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Business & Economy

Young entrepreneurs grow new student work platform despite lockdown

A new company set up by two young entrepreneurs has continued to grow during the coronavirus lockdown, creating six new jobs and taking on additional office space.

Based at UKSE’s Innovation Centre in Hartlepool, Phavour is a platform-based marketplace for freelancers, helping university students to find part-time employment, freelance work and or one-off tasks.

Lliam Casey had the idea for the business during an internship in Asia and Phavour became a reality when he met 21 year old TV and film graduate Charlie Eve.

Lliam said: “We felt that we had the right combination of skills to make this a success.

“We were delighted with the early response then everything suddenly turned upside down as lockdown began.

“A lot of students are employed in the hospitality industry or offices and domestic premises, which shut down immediately.

“Working from home ourselves, we had to adapt quickly and concentrated our efforts on linking students into home-working roles too such as design, marketing or IT.

“It was hard work, but it brought results and we now have a team of eight that should grow to at least 12 by the end of this year. UKSE has supported us by finding the extra office space we needed.”

Phavour a series of partnerships with SMEs and businesses as well as universities, each of which can have their own version of the platform.

Matching students to jobs saves time writing numerous applications as students can quickly find the specific tasks that suit them and their study schedules.

Lliam said: “Businesses and individuals have been quick to see the benefits of having access to students who can provide high value support with a particular project.

“Everyone benefits from the speed, ease of use and highly effective matching process as well as the secure ratings and payment systems.”

Joan Cook of UKSE, the Tata Steel regeneration subsidiary, added: ““We have more than 50 businesses based in our Hartlepool Innovation Centre and it has been such a difficult time for them all.

“Like many others, Lliam and Charlie have worked extremely hard to keep Phavour on track and they deserve every success.”