Founder/ Pimp My Book
"Looking for the gaps that everyone else has missed "
In line with the topic of "looking for the gaps and turning convention on its head" I will share about finding opportunities in places/markets that the mainstream players have overlooked and ignored. If we are to build inclusive economies it is important for us to develop unconventional business models that meet the needs of those markets whose formal structures have failed to serve. I will share my own experience with Pimp My Book and how we met a market need through focusing on a niche part of the market that the main players were not interested in.
“I started my first business venture at the age of 15 when I started a small photography business in my home-town of Lebowakgomo, Limpopo. Pimp My Book was founded in my dormitory at Varsity, where I realized the need for an alternative to expensive new textbooks. Today Pimp My Book hosts seven stores located on major universities in the Western Cape, Free State and Limpopo. Through the online store, www.pimpmybook.co.za, students from across the country are able to buy and sell used textbooks. Pimp My Book now aims to make technology accessible on campus through the launch of its laptops, tablets and device “pimping” service in its Cape Town stores, this will soon be extended nationally. Pimp My Book’s mission is to find entrepreneurial solutions that contribute to making education more accessible, affordable and enjoyable. This mission is drawn from my personal passion of using entrepreneurship to solve societies major problems. I hold a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Cape Town. Pimp My Book has been recognized through various awards including the South African Kickstart National Award and the United Nations Sukuma Afrika Awards. ”
Why do you want to be part of UCT Upstarts? “My personal belief is that one of the reasons South Africa has a low level of entrepreneurship activity is that the people who have the greatest chance of succeeding in business are sitting in large corporates. Corporates have done a lot to support and lure young talent to their offices but not much has been done to support students who wish to get into business. UCT Upstarts is an along awaited answer to the call of many entrepreneurs. I personally struggled to start my company on campus a couple of years ago as at that time there was very little support for students trying to start new ventures.”
HOW DO YOU ‘IMAGINE A NEW AFRICA’? “A new Africa is an Africa that can rise above its colonial past where countries were created and economies were exploited to serve Europe. It is an Africa that is inclusive, one where people unite to find solutions that can unleash the great potential that is within this continent. It is also an Africa that must prove that business can only be sustainable if it meets the need of all stakeholders including employees, customers, communities and the environment. Africa will lead in the social enterprise revolution as it is one of the main ways it can move forward.”