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How One Team Is Disrupting World of the Domestic Worker

Author: Sherryn de Vos
Date: 2017-06-13
SA’s Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur of 2016 has pulled the rug out from under the cleaning industries feet. We chatted to her.
Picture the scene. It’s mid- December and you are in desperate need to get some extra help around the house while the end of year spins wildly out of control. Sound familiar? Well, this is where Aisha Pandor and husband, Alen Ribic found themselves in 2013. They tried out various platforms, desperately trying to find someone to assist them in their home. Everything from classifieds, friend referrals and agencies. They were amazed at how tricky it was to actually get the right person in! Well, thanks to them, finding that right person to help you keep your home spic and span is no longer a chore on its own.

Putting The Sparkle Back In The Industry’s Smile

The first thing that Aisha and Alen noticed, was how unmotivated the workers in the industry were. Not only were they being severely underpaid, but they also felt like they were being treated like second-class citizens. Aisha needed to remedy the situation. Not only could a brand new platform be created, making it simple and efficient to find your next domestic goddess (or god). But she passionately wanted to make sure that the Sweepstars that worked for the company were being treated fairly and were being appreciated for their hard work. Aisha champions the entrepreneurial space. Holding an impressive Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as well as a PHD in Human Genetics, Aisha has taken the eCommerce world by storm. Her belief is that although the number of black and female entrepreneurs is rising, it will still be a long time until it is proportionate to male counterparts.
“The problem with this is that we tend to solve problems we face and understand ourselves, and the underrepresentation of black and female entrepreneurs means that issues faced by these groups aren't necessarily going to be solved and that inclusivity in terms of access to, use of, and building with tech will remain restricted.”
In essence, women are doing it for themselves, but maybe to the collective's detriment later on. Women are best suited to recognise and solve issues other women face, so the sooner more women get involved in tech and entrepreneurship, the sooner we can use these routes to solve problems women face, and make our lives easier.

Feathers In The SA Entrepreneurship Cap

Aisha and Alen’s contribution to the industry is merely an indication of the potential hidden in South Africa. They have found that their business is growing so quickly, it is almost impossible to keep up. Although this does not sound like a bad thing, burn out and not being able to meet demand can become real threats to the company's continued strong performance Service is key in this industry and brand loyalty is a fickle beast. According to the Aisha however, the right amount of passion for what you are doing is the holy grail. Having a sense of purpose will get you through even the toughest time. And although there are still challenges that are continually faced, like high data costs, lack of debit and credit cards, online security concerns, as well as the high levels of economic equality, Aisha believes in entrepreneurship more than ever. One of the key aspects of making it in the entrepreneur environment, according to Aisha, is data.
“Data is king, use data as a secret weapon that gives you unique insights into your business and customer base.”

Dusting Off The Stats

So, let’s have a look at the industry as a whole. Aisha gave us some pretty insightful stats into the industry that you just might not know!
  • There are 1.2 million registered domestic workers in South Africa;
  • 99% of whom are female;
  • Domestic workers make up 8% of the total labour force in the country;
  • 8% of of black South African femals are domestic workers.
SweepSouth broke down the stats of their company and who they are contracting:
  • 70% of new SweepStars were previously unemployed;
  • 30% underemployed;
  • 98% of SweepStars are mothers;
  • 74% are primary breadwinners;
  • 67% being single mothers;
  • And lastly, the most popular day for cleaning is Friday.
Read More about what you should be paying your domestic worker below

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