After graduating from the Maastricht Hotel Management School I wanted to see and learn about other things outside the hospitality industry. Entrepreneurship had always interested me, and I wanted to find a MSc education that would provide me with more knowledge about and hands-on experience of this topic. Fortunately Maastricht University had just developed a new specialisation within the MSc International Business, called Entrepreneurship and SME Management, and I decided to take on the challenge! It was in the course of this study that four fellow students and I founded the now well-known student company called Eduboox.
www.eduboox.nl rapidly became – and still is – the book trading website for students from all studies in and around Maastricht. With 2ndhand study books as its core business, students get the opportunity to buy and sell their books without paying any commission. Next to the 2nd hand book trade the website offers a wide range of student discounts, career opportunities and information on local events. For example, local companies who have students as target customers are provided with the opportunity to advertise their products with an additional discount for students. Vacancies for fulltime jobs, part-time jobs, internships or even in-house days can be found on the career page of Eduboox.nl.
The student company turned out to be a great deal of fun and success, and made me decide to continue to expand the company while writing my thesis. Immediately after finishing my thesis in October 2009, I was approached by the organisation LincC. They asked me to take part in a national competition for young entrepreneurs who decide to carry on with their student company by turning it into a real business. I actually won the competition, assuring me of the backing and support of the LincC coaches and advisors. From then on I could also count on being supported by the companies who are involved in LincC, such as ABN-AMRO, LIOF, Deloitte and DSM.
Winning this prize and receiving outside support for www.eduboox.nl was the extra stimulus I needed to decide to dedicate all my attention and time to expanding Eduboox to all student cities in The Netherlands, after my graduation on 31st December 2009. The MSc International Business / Entrepreneurship and SME Management really exposed the entrepreneur in me and definitely got me off to a very good start. The study environment, the teachers, and my fellow students stimulated me to think in, and out, of the box. It also taught me to develop new business ideas and to commercialise them successfully. The study got me where I am now, owner of a company with a lot of potential and on the verge of a big expansion.
Developing your own business ideas can be very scary at times, but it is all the more gratifying when you see the results and make real progress. Do not hesitate, talk to people who started businesses before and, when your feeling is right, go for it!
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