LOVE is hard to find among the dreaming spires, unless you are a student, according to a local business woman.

And to tackle the problem, Ghazala Umar, who lives in Summertown, has decided to set up her own dating app and match-making agency.

Ms Umar, who has worked in finance, launched a fundraising drive on online crowdfunding site Indiegogo last week to fund her new enterprise Unified Dating which is aimed at professional singles in Oxford.

Ms Umar, who studied accounting, lived in London before moving here eight years ago.

She said: “I spoke to people locally and they said there wasn’t that much for those, other than students, who want to meet others.

“My service is designed for busy professionals who have spent years building their career and want to improve their social life.”

The 37-year-old’s new venture combines elements of online and offline dating and will eventually be national.

As well as subscribing to the app, singles who sign up to Unified Dating are invited to regular events such as walks, cinema or theatre trips and lunches or dinners at local restaurants.

She added: “I am trying to make the person the focus.

“I tried online agencies such as Match, Harmony and they are good but it’s hard to know if the chemistry is there, so the idea is that people come along and meet others in person.”

The crowdfunding campaign runs for a month and in return for pledging cash, supporters are offered rewards including subscriptions of from one to 12 months to Unified Dating.

Others are afternoon tea or dinner with Ms Umar and other campaign backers at the Ashmolean, Tate Modern and Ritz Hotel.

Ms Umar will use funds raised to pay for developing her app.

She explained: “I always knew I wanted to set up my own business.

“When I moved to Oxford, I thought this would be a good idea so I piloted it and had a really positive response.

“Men and women are very open to online dating and Oxford is a lovely place to hold regular singles events.”

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