Jenny WardCEO at Neighbiz
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it” Anon
I have encouraged myself with those words many, many times. But I also know that the team that surrounds you, it is they who always underscore the successes, or indeed, failures, that life affords. Be it a resistance to failure (or just sheer stubbornness some might argue), life has certainly blessed me with both rewards and favour.
I have my own business since the age of 21, when it seemed me, a law-student dropout, that the salary of a receptionist at Leyland Jaguar would never service my burning desire to own my own house. To get the millions I absolutely needed, I mused, I would have to start my own business! I called it Evricar, and at the tender age of 22, I realized a dream and bought my first home in Kyalami. Success at 22 makes one cavalier. At that age, one’s ‘quest’ is to succeed in the eyes of the world. Now, older, wiser, my purpose is to succeed for the world, make a difference. That is the reward that drives me.
I have been recognized by my peers, being a finalist Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. My former company, Big Brother, was named one of the Top 300 empowerment companies in 2004 by the DTI’s annual roundup. The rights to the Big Brother name were sold to Endemol in 2014.
Neighbiz started out as a way to put the faceless/informal sector online. I passed the unemployed on street corners every day, invisible to most, and the desire to make the invisible ‘visible’ became an inferno within me. However, altruism is best served with a healthy dollop of business sense, and to that end, I had to come up with a game changer which would serve as the business model. I devised a marketing strategy which is now under patent in the USA.
Our team of one has grown into a team of (currently) 13, with each playing an invaluable role is driving the movement that is Neighbiz, Each in my team understands well, we are starting a global movement.
Aided by an incredibly dedicated support team, I currently commute between SA and USA to spearhead the global push for Neighbiz internationally. Neighbiz is poised for a “soft” launch in November 2019, and for national launch in January 2020.