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Doubada fills gap in university market

By Pertunia Mafokwane | 2017-10-11 10:51:29.0

Mpodumo Doubada's love for business saw him grow as an entrepreneur, from printing T-shirts to making pocket money during his school days to owning six second-hand book stores at universities.

Doubada, 31, is the founder of Pimp My Book, a second- hand book store chain where university students can sell and buy used books.

He recently won an award for 2017 innovator of the year in the Entrepreneur of the Year competition sponsored by Sanlam and partners.

Doubada's love for entrepreneurship began at Capricorn High School in Lebowakgomo in Limpopo.

"I joined a programme called junior achievement where pupils were taught to became entrepreneurs. We were expected to form groups and start a business. My group printed T-shirts that we sold for pocket money.

"My proudest moment in that business was when I [was able] to buy a second-hand phone [from the proceeds]," Doubada said.

After matriculating he enrolled for a bachelor of commerce degree in accounting at the University of Cape Town.

"In my first year I found that new books were expensive and I struggled to find second- hand books," he said.

Doubada approached friends and asked to sell their books for a 10% profit share before he put up flyers offering to buy used books from students and selling them on .

"I made R20000 in the first week. I had never seen so much money in my life before. Two weeks later, my dormitory was full of books," he said.

He later moved into a vacant shop on campus .

"It was then that I decided I wanted to do this full time," he said.

His joy was shortlived, though, as he was kicked off campus after a rival book store complained.

"We set up tables at a nearby shopping complex where students from other universities also used our services. We then set up more tables at Unisa.

"We now operate in six institutions and online. I have 20 full-time employees and I hire more students to assist during peak periods."

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