Stockport-based entrepreneur David Kaitiff has invested a six-figure sum in Sell Student Books.com, the new Web site that enables students to reduce their debts by buying and selling used textbooks.
Kaitiff, who founded textiles firm Friedman's and sold it to Signature Fabrics for £1.7m, made the investment because he sees huge potential in the business and the 'green' vision of the company's managing director, 28-year-old, Mark Fraser.
"With student debt being such a problem for graduates and students, this Web site should sell itself," said Kaitiff. "It is easy to use, and offers a really simple way for students to both save and make money.
"But this is not just a profitable venture - it's about helping to reduce the demand for new books to be printed. We estimate that for every 1,000 second-hand books sold via the Web site one tree is saved from being cut down.
"Our aim is to show students that there is a value in the books they no longer use, and that they can help save the environment too."
The investment will be used to fund marketing, as well as 'green' schemes such as 'Books for Cash', which gives students the opportunity to generate money quickly by selling their books directly to the Web site rather than waiting for them to sell online.
Sell Student Books.com was launched last month, with an initial focus on supporting students in Manchester and Liverpool.
Michael Cattell, 18, is a first-year history student at the University of Liverpool, and was one of the first people to use the Web site. "University course books were costing me a fortune," he said.
"By using this new Web site I've been able to save more than half the cover price of many of my books. It's a great idea and I've found the site really easy to use."
Sell Student Books.com has a database of 700,000 books covering every college and university course in the UK.
Notes to editors
Based in Cheadle-Health, Stockport, Sell Student Books.com the first commercial Web site linked to innovative mobile phone ISBN search technology to specialise in giving past and present students the opportunity to buy and sell used academic books. www.sellstudentbooks.com
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