Two students at the University of Pretoria have found inspiration in having to work with a tight budget. They’ve turned their lack of funds into a business opportunity to help other students, while also putting money back in their pockets.
Thabiso Lekala, the co-founder of eAfford, shared a predicament with many other students. Books are the lifeblood of his university life, but they are a major expenditure, and the campus library doesn’t always have enough copies of a textbook in demand.

He and his friend, Seyi Ogunbowale, decided to turn this to their advantage, by creating a business that rents out academic books online for less than half the retail cost.

Lekala says’ “You’d go to the library and you’d find that the textbooks you were looking to find to study is not there, or someone has borrowed it …I couldn’t afford textbooks, I couldn’t afford to go out, I couldn’t afford like groceries and stuff so I had to compromise on some of those stuff so it actually pushed me to say if I could do this I can help a lot of other people in the same situation.”

The service currently has more than a hundred users, with over 10 000 books on offer.

The duo started with a cash injection of six-thousand-rand, and have now done a deal with publishers, whereby they are hoping to expand their online library to other campuses around the country.