importance of planning, learning, developing and refining.
I believe that these elements of any idea or service play a huge role in determining the ease of which a business can start-up. It has been crucial for us to learn about all mobile application matters, before commencing any form of development work and ensuring that we plan for various scenarios, such as a change of trend within the mobile app market. Once an idea has formulated, it is though it never ceases to stop growing, and at this point, it’s vital to ensure that the idea is able to be developed further and refined in line with user demand.
What practical advice would you give to a student thinking about starting a business?
The practical advice I would offer a student would be the following: Do it!
University is a great time to start a business – the time, support and various channels we can explore as a student are unrivalled!
Having said that, it’s absolutely imperative to truly know your product / service and market / industry like the back of your hand. More importantly, have fun!
If you don’t enjoy what you are starting, then the journey has been made 10 times harder already. Accept that bad days happen and plans aren’t always executed perfectly, but when this does happen, think back to why you started this journey in the first place.
What are your business goals for the next 3-6 months?
Within the next 3-6 months, we anticipate that we will have a firm holding within the Brighton marketplace community with UniiMarket being used as the ‘go to app’ for buying, selling, trading, chatting and building a portfolio of business, deals and sales. By Month 6 (March 2021), we will have released the ‘Out & About’ section of the app which will allow our users to make great savings in the local enterprises that we rely on throughout Brighton and Hove.
How can students find out about your business?
The best way to access the app is via the App Store or PlayStore, depending on your phone! Alternatively, students can check out our website at www.uniimarket.co.uk/
If you are inspired by the UniiMarket team, and are thinking about starting your own business, get in touch with the beepurple team.
To discuss your business idea, email the beepurple at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a 1-2-1 meeting.
If you would like to find out how you can turn your idea into a business, come to our free, entrepreneurship (online) workshops: www.brighton.ac.uk/careers/start-your-own-business/entrepreneurship-workshops/index.aspx