People’s Champion finalist 2018: Tutorful

For years, tutors have had precious little chance to market their services. This early-stage marketplace changes all that - but does it get your vote?

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Start-up name: Tutorful
Founders: Mark Hughes & Scott Woodley
Started in: 2015
Based in: Sheffield
Business description: An online tuition marketplace which is helping to bridge the UK’s skills gap

Shortlisted category:

Crowdfunded Business of the Year

The Tutorful story

Barely a day goes by without a report about the UK’s growing skills gulf, its inability to build a knowledge base for the 21st century. The government has rolled out all manner of initiatives to encourage digital skills training, but so far it’s efforts have had only limited impact.

But an ambitious start-up from South Yorkshire has created an online tuition platform which looks to change the game completely – and could play a key role in bridging Britain’s skills divide.

Tutorful has already helped 50,000 students get the coaching they need, and 9,000 experts have already joined its platform.

The Tutorful website connects tutors and students in a simple online marketplace, and the process of booking a lesson takes only a few clicks.  

Tutorful’s founders Mark Hughes and Scott Woodley have created a business which enables learners to find the help they need and tutors to monetise their precious skill.

The benefits are obvious on both sides of the fence.

For learners, the process is simple:  all they need do is enter your postcode and the subject they want to study. Tutorful’s bespoke algorithm will then present the most suitable tutors for them, filtered by criteria such as geo-location, response times, cost and post client reviews. All communication is managed by Tutorful’s internal message system and each tutor is thoroughly vetted beforehand, providing particular peace of mind to those who are booking on behalf of their children.

For tutors, the problem of finding clients is removed at a stroke. What’s more they don’t have to worry about getting paid. All payments are handled securely online, meaning no awkward situations at the end of lessons when learners don’t have the right cash to hand.

In return for its service, Tutorful takes a percentage of each student’s payment, which decreases over the length of time the tutor remains a member.

The idea has clearly caught the interest of the academic community – and the people looking to tap into it. Tutorful already covers more than 350 subjects, across all levels and age groups, and its tutors offer everything from early years to PhD specialism. 

With millions of people around the country inspired by shows such as Dragons’ Den, you won’t be surprised to know that business studies is one of Tutotful’s most popular offerings. Suffice to say, however, that the founders don’t need it.

Why Tutorful made our shortlist:

When Hughes and Woodley launched their crowdfunding drive early last year, they were aiming for £350,000. They eventually reaped more than double that amount, a clear vindication of their exciting business model.

Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength – and it’s growth shows no sign of slowing. Like the tutors who use it, Tutorful is extremely smart, and it’s addressing a clear national need.

Where to find out more about Tutorful:

Twitter: @TutorfulGB  

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