Jules & You celebrated its five years of business on Thursday 4 July. This was a special milestone for young businesswoman Karin van der Ven (29), who started the student service company in 2008.
Jules & You started delivering a small number of practical services to students and now provides everything you need when you establish yourself as a (foreign) student in Maastricht. The company has also grown into a link between Maastricht University and the city of Maastricht.
The idea for Jules & You was inspired by Van der Ven’s own experience as an exchange student and teacher in Istanbul. She saw opportunities in the field of servicing (international) students, in areas such as housing, language training, insurance and student jobs. What made it happen in 2009 was the ’20K Business Plan ‘competition for women entrepreneurs initiatted by the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship. Van de Ven’s concept won the first prize as it was found to meet a need among the student population in Maastricht. Thanks to this financial boost, the company was able to develop into a serious business, in the centre of Maastricht.
MC4E continues to offer financial support to start-ups, both through the Business Plan Competition, now called the Local Heroes Award in collaboration with the Limburg University Funds as well as through a wide network of formal and informal investors.
A point of contact for students
Located opposite to the Law Faculty in the Bouillonstraat, Jules & You functions as a physical ‘helpdesk’ and offers a complete array of services ranging from housing, furniture, teaching, student jobs to selling bicycles, telephone subscriptions, insurance and any other support that a student may need. At present, more than 6,500 students use the company’s services and in the past five years, Jules & You says it assisted more than 15,000 customers during their start period in Maastricht. The number of employees in the past five years has grown to 30.
Expanding scope and collaborations
Jules & You continues to broaden its horizons. Its clientèle has expanded to include expatriates and Maastricht Universityemployees. Since last year, the also company focuses on the integration between students and local citizens. It is collaborating with Centre Management Maastricht to introduce the project “Sunday Kids’ and to provide language courses for non-students as well as retail and hospitality staff with the aim to increase the city’s hospitality.
For more information about Jules & You on http://julesmaastricht.com/
Source: Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship, 4 July 2013