Jessica Leigh Jones photo
Jessica Leigh Jones MBE
iungo Solutions Limited
In a nutshell:
iungo is creating a careers platform for 14- to 18-year-olds that designs personalised career routes and transparent sector insights to help young people find an achieve their dream job.

More than 40% of young people say they would have made better choices if they had access to higher quality information and advice in school. Covid has hit young people the hardest, with under 25 fives being more likely to have been made redundant or furloughed than any other age group, and graduate vacancies falling by 60%.

Our platform is designed to remove bias from the career discovery and planning process. Providing young people with a comprehensive suite of options to achieve their career goals and a means of comparing different routes such as going to university or undertaking an apprenticeship.

We started our business at the start of global pandemic. We believed that young peoples’ employment prospects would be badly impacted by the economic disruption, and we wanted to create a solution that could help them to get their careers back on track.

We developed a Value Proposition for a data-driven career planning tool and tested it with a range of user groups. Then we assembled a small team of volunteers who were on furlough from their jobs and built a proof of concept which attracted investment and was developed into a live product for schools and colleges.

We were inspired by the challenge posed by the global pandemic. We felt that we had a unique perspective on the skills and employment landscape that could help guide young people into rewarding and successful careers. The pandemic made us realise that we were unhappy in our corporate careers and furlough gave us access to a talented team of software engineers who could bring our vision to life.

The combination of these factors created the opportunity for an exciting new venture.

Our first major challenge was convincing investors of our vision. We had to build a proof of concept to illustrate how the new product would work and test it with potential customers to get feedback and market validation. So far, we have secured more than £250K in equity-free funding to develop our product and our business.

Our second challenge was penetrating the market. Initially we tried to sell our product direct to consumers (B2C) but we soon realized that as a new business, we did not have sufficient marketing budget to advertise our product effectively. We revised our route to market strategy and realigned our product for a school and college market (B2B2C). We now have several pilot customers across Wales actively using the Platform.

It is fantastic to have the freedom to create and execute new ideas. We are constantly evolving our Value Proposition for our customers and entering new markets. As my own boss, I manage my time and my tasks in a way that suits my personality and lifestyle.

In a corporate, you are usually restricted both in terms of your ability to contribute ideas and in your flexibility.