CAPE TOWN - Emmanuel Sibanda, a 26-year-old entrepreneur is the founder of Hooros, a Cape Town-based startup is helping link suitable freelance developers in the country with prospective clients.
When asked what Youth Day means to him, Sibanda says that Youth Day is a celebration of the energy, idealism optimism and bravery of the youth to influence their surroundings and the future despite the odds being stacked up against them.
Facts on Sibanda:
1. He was born in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa to pursue a law degree and further his education.
2. He obtained a Computer Science degree at an online university named University of the People (UoPeople).
3. Between 2010 and 2013, he obtained his Bachelor of Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
4. Between 2014 and 2015, He obtained his Masters of Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
5. He is also a freelance Investment/research Analyst at Uprise Africa.
6. Since October 2015, He has been the CEO and Founder of Hooros.
Hooros is a network useful for local developers, designers, and copywriters and is focused on assisting freelancers. Hooros has already helped over 600 freelancers since it’s launch date, facilitating payouts worth R50 000.
"Much of the implementation is carried out by our freelancers because it allows to carry out more projects. We can build more MVPs and launch more digital marketing campaigns, spending more time on project management and ensuring quality is delivered", said Sibanda.
"We are also a bunch of idealists who believe that the future of employment is not being tied to a desk and an office, you should have the freedom to work from wherever you want to work, knowing fully well that there is a steady stream of projects", said Sibanda.
Sibanda explains that the 2 main reasons that influenced his entrepreneurial spirit were his dad and his first real exposure to tech startups.
"I didn’t notice it at that time, but I guess my dad was highly influential in making me think in a more entrepreneurial. He took me to his store on a regular basis, although I didn’t want to go, the simple act of getting up early every weekend, helping him with the logistics, seeing him interact with his employees, bookkeeping etc, helped me get a better understanding of how to run a business. It also gave me a new perspective, to think like an employer/ problem solver", said Sibanda.
"Working at a venture-funded tech venture capital was actually my first real exposure to tech startups (outside of reading books). Throughout the time I was at the startup I was constantly thinking about problems to solve and possible solutions. Through this exercise and through what I was had been exposed to at that time, I believed that there was a problem in the freelance market-space", said Sibanda.
According to Sibanda, the initial plan when starting his business was to build a curated freelance platform to serve the local market.
"It eventually evolved into a freelance and project management platform- because the clients we got needed project management to help them complete their projects. However, after growth stagnated for a prolonged period, we learned that there was a bigger problem that has been largely ignored- building MVPs and helping startups launch digital marketing campaigns"
"This market has largely been ignored because it is assumed that most early-stage startups do not have the capital to build an MVP….however through a lot of research we found a way to build MVPs at a substantially lower cost for entrepreneurs", said Sibanda.
When creating the platform and making it fully-function, Sibanda gives credit to his team members.
"Sijabuliso Nkiwane lending a hand with the technical part of building the platform, to Jasmine Desvarieux playing a key role in business development and the recent addition to the founding team- Vusi Dhlamini offering insights into project management. This has made us a more well-rounded entity, this to me is what makes the platform, more so than the site itself", said Sibanda.
The team also funds their own business explains Sibanda.
"We are currently bootstrapped, we rely on our own external sources of income. Sourcing funding is difficult and can be a waste of resources. We currently have our own income sources I believe using our own money is a good way to learn quicker without having an over-abundance of resources", said Sibanda.
Sibanda explains that his biggest challenge is trying to acquire a sustainable amount of clients.
"The biggest challenge is building a sustainable pipeline to acquire clients. You can go the route of pursuing individual clients...but that’s not effective, it doesn’t scale", concludes Sibanda.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE