Meet the MMU second year changing the student app game
He’s using his student experience to improve yours
Joe Black, along with his business partner and Nottingham Trent University grad Oliver Jacobs are the student entrepreneurs changing the student app game. We're all familiar with apps like UniDays and Student Beans, they're certainly useful and money-saving, but they don't actually help students out – they encourage us to spend money, albeit with discounts. Luckily, Joe and Oliver have created UniDosh, an app exclusively for students which provides the poor and overdrawn among us with the opportunity to earn a little cash, and also spend far fewer pounds than we usually would on essential services.
With UniDosh you can both provide and request services exclusively from and for students, at student rates. For instance, if you speak a second language you can offer your services as a tutor at a rate that you decide. Likewise if you're low on cash but need a bit of extra tutoring, you can request some help from someone who knows what they're doing, without paying through the nose. Your account on the app is verified through your uni email address, so everyone requesting and providing services is a student in your area.
UniDosh is being launched exclusively in Manchester this year, The Tab Manchester caught up with it's creator, Manchester Metropolitan University Animal Behaviour second year Joe Black.
So how did it all start?
"I really wasn't sure I wanted to go to uni straight after school. I had always intended on going into business, but it wasn't necessarily something that I wanted to do at uni." "
"I decided to take a year out and went travelling in Africa. When it came time to come to uni I wanted to do something that I actually had an interest in so I chose Animal Behaviour, it's a bit of a weird choice, but I'm loving it."
"I stayed friends with Oliver, my partner, despite being at uni. We've been friends for years so we're pretty tight. We had both noticed at uni how difficult managing money was."
"Maybe I was ignorant before, but I was shocked to realise that maintenance loans just aren't enough. I knew I had to do something about, I sketched the idea for UniDosh out on a napkin and called Ollie and told him to come up to Manchester straight away. I knew we were on to something good."
How do you manage to maintain a business while you're a student?
"It is really hard. I've taken a year out of uni to focus on UniDosh. I've been juggling them both for over two years and needed a break, otherwise they would both suffer."
"I am very motivated, though. My mum runs a charity called Shambhala Foundation so growing up around that really taught me how a business works and how much work you need to put in. I don't slack – I put 100 per cent into the app and into uni."
"I'm still very much living the student life, I still hang out with my course friends, and I live in Fallowfield. You'll see me in Cubo sometimes."
So to what extent would you say your own student experience contributes to the way you run UniDosh?
"Oh, completely. As I mentioned before, I came up with the idea because of the money issues I noticed while a student. We also try and tailor it to student-specific things, so for instance you can pay for lifts if you're not feeling the Magicbus, or if you want a trip home. There's also specific areas for DJs, equipment and security because we know how integral house parties are in Fallowfield."
"UniDosh is also made exclusively for students and tailored to fit around your studies."
You can download UniDosh here.