This is a blog about an average girl currently working in corporate with aspirations of making a difference with small businesses. Leaping Sideways is the account of my journey coming from an accountancy background and venturing far outside of my comfort zone into ICT and media. Despite the risk of public humiliation, being a female tech entrepreneur of colour, side hustling in South Africa brings about an interesting set of dynamics and I invite readers to come along for the ride.
Where do I start telling you about little old me? Naturally, I fall back to investor metaphors. In understanding a start-up, investors would generally separate the jockey (entrepreneur) from the horse (business). So let’s lead with that…
Ok, so where do I start telling you about little old me? Naturally, I fall back to investor metaphors. In understanding a start-up, investors would generally separate the jockey (entrepreneur) from the horse (business). So let’s lead with that…
*quickly Googles whether jockey is a gender neutral term… ok we’re good- female jockeys are jockeys*
Wife ● CA(SA) ● investment analyst ● entrepreneur ● blogger (apparently) ● cat mom ● wanderlust sufferer
My name, Wafeeqah, actually means Successful in Arabic. Clearly my parents had high expectations for me! No pressure, right? I was born and bred in South Africa (Port Elizabeth, Pretoria and Cape Town.) Currently living in Cape Town with my husband, Ra’ees, and beautiful fluffy ragdoll cat, Cinnamon.
As early as I can remember, I have always been interested in business. I have always been fascinated at how companies make money, what their drivers of success were etc. That led me to choosing a career as a chartered accountant and I was fortunate enough to have received a full bursary.
Being an investment analyst for over 5 years now, I have gained exposure in understanding and critiquing businesses across various industries. I did however gravitate to working on deals with companies that had a focus on SME development, which is essentially how I got my Ah-ha moment.
I realised that it is not access to financing that entrepreneurs needed the most, rather it was access to information. Ok great, I found a gap in the market. Now what? I don’t know what came over me, but I decided to take it upon myself to create a solution. And that my friends, is the beginning of my little side hustle- Entri®.
What is Entri you ask? Well, that brings me the second part of the metaphor.
Information relating to all the support organizations and programmes for entrepreneurs- and there are a ton of them- is scattered all over the internet. Which of course is inefficient. So, I decided to create a single portal of information for entrepreneurs- Entrihub.
Can you see the challenge here? I am an accountant by training and now I’m talking about online portals. Alert- steep learning curve ahead! Oh well- Giddy up horsey, Giddy up!
I’m sure you have a ton of questions, so why don’t you hop onto my first blog post here that explains the who, the what, the when, and the how of my journey.
Although starting a business is scary on so many levels, I took the leap faith and started a side hustle with the hopes of making it a success. And while I am at it, I thought I might as well go further outside of my comfort zone and risk ridicule by sharing my journey with the world.
While the pitching, networking, wheeling and dealing is the sexy, exciting part of being an entrepreneur, all the hard work in the background and the practicalities of starting a business from the ground up is rarely shown.
The relentless hustling, the crushing disappointments, joyous successes, fluctuating self confidence, the crippling self doubt are all part of the package. Leaping Sideways is my account of my endless frustration of all the practicalities and occasional elation of being an entrepreneur.
So, if you are looking for a blog about a successful South African entrepreneur and all her pearls of wisdom… this is not it, sorry! My journey has just begun and I have a VERY long and winding road ahead of me, but I welcome you to come along for the ride. Whether you are here to root for me, to use this as a solace as you go through your own trying venture or simply needing some entertainment- I hope you find my blog enjoyable and/or relatable.
I’ve also written a few (more professional) articles for Entrihub which you might find useful. I’ve included it under Resources . But don’t be lazy- signup to Entrihub as well as there is a lot more where that came from. This is what you call Cross-Pollination people! Yes this an educational blog too 😛