MultiplyME

MultiplyME: Giving you time to enjoy your life, love and family

Johannesburg, South AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

MultiplyME is an online platform that connects busy people who need stuff done with people who can help them. It’s the Uber of getting stuff done.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we were able to change the employment landscape in South Africa giving the youth access to employment?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

People are working more than the 40-hour workweek and spending less time with their families. Wouldn’t everyone want more free time to do the things that they value most? Be with your family, take up a hobby, travel or read a book?

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

What is the proposed solution? Please be specific MulitplyME is an online platform (www.multiplyme.co.za) that connects busy people, like you, with “multipliers” who can help you free up time in your life by helping you with your day-to-day tasks. These tasks could include things like waiting in line, grocery shopping, dropping and collecting clothes at the dry cleaners, changing a light bulb, help moving house, presentation preparation, baby sitting, document editing and much more.

Awards

Alumni funding Award from Northwestern University as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The online platform’s primate activity is to assist busy people free up time in their lives. Its secondary activity is to provide South African’s with a flexible and self-regulated employment opportunity. We have a huge youth unemployment problem with some estimates being at 70% between 18-25 year olds. For example a 4th year student could pick up a couple of tasks a week to earn some extra money or a stay at home mom could do one task a day, every day to support her family. On a tertiary level the organization wants to provide hands on training and development that will enable our Multiplier’s to develop an employment track record and work experience that would help them get full time employment.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Presently this project is in its testing phase. Our aim is two fold. 1. Provide flexible and self-regulated work for South Africans. 2. Through hands on training and development we want to give those people who are interested the skills they need as well as the track record to move onto full time employment. When it launches we are aiming to do around 10 000 transactions in our first year. This would generate approximately $75 000 for those employed through the platform (We call them Multipliers). This democratization of services could prove to be the employment and economic development push SA needs to boost its economy.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The service will initially be available in Johannesburg. We would like to reach all the major cities across the country within 3 years. Because it is an online platform this could potentially happen quicker. Ideally within a 5-year period, strategies would be developed to grow into other parts of Africa. The initial transaction goal is 10 000 with 25 000 transactions by 2018. This will generate approximately $267 000 in turnover with nearly $190 000 going to our Multipliers. As the transaction volume grows, the business grows, more South African’s will be able to participate and generate an income.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The project is presently in a market testing and development phase with funds received from Alum at Northwestern University. Once this is complete the next phase will be building the online platform and developing the brand. We estimate a further $35 000 is needed to take the product to market. At this point between a sweat equity model with Rob and SJ and the addition of local individual investors we will meet our target range. Once the site is live it can immediately generate revenue with a small team of staff managing the backend and training requirements.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There is no direct competition for MultiplyME in South Africa at this point although similar services are creeping into other parts of Africa (Nigeria and Kenya). There are a variety of concierge services that could be considered competition. These services are mostly subscription-based services and the range of services they offer is very small. MutliplyMe is going to focus on middle range cost, high quality services across a wide variety of activities. Well trained staff, reliability, good quality control and user driver technology will be our key areas of competitive advantage.
Team

Founding Story

In 2005 I was driving home after a 14-hour day and the police stopped me. My car’s license had expired. I knew it had expired but had not found the time to renew it. While I was waiting for my fine, I contemplated if I would ever be able to afford someone to help me with my admin. It dawned on me that I needed someone I could hire on an adhoc basis. In 2015 I was selected to be part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. This allowed me 6 weeks to hone my business idea and MultiplyME was born.

Team

Presently I am the only team member. In coming months Robert Le Grange (technical partner) and SJ Boden (digital media marketer) would come on board. I have 10 years of project management experience and 5 years of business management experience. Rob has 15 years experience in the online technology industry with a specific interest in user experience. SJ founded Soul Providers in 2010. Their cutting edge strategic content marketing will help us build our brand.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Through the Mandela Washington Fellowship programme

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I have not started a business before and although I know that this is a huge risk, I feel as if the entrepreneurial spirit is in my blood. I am the managing director of both a non-profit (a visual arts NGO) and a for profit company (a digital media agency). I have run the NGO for the past 5 years it has taught me many lessons around frugality, inventiveness in the face of difficulties and ingenuity. I have been running the digital agency for almost a year. This experience has taught me about customers, delivering high quality products and managing cash flow. Between these two experiences I feel that I am primed to take the leap into being a business owner myself.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

I have a mentor in my Professor from Northwestern University, Mr Verinder Syal. He has recently published a book titled “Discover the entrepreneur within” (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_9?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks...)

I also have a network of colleagues and friends who support each other in our business endeavors. This is an informal group but we are in regular communication and deal with a multitude of business related issues.

I am very lucky and grateful that my family is very supportive of my dream to own my own business.