Announcing The Pocketbook-Zookal Scholarship For Student Entrepreneurs

15 years ago, if you wanted to be a business owner, you needed a shop front. Then you needed to furnish it and hire people to help you out with it.

To get the word out about your new business, you needed to go through these intermediaries – called the media – and pay them a bunch of money to run your ads. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, you needed to hire a consultant, or look for a mentor, who again, comes with a hefty fee.

To top if off, you had to do all these without funding or go deeply into debt, borrowing from friends and family or god-forbid the bank – angel finance and venture capital didn’t exist. And if you then failed at your venture, people actually look down upon you.

It wasn’t easy.

Then Something Amazing Happened

And it’s called the internet.

Today, all you need is $10 for hosting and you’re set to go. Instead of a handful of media companies to deal with, you now have more channels to reach the market than ever before. You can pay pennies to get visitors to your website instead of dumping $1,000,000 into a TV ad.

If you don’t know how to do something? There’s always Google and online communities of people willing to help.

And if you fail, guess what? It’s not the end of the world. You won’t be in massive debt, nor will the community shun you for it. People tolerate failure these days – we understand it’s inevitable when you do anything innovative.

Why We Are Doing This

And yet few students are ever involved in startups and entrepreneurship, thinking that the degree they will graduate with is a pathway to some secure job.

But we all know that’s not true anymore. In 2013, only 71.3% of graduates secured full-time work in Australia. As Graduate Careers Australia notes, “The figures indicate that the labour market prospects of bachelor degree graduates, which fell in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis and did not change notably between 2010 and 2012, have fallen again.”

In the US, 53% of recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed in 2012.

To gain competitive advantage, some students get internships , which is great because employers expect students to have at least one internship before they graduate. But only half of them are actually hiring interns and fewer still hire their interns into full-time jobs.

So what can a student do? Well, here’s an idea: why not start your own thing?

Even if the business fails, it will still make an awesome addition to your resume. In fact, in the research I linked to above, employers look for students with entrepreneurship experience when hiring for entry-level positions (29% specifically look for it).

The point is, there’s never been an easier time to start your own business – and you need to do it now more than ever. We want to give you a hand.

A Little Bit About Us

pocketbook Zookal We know what it’s like to have the entrepreneurial bug because we are startups. Zookal is a diversified global education platform that offers an extensive range of supplementary services to ‘make students’ lives easier’. They specialise in textbook rentals which provides a faster, easier and cheaper alternative to what is available – disrupting the current textbook market

And Pocketbook is the perfect app for your money that syncs with your bank accounts and a platform to manage your personal finance – so you don’t have to spend hours crunching numbers.

And guess what? Pocketbook was founded by 2 regular guys in a living room who still dream of what it was like in Uni.


The Pocketbook-Zookal Scholarship For Entrepreneurs is open to all students who are

  1. Currently enrolled in a university course or tertiary course.
  2. Aged 18 years or older.
  3. Interested in entrepreneurship.

Bonus points for students who

  1. Have a startup idea they’d like to pursue or are already pursuing.
  2. Worked in a startup.
  3. Shown some kind of interest in startups.

We do not discriminate based on your grades, race, country of origin, age, gender or area of study because we know that entrepreneurs come from all backgrounds.

The prize: The scholarship is worth $1,000 cash from Pocketbook to spend on whatever uni life requires and 4 free textbooks worth up to $1,000 from Zookal, for a total value of $2,000.

Other benefits: You will also get the opportunity to spend some time at Pocketbook and Zookal to learn everything about founding and running a business of your own.

To apply:

  1. Write about “How I Hustled To Get What I Wanted” and send it to [email protected]. Read about what it means to be a hustler. The essay can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but the more you engage us with your story, the better. Note: Your essay may be published in our blog.
  2. We’ll only contact the winner personally. If you’d like to stay updated about your application, feel free to sign up for a free account with us as we will announce the winner to our community.
  3. The current deadline is 14th May 2014. After that, we’ll begin our second intake.

Like us to stay up to update with the scholarship, and help us spread the word:

Scholarship For Entrepreneurs


  1. Zuni Drake   •  

    I think the Pocketbook Scholarship is a fantastic contribution for students finding ways to financially them through the expensive maze of study. Congratulations for doing it! I have just graduated at JCU with an Honours degree in Anthropology, therefore I cannot submit an application. However, I may be participating in a Masterclass for Native Title at the end of April that runs for around 8 days. Does this mean I can apply for the Pocketbook Scholarship?
    Regards, Zu

  2. Siddhanth Patel   •  

    Can I please apply if I am 14 years old? I don’t really care about the money. All I care about is having the opportunity to learn about finding and running a business. Thanks.


    • Andrianes Pinantoan   •  

      Hi Siddhanth, I really like your passion but I’m afraid we can’t help you with that. I’ll be happy to consult if you have questions though.

  3. maina   •  

    I am an entrepreneure and i would really be glad to have an opportunity to learn more on how to run and manage my business more effectivelly and efficientlly,especially in difficult economies like my country kenya…can the deadline be extended,i saw the announcement a little late.

  4. Natalie Jupe   •  

    Have you started a second intake yet??? Where can I get details???

    • Andrianes Pinantoan   •  

      Hi Natalie, we have not started a second intake as we are still busy with other projects. Thank you.

  5. Billie-Jean   •  

    Hi, I’m currently a year 12 student, I have applied to JCU university for a bachelor of business. My question is – Would I qualify to apply for this Scholarship? I am an entrepreneurial student that has inspirations in developing my own successful business and will be attending university in 2015.


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