Meet the Edinburgh fourth year who started his own tutoring business

They’re planning to expand to Glasgow in September


Are you sick and tired of slaving away polishing endless glasses and cutlery for a measly £7 an hour? So was Jack Henderson, a fourth year medic from Edinburgh University. The young entrepreneur now has two successful businesses under his belt – and they’re growing.

Last year, 21-year-old Jack decided to put his brains, four A* A-Levels and his reams of old school notes to good use and begin tutoring.

Within weeks, his sideline project was so lucrative that his friends wanted to get involved. Always an opportunist, he came up with a unique business model that he says can be successful in any university city – and so far he’s been right.

"I had a unique idea and decided to go for it."

"I had a unique idea and decided to go for it."

The tutoring business now has 12 student tutors under its belt, all medics at Edinburgh University, who teach a range of different subjects up to Higher level.

Each tutor takes on as many pupils as they feel they can cope with around their own university work and extra curricular commitments. Jack is also a first team hockey player, so has to manage his time carefully – feeling like an under achiever yet? I am.

Following a successful year in Edinburgh, Jack is planning to expand his company to Glasgow this September. We spoke to the man with the plan to find out a bit more about his business venture and his plans for taking on Glasgow.

How did it all start?

"In first year I worked as a care assistant in a severe dementia ward, it took up all my time and it was really tough. It’s difficult to earn a lot of money when you don’t have a lot of time. I was also tutoring a bit and hated turning pupils away. I saw a gap in the market for an affordable tutoring service in Edinburgh, I had a unique idea and I just decided to go for it!

"It’s fun as well, because it’s my friends and I all doing it together. It just makes sense – we’d sat all the same exams a few years ago ourselves so we’re the best equipped to help young people."

Cheesin' cos free wine

Cheesin’ cos free wine

How much do you charge?

"I think it’s really important that it’s the most accessible tuition so we offer a free initial assessment and then £25 per one hour session. Our tutors get £18 an hour for basic roles plus monthly allowances for travel and other perks.

"For some of our tutors, it’s got them out of their overdrafts and some don’t even have to take out student loans this year. A lot of the profit goes back into the business. It’s great because the tutors can completely control their own work load and schedules."

What’s the next step?

"It’s something I want to bring to other students because it’s a really good opportunity to earn a lot of money in a meaningful way. For us, Glasgow is the next obvious place and then I’d love to bring the idea to other university cities as well. At the moment I’ve got a two year plan, it’s more of a learning opportunity before I qualify as a doctor – but who knows."

Jack and Sally wrote the business plan on the Bolivian salt flats last year

Jack and Sally wrote the business plan on the Bolivian salt flats last year

Any funny stories?

"We tutor all kinds of clients, from school pupils to full time nurses to pensioners wanting help with some maths so you never know what you’re gonna get. Quite often a pupil’s parents will ask me to diagnose their various medical symptoms while I’m there – one showed me a picture of their poo once."

Do you do it all yourself?

"Now so many people are on board it’s a team effort. My girlfriend and my dad help out with a lot of the admin and business direction. My family are really supportive."

For more info about Jack’s business, check out their Facebook or website here.