Student books his place in business community

Alasdair ireland

A young entrepreneur from Dunoon is aiming to help students throughout Scotland save thousands of pounds this academic year.

Alasdair Ireland, 19, launched the Your Book List app last year and now, with support from Business Gateway Argyll and Bute, is aiming for the app to be used in all Scottish universities.

Your Book List is a free app which facilitates students buying and selling second-hand textbooks to their peers within the same university.

A successful trial period in Glasgow saw the app spread to eight other universities and since last September, Your Book List has saved students on average 60% with thousands of pounds worth of books being listed.

Alasdair said: “We’re here to make university less expensive for all students. One of the biggest costs of studying is textbooks which are often used for a year or in some cases one semester. You can buy brand new versions which cost a lot or you can buy second-hand from a student who used it the year before. Our app makes this process much easier. For the buyer, the app allows them to quickly find the correct course books and view the potential saving. Whilst, the seller benefits from a quick listing tool using a barcode scanner and then we do all the work by inserting all the important information – so it literally takes seconds. All transactions are made safely on campus at a time and place suitable to both parties.

“Business Gateway have been brilliant in terms of offering advice on where to take the business next. They provide a friendly environment mixed with a high level of experience to help small companies.”

Alasdair first thought of the concept just before entering his first year at the University of Glasgow. Knowing the costs of the textbooks he needed for his Economics and Business course, he scoured online for used books before realising there must be a modern, easier way to do it and very quickly came up with the idea for the app.

Now, after securing various forms of funding, Alasdair is hoping to raise the profile of his business and has been attending business events in Poland, London and Silicon Valley to help aid growth outside of the UK.

He added: “What really excites me about Your Book List is the fact that it has been created by a student for students. Being immersed in the target market has had huge advantages, especially when it comes to gaining feedback. With our app, we are giving students the unique opportunity to buy their entire reading list in a matter of seconds from other students. The sharing community we are developing at institutions is like no other and the potential for growth is huge.”

Donald Melville, Business Adviser, Business Gateway said: “It doesn’t matter what age you are, Business Gateway is here to help. Some young people might be put off because they will be perceived as having a lack of experience, but if they have a good idea there is no reason why they can’t run a successful business.”

Find out how Business Gateway Argyll and Bute can help your business by visiting their local page or calling 01546 808 363.

Outwith this area? Find your local Business Gateway office or call 0300 013 4753.

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