Internwise: Rui Zamith and Nuno Dhiren
Job board for internships
Tell us what your business does
Internwise.co.uk aims to connect UK companies with talented graduates looking for an internship programme – free of charge!
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Rui had difficulty getting an internship. Then it was just a matter of time to find the best way to approach the market and support others in a similar situation.
How did you know there was a market for it?
The websites we saw promoting internships for UK companies were very basic.
We thought a platform where: a) all graduates could find an internship programme, b) companies and graduates could communicate directly and c) candidates could upload their CV, write a profile and explain what they are looking for: would speed up the recruitment process and also eliminate middle-men agencies.
What were you doing before starting up?
We still have our full-time jobs. Rui is a communications manager and Nuno is a financial analyst.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes. We are online entrepreneurs and passionate about business.
We're already looking forward to adding more projects to our portfolio!
How did you raise the money?
We funded the business through personal savings and family support, then invested our personal skills and experience in the business' development.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
It's not easy to gain the trust of the companies we want to advertise with us.
In the beginning we called employers directly, inviting them to become our members and post internship vacancies. Since then, one of our main sources of new business has been word of mouth referrals.
We truly believe that, when a platform accomplishes the aim of why it was built, the rest is just a matter of delivering.
How much do you charge?
Zero – it is an 100% free service. However, we can deploy a newsletter to our candidate database (on behalf of a client) for £44.90.
What was your first big breakthrough?
We have a long list of early breakthroughs, including: earning the trust of companies, by posting their internship programmes; candidates applying for those internships and getting the roles; receiving positive feedback from companies about the strong CVs they received; candidates' compliments on how Internwise.co.uk helped to kickstart their career; and big brands becoming our members, including Amazon, Hewlett Packard, HMV, Nike, Nokia, Network Rail and Gucci.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Deliver what you promise and make your customers happy. Build trusted relationship with your users or consumers. Once they are satisfied, they will refer you to others.
Growth takes time. Keep an eye on your cash. Control it tightly and build a cost effective structure.
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
We want to have completed the transition to becoming full-time entrepreneurs, be building new online projects, making them grow, cross selling and making money.