Tough job market drives graduates to success

As the latest unemployment figures are released, two young graduates prove that the job market is no obstacle for determined entrepreneurs

Tomorrow (15.6.11) at 9.30am, official Government figures from the Office of National Statistics are expected to unveil whether the underlying trend of rising unemployment among young people, women and over fifties will continue.

With the latest set of graduates about to enter the job market, concerns remain about the alarmingly high rate of unemployment. Although unemployment fell last month, experts are still describing the economy as fragile.

A pair of canny young graduates have set up a unique online company straight out of university as an alternative to getting lost in the crowded graduate jobs scrum. What’s more they are setting out to topple the online giants in the price comparison site arena.

Kevin Flood and Mike Harty set up a company called Shopow – a new site that empowers online shoppers, tapping into the fast growing phenomenon of social shopping and revolutionising the concept in a new way. This free site lets users follow friends and other shoppers, and personalises your search for products, reviews and answers. A Shopow shopper will see friends’ interactions with products, taking trust and transparency to another level.

Shopow is a new type of shopping search engine that aggregates thousands of retailers and millions of products across all areas of consumer goods. Not only does this allow users to compare goods by criteria such as price, retailer, service and delivery, it also integrates various social functions so shoppers can find all the information they need to make the right decisions when buying online.

Shopow will display reviews, Q&A and strikes (shared bookmarks) that have already been collected around a product, so users will be able to gauge an opinion generated by other shoppers. Shopow’s innovative Social Sorting brings your friends’ interactions with products to the fore; making shopping more personalised and trustworthy than ever before.

Shopow has distanced itself from the shopping comparison sites that are skewed towards the big retailers that pay to appear higher in the search results. Instead, Shopow has gone to great lengths to ensure that it stays wholly independent and free from bias, meaning products at the top of the list really are the best in terms of price, service or any other attribute you select.

Unemployment in the UK has reached 2.46 million, with unacceptably high levels of graduates among them. The message from Kevin and Mike is that business savvy graduates with a great idea can be masters of their own destiny and bypass the busy job market. In fact, the Prime Minister David Cameron announced last week that technology firms could be at the forefront of creating new jobs and so young entrepreneurs could create more vacancies.

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