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Are you a student with dreams of entrepreneurship? These two Aussie start-ups have put together a scholarship just for you

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The coming of the Internet age has made starting a business way easier than ever before in all aspects: raising capital, marketing, hiring, you name it.

However, the number of students involved in start-ups and entrepreneurship is still conspicuously dismal.

Why? Well, many still truly believe the degree they are staying up late for is a straight path to some secure job: salary, benefits, vacation; the whole shebang.

What are the chances you will get a job after graduating?

But it’s an open secret that just isn’t true anymore. In 2013, only 71.3 per cent of graduates secured full-time work in Australia and things are even worse across the ocean in the US where 53 per cent of recent college graduates were jobless or underemployed in 2012.

Of course, the good old internship still comes in handy today, and employers expect students to have at least one internship before they graduate. Unfortunately though, only half of them actually hire interns and fewer still hire their interns into full-time jobs.

With the chances of post-Uni employment looking this bleak, why not start your own thing?

I mean, you practically have nothing to lose. Even if the business fails, it will still make an awesome addition to your resume. In fact, employers prefer students with experience in entrepreneurship when hiring for entry-level positions (29 per cent specifically look for it).

The point is, it’s never been easier to start your own business – and you need to do it now more than ever. And on that note, every student should give the recently launched The Pocketbook-Zookal Scholarship for Student Entrepreneurs some serious thought.

Who’s behind this scholarship and what is up for grabs?

The partners behind this scholarship, Pocketbook and Zookal, are both Aussie-based start-ups. Now think about it, who better to lend a helping hand to the potential entrepreneurs still in university than already up and running start-ups?

Zookal is the largest student portal in Australia, making students’ lives easier by providing faster, easier and cheaper textbook rentals than the current textbook market.

Pocketbook on the other hand is an app that syncs with your bank accounts and a platform to manage your personal finance – so you don’t have to spend hours crunching numbers.

Actually, Pocketbook was started by two regular guys who were in university not so far back.

The scholarship is worth $1,000 cash from Pocketbook and 4 free textbooks worth up to $1,000 from Zookal, for a total value of $2,000. You will also get to spend some time at Pocketbook and Zookal to learn everything about founding and running your own business.

What are the criteria for entering this competition?

The Pocketbook-Zookal Scholarship for Entrepreneurs is open to all students who are:

  • Currently enrolled in a university course
  • Aged 18 years or older
  • Interested in entrepreneurship

You get bonus points if you are already pursuing your idea or have worked in a start-up.

It doesn’t matter what how your grades look, your race, country of origin, age, gender or area of study because at the end of the day, entrepreneurs come from all backgrounds.

To enter, write about “How I Hustled To Get What I Wanted” and send it to [email protected]. Not sure what it means to be a hustler? Here are a few pointers.  You must also be a Pocketbook member. You can sign up for free here.

The essay can be as long or as short as you want it to be and you don’t even have to worry about a deadline. The guys over at Pocketbook revealed to Anthill that they plan to offer the scholarships twice a year – once in July and another in February.

This basically means there’s no deadline for submissions because the program will continue when the July winner is announced.

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