At just 17, school leaver Lliam Casey took the first step to life as a young entrepreneur in Malaysia, working for small tech company, VAV.
It was there that the talented app designer, who will celebrate his 21st birthday in October, first had the idea for the newly launched Phavour mobile app, connecting students with paid work opportunities in their area.
“At VAV, we used to outsource most of our work to freelancers,” explained Lliam, who finally saw his dream come to fruition during a special launch event for Phavour.
“I had this idea, ‘If only there was an app like Uber but for recruitment and freelance jobs’.
“A year later, I started working on Phavour and as the project developed and I began to build a brand and a business, I realised students were the perfect sort of employees and case studies for this kind of app.”
Lliam believes students are generally undervalued as potential employees, despite having lots of skills – and a timetable that frees them up for potential work.
Students are also notorious for having very little money, with most needing to work alongside their studies to help fund their degrees, as well as requiring valuable work experience to prepare them for life after university.
And that’s where Phavour comes in, with jobs ranging from dog walking or car washing to higher skilled freelance projects such as web development, photography or search engine optimisation (SEO) analysis.
Phavour also has a social conscience and has teamed up with Northallerton-based Make It Wild with the aim of planting a tree roughly every time someone does a “Phavour” through the app.
Lliam says: “We also advertise general part-time positions that would be suitable for students.
“We don’t charge for these adverts, but we do take a small commission for oneoff tasks that are completed through the app.”
The app works by enabling each student to create his or her own profile, stating the jobs and tasks they are willing and able to be considered for.
The student is then matched to his or her perfect job through an algorithm which takes into account the student’s skills, location, reliability and ratings from previous job posters.
“We believe we can match the perfect student to the perfect role instantly,” says Lliam.
“Through the app we are helping students get experience alongside their degree and we are building up a high volume of job posters on our platform, as they know the students on there are good at what they do.”
Phavour allows its unique technology and mobile platform to be used by individual universities, who can tailor it to their own brand and style – even giving it their own unique name.
And Lliam plans to take the concept to America, where there are more than 5,300 universities and more than 15 million students enrolled in colleges.
But students are just the tip of the iceberg for Phavour, which has plans to create a wider marketplace for freelance jobs for everyone in a post Covid-19 world.
“We were due to launch Phavour in March – but then coronavirus happened, universities closed, and we were concerned it wasn’t going to happen,” admitted Lliam.
“But when we all had to go home and we all had to use Zoom or Teams, the idea of working from home really took off.
“This new working world – this new digital world of work we are all now going to be a part of – made Phavour even more relevant to people’s working lives. Now, more than ever, we are excited about its future.”
For more details about Phavour visit phavour.com.