In this week’s Top Women podcast, Topco Media CEO, Ralf Fletcher is in conversation with local powerhouse Aisha Pandor, co-founder of SweepSouth. Aisha is the daughter of Naledi Pandor (South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation) and brings with her a wealth of knowledge both inside and outside the workplace. With a PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Cape Town and an entrepreneurial, forward-thinking verve, Aisha is an inspiration to all South Africans. In this dynamic video podcast, Ralf and Aisha sit down to discuss a host of topics – ranging from what sets the South African government and economy apart, to the vital role technology plays in local start-ups. Aisha gives her insight on the opportunities we are presented with during this uncertain time, and touches on some of the lesser-known challenges that business owners faced with.

Key takeaways to look out for in this video podcast:

1. The government and politics we experience in South Africa are extremely different to those of other countries. Having a government like ours that is more consultative where many people’s views are taken into account has its costs and benefits.

2. Because of COVID, many mothers and fathers have been forced to stay at home – and because of this, many men are getting their first look into what it’s like to take care of business at home. This has also highlighted the imbalance of unpaid care work that women do.

3. During this time, business owners are having to relook at the psychology of their customers and how to connect with them in an empathetic way.

4. Something that South Africans do very well is pull together in times of crisis this time has proved that when it comes to standing together and supporting those who need it most, we come to the party.

5. Running a business comes with many challenges and often we think that once we reach a certain point everything will be alright. However, we need to be ready for new challenges at all times.

6. It’s technology-enabled businesses that are going to grow our economy.

7. Technology will play an important role in levelling the playing field, giving people equal opportunity to education that is purpose-based.

8. Education is incredibly important and educating ourselves is part of lifelong learning.

Aisha R. Pandor is co-founder of SweepSouth (sweepsouth.com), an online platform for booking, paying for and managing homes cleaning services from your laptop, phone or tablet. SweepSouth is the first company on the African continent to offer this service, and a 500 Startups Batch 14 alum. Aisha previously worked as a management consultant, gaining experience in the telecommunications and mining industries. Aisha has a PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Cape Town and an Associate in Management from the UCT Graduate School of Business. Between 2011 and 2012, she received the South African Women in Science Award for her research and was named as one of the Mail and Guardian newspaper’s 200 Young South Africans.

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