A 2016 survey from consulting firm Real showed that “among millennial female entrepreneurs, nearly 90 percent left their job in the corporate world to start their own business” and 2018 American Express research tells us that “the number of women-owned businesses increased nearly 3,000% since 1972”. A study from MBO Partners sheds even more light on the situation, finding that “a major way for women who are in professional jobs to really manage to work and be a parent” was to become independent with 75% of them doing so “in order to get workplace flexibility”. There is a combination of factors here: women who now “have equal, if not slightly greater, ambition than men” to move into top roles ranging from VP to the C-suite” see lack of access to opportunities for growth AND they are finding that the “demands of managing both (their careers and their lives) can’t be squeezed into a traditional 9-to-5 office job.”
This is an everyday blog post sharing our founders triumphs and challenges in starting and building her business Plan My Wedding Africa and achieving her vision in being a part of every wedding in Southern Africa, making online wedding planning easy fun and seamless from anywhere in the world as well as provide the resources to every wedding supplier in Southern Africa to grow their business..
We all have to start our business development somewhere right, figuring out when to leave our 9-5, believe in the product we are building 120%, full-fill a bigger purpose in our life and realising just how many gaps we are responsible for. Putting your head down to getting round to all of this can seem somewhat overwhelming but one thing our founder has always been sure of is the value of mentors in her business growth, A business mentor is someone with more entrepreneurial business experience than you who serves as a trusted confidante over an extended period of time. Being a tech company and looking for a program that could help our founder scale up on an International level, after much research and deliberation to add to her busy schedule having already run with Plan My Wedding for 4 years and winning over 4 sharks in the famous business show Shark Tank, she knew there was alot more in store for Plan My Wedding in Africa and the scale she could take it to. she made a decision to sign up to the Founder Institute .
The Founder Institute is the world’s most proven network to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses. We help founders across several early-stages.
Week 1 – Orientation
Progress to Date
- My company, Plan My Wedding is an online wedding planning platform in Africa developed to help couples around the world planning their wedding in Southern Africa ensuring they have a seamless planning process with our online tools & inspiration.
- Plan My Wedding is a Pty limited company.
- We have a team of 5, Myself as Director & Founder, Accountant, Content Creator, Head Developer & Head of Sales. They all work on a a part time or performance basis.
- Our product currently is launched and expanding its range, we are in the traction phase
- To date we have been on Mnet Shark Tank where we won over 3 potential investors and went with 2, post previewing on Mnet we moved developers and lost our online profiles of our 3000 suppliers we had on board so we are in the process of re-marketing back to them.
- Childhood – Born and raised in Zimbabwe on a farm and parents left to Mozambique when i was 8, brought up as a very independent child as having not lived with parents for 4 years while they were setting up their business in Mozambique
- Schooling – Because there was a language barrier in Mozambique and the level of schooling being better in Zimbabwe i went to school in Zimbabwe and stayed with a family in Zimbabwe. When my parents had built their business and a home we were then able to move there during my high school career and I managed to go to boarding school and travel back and forth. I always grew up with entrepreneurial growth minded parents who always inspired me to do what I enjoyed doing and sowing seeds to find where my passions lay.
- Professional career – I then moved to South Africa when i was 17 and started my diploma in Culinary Arts i completed my diploma cum lauder and went on to study Project management at Stellenbosch where i was fortunate enough to have been approached by a business man who put some money behind me to start my first business venture doing corporate events while i studied, being very young and a start up it was great to have a successful businessman as a mentor as well as being young enough to be able to make mistakes and learn and navigate quickly from them. During this time is where I came up with the idea to develop an online app and wedding software. I quickly learnt I would have to learn how to code and develop if I wanted to get into the online world having been messed over by developers.
- Entrepreneurship – I was fortunate enough to have been brought up with an entrepreneurial family from a very young age and they always encouraged me and sowed seeds on how I could create my own destiny and my own income instead of relying on others. This helped me in developing my own business at a young age and being able to be elastic and learn quickly from mistakes. I have been on the entrepreneurial path for a very long time (13 years) but have only started to see the fruits of it in the last 3 years. I always set myself to a book i read from Malcolm Gladwell The Outliers with the 10000 hour effect and i knew i had to first put in 10000 hours into my business before i decided whether it was going to be a success or not, learning quickly that if i wanted to get anywhere with my business it would definitely have to be calculated persistence.
- The future – I have a lot in store for the future and still alot to learn and grow from which is why i am on this journey with FI. I have big goals set and mountains to climb. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”
Week 2 – Vision
According to Forbes, employees who find their company’s vision to be meaningful have average engagement scores of 68%, while the average for those who don’t is down around 18% – a sizeable difference! Moreover, about 70% of workers don’t understand their company’s vision at all. Not only is this bad for engagement but if an employee doesn’t understand the company vision, they likely don’t understand specific goals either. This makes it nigh on impossible to align their work with overall strategy.
Clearly, it pays to heed one’s fantasies and create from them a vision in a form that can be shared with employees. This isn’t some sort of call to daydream instead of doing real work – it’s a case for listening to one’s inner voice and reaching for greatness when writing a vision statement. For this to work, though, vision has to be grounded and connected to strategy.
Setting SDG Goals
We ask ourselves, why is it important to start right from the very beginning and set UN Sustainable Development Goals. Goal setting is critical to business success and helps foster shared priorities and better performance across the organization. By aligning company goals with the SDGs, the leadership can demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development. Fundamentally, the SDGs provide a historic moment for companies to take society’s challenges and leverage them as opportunities to enhance business growth and long-term competitiveness.
Plan My Wedding’s SDG GoalsGender Equality – Employ an equal balance of staff with employing 80% women or previously disadvantaged.
Decent Work & Economic Growth – Continuosly educating and boosting our young entrepreneurs and small businesses working or partnering with Plan My Wedding providing a growth mindset work space for all employees.
Partnerships for the goals – Assist the companies and countries we are working in (developing countries) in developing sustainable approaches, mindfulness and implementation in the SDG Goals through business practices.
What our business will look like with $100MVision – Our vision is to be a part of the planning process of every wedding in Southern Africa with passion, inspiration and attention to detail as well as provide the resources to every wedding supplier in Southern Africa to grow their business.
Culture – Inclusive and Continuous improvement and growth (Kai-zen method), self for-filling for all staff not just monetarily but also well being and their own personal values, staying strong to our core values and mission,
Staffing – Self employed, motivated entrepreneurs, kaizen management approach and understanding what each employees personal values are with Dr Demartini’s value determination process.
main rev stream – Wedding Media Company & Wedding E-Commerce for Africa
Customers that you interviewed. Chelsea’s entrepreneurial and business journey to date, Decision to enroll in the Founder Institute,
Weekly Update, including the Asks.
Final idea, your chosen Revenue Source, some or all of the content from your Weekly Update, your Asks and a request for feedback