Student business on Facebook helps students save on retail brands

Cherif Habib
Cherif Habib

Post graduation, Cherif Habib founded a business in the telecommunication industry that he says became the largest distributor of mobile accessories in Canada. Upon his return to grad school at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, Habib could no longer live his working-professional lifestyle, but he still had the entrepreneurship bug. His solution? Create a company that brings steep discounts to students on popular retail brands in a private, online shopping community.

Habib and Stephan Jacob, a fellow Wharton student, came up with the idea for Kembrel in January 2010. By April, they had four entrepreneurship awards from UPenn and the site had already launched in beta. Over the summer, Habib said it amassed 20,000 members, which he adds was "pretty much through word of mouth."