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STUNii is an app offering exclusive online gifts, food and drink offers and a host of key information tailored to students in individual cities. With a combined cross platform and social media network reach of over 22,000,000 users, STUNii is one of the UK’s leading Gen-Z specialist marketing agencies.

STUNii CEO Jordan Tew hit on the concept when he was studying entrepreneurship and business management at the University of Chester in 2017. He wanted to deliver insights about his home-town – Chester – to fellow students new to the city. STUNii was born: a marketing concept operating via a website and social media pages with a mission statement of: `digital domination of the Gen-Z marketing landscape.’

Jordan’s initial postings were well-received and with the support of local independent business owners who benefited from a boost in footfall and revenue, he set out to maximise value to his student audience. Jordan negotiated exclusive high street offers, well-being materials, accommodation opportunities and gathered university union and society information. The concept launched onto a bespoke mobile app available for both Android and Apple handsets.

After receiving the Santander `Championing the High Street’ award and a cash injection following a successful round of funding, Jordan acquired office space at the University of Chester’s Riverside Innovation Centre. With a handful of employees, the brand was launched into Liverpool and Manchester. It established further localised partnerships, teams of student brand ambassadors, working relationships with the universities and unions and generated extra paid marketing activities. A further eight northern UK cities were added to the portfolio, notching up over 100,000 app downloads and over 400 high street partners including salons, nightclubs, restaurants and activity providers. A lucrative regional partnership contract was also signed with one of the country’s largest providers of purpose-built student accommodation, Student Roost.

When students returned to their family homes during lockdown and shops closed, STUNii was left with no audience and no product to promote. Demonstrating the brand’s dynamism, the business plan was rapidly altered and the STUNii Tik Tok Creator Network and Remote Sales Force were born. With a commission only, remote sales role opportunity posted on social media, over 20 sales personnel were recruited and trained within a week and were offering in-app visibility to online brands for a small monthly fee. By leveraging its placement within the Gen-Z community, high visibility Tik Tok campaigns were then packaged and retailed to national brands such as Boohoo, MyProtein, Morrisons and more.

Honing skills

Jordan joined the Business Growth Programme (BGP) to enable his team to learn new business skills. He also aimed to attract grant funding via the BGP but was unsuccessful in this endeavour.

Business confidence

The team benefited from business workshops and one-to-one advice which has helped the concept move forward. Jordan said: “The Business Growth Programme has been incredibly instrumental in the continued successes we have achieved over the past 3 years. The unique insights and resources that we receive, are really pivotal to our decision-making processes that have led to our continued development.”

International outlook

By 2024 the brand is forecast to enter the American and Australian markets. Currently an industry-leading platform, STUNii is continuing to add new elements to its value proposition and is forging long-term partnerships.

Strategic support

The Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Entrepreneurs, SMEs and pre-start businesses registered or trading in Cheshire and Warrington, meeting the eligibility criteria, can apply for support. Help is available from our team of Business Engagement Managers and access is also available to facilities at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science ParkRiverside Innovation Centre and the NoWFOOD Centre.

If you are a business seeking access to facilities and expert growth support, contact the University of Chester’s Business Growth Team by emailing