Student entrepreneurs cut textbook costs


June 28 Two students at the University of Pretoria have found inspiration in having to work within a tight budget.

PRETORIA - Two students at the University of Pretoria have found inspiration in having to work with a tight budget. They&39;ve turned their lack of funds into a business opportunity to help other students, while also putting money back in their pockets.

Thabiso Lekala, the co-founder of  eAfford, shared a predicament with many other students. Books are the lifeblood of his university life, but they are a major expenditure, and the campus library doesn’t always have enough copies of a textbook in demand.

He and his friend, Seyi Ogunbowale, decided to turn this to their advantage, by creating a business that rents out academic books online for less than half the retail cost.

Lekala says&39;  “You’d go to the library and you’d find that the textbooks you were looking to find to study is not there, or someone has borrowed it …I couldn’t afford textbooks, I couldn’t afford to go out, I couldn’t afford like groceries and stuff so I had to compromise on some of those stuff so it actually pushed me to say if I could do this I can help a lot of other people in the same situation."

The service currently has more than a hundred users, with over 10 000 books on offer.

The duo started with a cash injection of six-thousand-rand, and have now done a deal with publishers, whereby they are hoping to expand their online library to other campuses around the country. 

* View the attached video where eNCA&39;s Thabang Masanabo investigates their initiative.

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