Entrepreneur offers chance to jump the queue

November 18, 2005

Bokani Tshidzu had been queuing for bread for two hours in the fierce Zimbabwean heat when she had a brainwave.

Why not offer people the chance to pay to swap places with those in front of them in a queue or on a waiting list - a service that could be offered online.

The Bath University economics undergraduate saw endless possibilities: designer dresses, limited theatre tickets and, of course, bread.

Ms Tshidzu, who is 18, was held up as an example to others as part of this week's National Student Enterprise celebrations.

She said: "I got so frustrated and impatient waiting in that queue this summer that I thought 'there must be another way'.

"Instead of bidding for a product, customers could bid to save time. I will tailor the business to whatever has a waiting list.

"Even my younger sister, who always kills my business ideas, thinks it will work."

Although Ms Tshidzu is still in her first term at university, she intends to start the business straight away.

She said: "There's no need to wait. One of my flatmates has an online marketing business that he started at 14.

"I have been an entrepreneur since the age of 11 when I sold ice drinks after school. I come from Zimbabwe, a country where to get on you have to be entrepreneurial.

"Being an entrepreneur is a way to be independent and support myself.

"And I've found university a fantastic place to fulfil my dream. Never before have I been in a position to meet so many people with such diverse skills."

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