Picture: Thuli Hlongwane, founder of PRIM-U. (Supplied).

CAPE TOWN -  A former female IT Director tapped into the entrepreneurial market and has launched two apps, PRIM-U and Primlancer which connects people to the beauty industry. 

Thuli Hlongwane has an impressive background in the IT industry. From being appointed as Head of Shared Application to Technology Director, Hlongwane is now the Managing Director of technology platform, Prim-U. She has also worked for companies with the likes of Old Mutual, Woolworths and Pearson.

Hlongwane holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Practice at the University of Cape Town and has studied computer programming. 

She says that she was always fascinated by the thought of learning how to give commands to machines and program them to do certain tasks. She has since cultivated that skill and worked on launching her own company, Prim-U. 

The tech Director has yesterday launched two mobile Apps that connect people to the beauty therapy industry. 

The first app, Prim-U is for customers while the Primlancer App is designed for freelancers. 

“This was prompted by a personal need for such services on-demand and also a need for me to support the people in this industry, mostly females who are struggling to find flexible working hours and improving their sources of income”, said Hlongwane. 

According to the founder of Prim-U, Primlancer and Prim-U are unique to South Africa. In a broader sense, it is unique in the world because Hlongwane said that she is trying to get bigger businesses to support the entrepreneurs by making their venues available to use. This will in effect create more SMEs, she added. 

         Picture: Thuli Hlongwane, founder of PRIM-U. (Supplied). 

So what do these apps offer?

Prim-U basically connects spa and salon owners to entrepreneurs and freelancers. 

The mobile app matches freelancers with salons and spas to offer their services which include doing make-up, hair, nails and massages. 

How does the app work?

Customers looking for a service can choose a location from the list. The platform will then list all available spas and salons within a specified geographic location. Customers will then be able to view aggregated price lists and make secure credit card payments online using a payment gateway.

Customers and salons can also rate the prim-lancers online while customers and prim-lancers will be able to rate salons and spas online. 

Appointments will be booked based on a match for capacity and will also be made if there are available slots within your geographic radius. 

The free app is currently available on both Google Play and the Apple Store. According to Hlongwane, verified information is required for prim-lancers who are signing up on the app. 

“We are also screening the prim-lancers upfront because Prim-U is supporting employment opportunities for individuals who have experience or have achieved some sort of accredited qualification in this industry”, added Hlongwane. 

On being a female in the tech industry, Hlongwane said that females are capable of achieving a lot but the beauty industry has reduced them to do the other tasks and not to driving the technology decisions in the industry. She said that the advice she would give to females out there who want to pursue their own business is to follow your passion and get going with your dreams!

   Picture: Prim-U logo. (Supplied). 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE