A group of student entrepreneurs from Oxford University and Oxford Brookes launched a task-sharing service in April with the aim of “bringing communities together”.
The service, called TuskTasks, connects students with people in the Oxford community who need to run errands but may not have the time.
Members of the public post their tasks on the website along with the price they’re willing to pay for it, and the students choose whichever tasks they can complete.
The response rate is often as quick as a few minutes, Micheal Hodnett, a co-founder of TuskTasks and finalist in real estate management at Brookes, told Cherwell.
So far, according to Hodnett, the service has 201 users. “The idea came when I was lying in bed thinking how much I needed money, and how I was going to make it,” Hodnett said.
Hodnett’s main source of income was doing odd jobs for friends and family, but he wondered why he had to be limited to working for people he knew.
“So I set out to try and create a platform to connect people who need help with students who need work.”
While finding students work is an important aspect of TuskTask’s mission, Hodnett also recognises how the service can bring a community closer together.
He told Cherwell: “There seems to be a lot of negativity towards students within university towns and as such we wanted to paint students in a better light. Students do drink and party – sometimes – but they also work incredibly hard and can be a very reliable taskforce.
“The platform is about helping one another. Helping the students earn money, while they are helping you.”
The service can go a long way towards reducing what Hodnett calls ‘studentification’, the impact of a huge group of students being integrated into a city.
Saam Medizadeh, director of the TuskTasks platform, told the Oxford Mail: “It gives students a chance to bring communities together, reduce the friction between communities and students and have people realise that students can help out.”
Though only a website currently, the TuskTasks team is planning to turn the service into an app by the end of 2018.
Hodnett told Cherwell: “This is the perfect way for students to make money as and when they need it, without having to commit to a regular job that affects their studies-and if we can give students a chance, I’m sure everyone will be surprised.”