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Sabica & Thulani's story on... finding inspiration close to home

Both Sabica and Thulani in their own unique way, were destined into entrepreneurship.  Sabica relocated from Pakistan, surviving on a Student Visa, unable to enter into the formal working world and simply HAD to create her own work.  Thulani was fortunate enough to get accepted into the Latam Impact Program in Columbia exposing him to an immersive and world-class learning experience that pioneers innovative solutions for today’s critical problems, putting him in good stead to view the world as one with problems requiring fixing!  

Their paths crossed at business school, little did they realise that this connection would seed the venture of a lifetime.  Early days working together consisted of upskilling the young entrepreneurial community by flexing their business skills on various projects and initiatives to assist entrepreneurs at the onset of their journey. 

Their synergy as a pair in business was visible and they were later approached to help small businesses raise funding through crowdfunding.  Experiences such as these are invaluable.  It exposed them to the StartUp culture, meeting investors, exposure to how to market a business, and so forth.  An experience that would build the foundation to their financial services expertise which later became fundamental to their venture today where they are transforming freelancer management and payments. Having both worked in a freelance capacity, helping many StartUps with their Go-to-Market strategies and such, Thulani and Sabica were all too familiar with the friction with regards to administration when it came to a business and their contract workers.  Many businesses displayed a lack in sound financial management and systems for contractual workers and out of this challenge, their business was born, bridging the gap between businesses and their freelancers.

These two Founders have built thick skin, owning failures as their means to learn, and to get their product to pivot to where it firmly stands today.  They highly value knowledge and their growth mindset keeps them going strong.  They talk about the lack of streamlined information to novice Founders specifically in terms of fundraising and acknowledge that access to this knowledge helps Founders with faster and more effective decision making. They emphasise the importance of growing one’s networks as a way to access much needed information, and of course upskilling in one's own right goes without saying.  Not to mention being giving and open to helping others in the same way, with no expectation or hidden motive for them to necessarily pay you back in any way.

“Having good mentors that can help with introductions is gold.  Every entrepreneur is hopeful when they meet with someone, that they will bring them the funding or the lucky break they need.  What you often find is that a few months later, this person opens up another opportunity in the most unexpected way, and many times it is this opportunity that comes to fruition to really propel your business forward.” 

Sabica has her own real life hero whose story continues to bring her inspiration, her grandfather. He is testament to how one’s entrepreneurial success can be gained purely through good character.  Clients continued to entrust him based on the trustworthy reputation he worked hard to uphold throughout his life and Sabica holds this truth very close to her approach to entrepreneurship.  Thulani is similarly inspired by his mother, a small business owner who turned her initiative to sew badges on uniforms into a fully fledged business doing this at scale.  They both remind us that our inspiration is often closer to home than we may realise.

“People say entrepreneurship is hard and lonely.  Yes it is, but it is also only as lonely as you make it.  You cannot build a business or product in a vacuum.  You don't have to perfect your product before you are willing to show it to people.  You need the feedback from potential users, investors, mentors, as this not only helps to progress your business but also makes the journey less lonely”. 

These two Founders encourage us to stay curious in order to build the networks that will support us in our pursuit of impact creation. Treat people with respect and maintain good relationships no matter what, you’ll be surprised how key this is to your long standing reputation.  Most of all, prioritise yourself, so that you have the ability to give back.  We believe these sound values will carry them through in their quest to reduce friction and bring harmony between the business and freelancers they serve. Watch this space!

“Solving niche challenges Founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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