Lads went from flogging sweets at school to running viral app worth millions

Two pals who used to flog sweets at school are now running a multi-million-pound business.

Oliver Jacobs and Joseph Black, both 25, are the brains behind the free app UniTaskr that helps a student pay their way through university.

So far they have offered almost £11million worth of jobs to cash-strapped students.

Joseph said: “We really want to make it so that no student has to leave university because they can’t make ends meet.

“We don’t want them to lack the opportunity of expanding their talents just because they can’t afford it.”

Since launching UniTaskr two years ago the pair, originally from Hertfordshire, now have 20 staff and 190,000 members.

The app connects students to employers who pay for skills such as digital marketing and design. Fees range from £5 to test and review a product, to £20 for writing a blog, while more steady work can bring in £250 a week or more.

Oliver said: “One single mum said the jobs helped her to feed her baby through the pandemic.”

According to reports from the Hertfordshire Mercury, employers simply post the details of the task they want to be completed and how much they are willing to pay for it on UniTaskr, then the student registers their interest and, hopefully, gets hired, or an employer can browse through qualified students and approach them directly.

While they started the app under the name ‘UniDosh’ in 2016, it was only in 2019 when Joseph and Oliver relaunched as UniTaskr in the autumn that they began to find success.

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Their most successful feature was called ‘Shout,’ facilitating students to make money as ‘nano-influencers’ – someone with anywhere between 500 and 5,000 followers on social media – posting on behalf of companies looking to increase their profile.

Now UniTaskr’s success has been recognised by TikTok which, according to Joseph, stated that the app has the largest network of nano-influencers on one platform in the world.

He said: “We didn’t even know what that meant at the time. We initially thought of the platform just for finding jobs, but Shout turned out to be our biggest success story.

“There are 180,000 nano-influencers on our app that can reach a whopping combined 500,000,000 people.”

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