Unisource – supporting small business growth in Surrey
5th February 2021
Unisource is a free digital hub that connects businesses seeking assistance with tasks with students looking for work experience. Launched in 2020, Unisource continues to build momentum and the company is keen to build relationships with business owners across Surrey.
Tom Fender, director at Dr Heff’s Remarkable Mints has used Unisource several times. With the goal of taking its proposition to dental practices and independent pharmacies, Tom needed to build a new database, he explains: “This is obviously quite time-consuming when you’re running a business…It’s not a task that’s a full-time job, but it was critical to the business as part of our growth strategy.”
Tom selected two students to complete the target audience research: “The quality of the work was outstanding – as good as I would have got from a full-time member of staff. I’d have no hesitation in posting tasks in the future. There are many benefits of using Unisource and I recommend that other businesses trial it; it’s a perfect tool for small companies and busy business owners. If you’re running a business, often the tasks that build up can delay progress.”
Unisource is also a lifeline for students keen to gain work experience, especially if placements have been cancelled. Lauren Strong is studying Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Surrey and has completed several tasks: “The fact that I could work remotely on my laptop from my kitchen table was great, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Preparing students for the world of work is vital. Frances Gow, Head of Employability and Careers, University of Surrey believes the Unisource experience mirrors that of the job market on a micro-level: they apply (or bid) for a job (or post) and are either accepted or not. She says: “Unisource is a great option… It allows them to have the best of both worlds; to earn money and gain relevant experience.”