Introducing your host and founder of The Daily Hustle
My name Tasneem Abrahams and I am the founder of Digital Engage, a boutique digital marketing and web design agency. I started my professional career in the medical field, qualifying with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Growing up in a pre-internet era, I chose to pursue a humanitarian passion through the medical field, but always thought of myself as having an inner ‘geek’. In this podcast I talk about the journey I travelled that led to me leaving the health profession to become a digital entrepreneur and how this journey inspired the establishment of The Daily Hustle.
Entrepreneurship in South Africa
In the early stages of the establishment of Digital Engage, I attended a business incubator program at the Awethu Project. It was through Awethu and their vision that I found my passion for entrepreneurship, which has culminated in the founding of The Daily Hustle.
According to Awethu:
“The world is wasting the potential of entrepreneurs in developing countries – not because the training and capital these entrepreneurs need do not exist, but because we have not found a solution that systematically enables access to them.”
Lack of access to funding and access to markets are the 2 most common issues South African entrepreneurs cite as obstacles to starting a business in this country. But it is not a problem that is unique to South Africa. South Africans are by nature survivalists, they are innovative and opportunistic. But we also have an entrenched history of inequality in all the primary areas of citizenship such as education, food, and security. Entrepreneurship is to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a self-actualising goal. In South Africa when your primary goal is to secure your basic human rights, the pain and sacrifice that comes with building an empire suddenly feels too risky. So for many South Africans having a brilliant idea for a business or having an income-generating skill is not enough to succeed as an entrepreneur. We need support structures, mentorship that understands our unique struggles and mindsets, and we need help to navigate the more pragmatic aspects of starting and running a business in South Africa such as registering the business, business banking requirements, tax regulations, etc. These ‘boring’ details are not complicated, and having been through the process, it is not difficult to become a business owner. But it is daunting. Business incubators are popping up all over South Africa and play a huge role in helping fledgling business owners grasp this essential knowledge. The South African government has also recognized the invaluable contribution entrepreneurship can make in our economy and has thus supported numerous programs aimed at giving small and medium business a chance at success, whether through training, funding, partnering with big corporates to take smaller businesses under their wing, or through access to markets.
Supporting Entrepreneurship Through Story Telling
The entrepreneurial journey is a difficult one. There will be many times when you doubt yourself, doubt your decisions, and feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of your vision. Entrepreneurship is also a very lonely journey. I was fortunate to have the support of my husband to usher me through those tough times. Vinny Lingham, a Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank investor in South Africa says in the book, “I’m In” that, “the difference between entrepreneurs and other people is that at first you work for a lot lower salary on a monthly basis, but then you’re building long-term equity, wealth and value…”. There will be many times when you will question whether it would be better to just get a job with benefits, a guaranteed pay cheque at the end of the month, and paid leave to enjoy the school holidays with your kids. Being an entrepreneur requires conviction in your vision, the willingness to step way outside your comfort zone, and the mental strength to accept the discomfort, the sacrifice and the darkness, because the long term vision is worth it. My first profession, Occupational Therapy, is rooted in the philosophy of ‘doing, being, becoming’ – the belief that what we choose to do and how we do it, shapes who we are and who we are destined to become.
And this is what the Daily Hustle is all about. It is an online platform created to celebrate the entrepreneurial knowledge-seeker, creating and curating tips, tools, tutorials and inspirations for the big-thinker. The podcast series focuses specifically on the journey of entrepreneurship. We interview people at various stages of the entrepreneurial journey, where we ask guests to share their story, how they navigated through the entrepreneurship process – the transition to becoming an entrepreneur, fears and challenges, and ultimately how they reached the point they are at present. If you are a dream-chaser, a perpetual learner, someone who is driven by a greater vision and purpose, and you are looking to be inspired on your journey to greatness, then this podcast is for you. I hope you find value in it and please let us know in the comments on our Youtube channel or via our other social media channels if you have any suggestions on how we can bring you value. Till next time!
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