Innovation That Matters

Matching students with odd jobs

Work & Lifestyle

Last fall we wrote about Do Good 4 Debt, a site designed to let students relieve some of their educational debt in exchange for performing charity work. Student Gems, which launched shortly thereafter, picks up on a similar theme by matching students in need of work with businesses in need of occasional or one-time help. Student Gems is open to UK students or recent graduates 18 and older. To register, students begin by creating a profile that lists all their skills, including anything from language translation or website design to any of 1,400 other skills categorized on the site. Businesses or individuals in need of help can then search the database for someone who has the skills they require for a one-off or occasional job; if they can’t find a match immediately, they can post their job requirements. Students can also browse through tasks listed by businesses seeking someone with a particular talent and initiate contact themselves. Ad-supported Student Gems is free for use by both businesses and students; by mid-January, more than 1,000 students and 100 businesses had registered with the site, including a software house, a chartered accountant, a media company and even a firm of funeral directors. Cofounder Joanna Ward explains: “Most small businesses cannot afford to take on professional staff for small tasks. allows them to find someone quickly and easily and negotiate a price that suits their budget.” Given skyrocketing levels of student debt and a tough employment landscape, this just could do the trick both for students and for smaller businesses. One to bring to other parts of the world? Spotted by: Nigel Lamb



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