From entrepreneur in short trousers to Sweden’s largest job provider?
Since 2015, the company Yepstr brings together young students in search of a first professional experience and people looking for help with everyday tasks. Over 2000 jobs were sought and found through the app which is aiming at becoming the country’s largest job provider in the next three years.
Youth unemployment has decreased in Sweden but not all young people are benefiting from this: about 80 000 swedes between 15 and 24 are neither working nor studying.
- All the forces on the labor market need to cooperate to give young people the chance to get work experience. It makes people more attractive on the job market. Therefore, the first job is often the hardest one to get, but also the most important. says Jacob Rudbäck founder of Yepstr.
Jacob Rudbäcks entrepreneurial career began early, buying and reselling computer power cables to his friends. A much needed service as parents used to confiscate cables when they considered their children had been playing video games for far too long.
Later on Jacob started to import Soft Air Guns, he then ran a sailing school, a paintball park, imported mineral water from Wales, sold a toothpaste brand manufactured in China to ICA supermarkets, started a consulting firm which then gave him a job as junior mechanics on oil rigs; and all this before he even reached the age of 20.
How was Yepstr born?
- I saw that my father was struggling with something unexpected : to find help to mow our lawn. Companies did not want to take on such small jobs, while there were talented young people in the area that I knew would be happy to have extra work like that.
What more than Yepstr is required to create more jobs in Sweden?
- We have to kill the “I’ll do it myself” mentality in Sweden. It was great 100 years ago when poverty was everywhere. Now it is the main barrier to the integration of new comers and to the reduction of youth unemployment. Do you want to make Sweden better? Start with yourself — start by getting help! It is not so dangerous to meet new people, I promise.
Yepstr is looking for a developer through TheHub.se, How is it going?
- Great! We found our new front end star Kevin Kamimura through Thehub.se just when we were starting to give up hope. But it’s really hard to find excellence when competition on the market is fierce and the salaries are soaring.
How many young people have applied for jobs through Yepstr this year?
- More than 2 000, which means we are beating most municipalities in terms of summer jobs. We have as a goal to become the largest job creators within three years.
Is there any difference between girls and boys who are looking for jobs? Have you noticed a pattern?
- Generally, girls have a preference for steady jobs compared to boys. However, something that is more interesting is the difference between areas! In most places in Sweden we work to bring in more jobs, but on Lidingö in Stockholm, we have a variety of jobs, but not nearly as many young people who want to work. I wonder why.
What is in the pipeline for the company?
We have just launched a test in which companies take the help of our Yeppar. It is looking very good and we aim to break even next year, and also our first international expansion.
The Hub in Sweden is celebrating its first birthday, what has the platform meant for Yepstr?
- The Hub has quickly replaced all our other recruitment methods. Now it is the first platform we go to when we seek more driven people who want to change the world for real!
What is your advice to others who are about to start a company?
- Do not try to force anything. Entrepreneurship should not be a hardship. Take a break and identify the “holes” you have to succeed in what you want. Do you want to be an entrepreneur? Then you need to try to work as a seller or as a leader. You need to set a budget, make a project plan, delegate responsibility, set goals and follow up. Once you have the tools ready, an opportunity will come up and you simply wont be able to hold back, because everything will feel right. You are prepared, the idea feels spot on and you know exactly what to do. That’s when you should go for it.
Interview by Johanna Lindskog Lindell, originally published in Swedish by Nextconomy.se
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