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Breakfast spotlight doubles interest for Studentgems


Studentgems, a Wycombe Enterprise Hub client, has experienced first hand the power of media exposure after their appearance on BBC Breakfast News resulted in an increase of registered users to 10,000 from 5,000. is an online student skills marketplace, where businesses and individuals can find students for one-off jobs and project work. Launched in September 2007, the service fills a unique gap in the market, acting as a gateway to a pool of highly talented but affordable individuals.

“The feedback following the BBC feature has been phenomenal, with hundreds of emails since praising the site and the unique concept we now offer,” said Director and Co-founder Joanna Ward.  "The coverage resulted in over 15,000 visitors and more than 400,000 page views in one day.  It just demonstrates how powerful a tool good publicity can be for an organisation, particularly if the concept is new and attractive.”  

Studentgems’ primary aim is to match student skills with the needs of SMEs but can also offer valuable resources to larger companies and the charity sector.  Well known brands as diverse as, Rackspace and Breast Cancer UK all use the site to source students with skills they need.  

The service, launched by Joanna Ward and Director and Co-founder, Sue Harrison, has also captured the imagination of individuals looking for rock bands, wedding photographers, gardeners and digital camera tutors, to name but a few.  

Studentgems was introduced to the Hub by Business Link and arrived with an operating beta site and the need for help to develop a strategy to take the business forward.  The Hub worked with Joanna and Sue to draft a business plan, introduced them to the Finance South East Investment Readiness programme and helped find an appropriate business mentor.  The Hub team also helped the founders prepare and practise their funding presentation.  

Studentgems is currently seeking Phase 1 funding of £275k to fund continued UK development and a marketing campaign to capitalise on their early successes. Later rounds of funding will finance international expansion.

Publish Date: 20th August 2008

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