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Business: Aisha Pandor

Text: Janna Joseph, Nicola Davidson, Eloise Brink; Photography: Glen Montgomery

Business: Aisha Pandor

If Uber and Airbnb changed transport and travel while empowering individuals, how about an app for domestic workers? That’s the concept behind the SweepSouth app, the brainchild of startup entrepreneur Aisha Pandor.

Aisha grew up in political exile in Botswana, returning to South Africa to attend school in 1989. A glittering academic career followed – her PhD in Genetics won the 2011 South African Women in Science Award and she graduated top of her class at UCT’s Graduate School of Business. Between all of that, she married and had her first daughter, Ajla.

Two years as a management consultant in Joburg honed her skills, “But I wanted my own business,” she says. The idea came during a holiday with her husband, Alen Ribic.

“We struggled to find a domestic worker, so we met with a few women from an agency. Hearing about their terrible pay and conditions, inspired an idea for an app that would change all of that.”

The couple cashed in their pensions and savings, sold their house and car, and launched SweepSouth with four domestic workers on board in 2014. A prize-winning pitch at the SiMODiSA Startup SA tech conference boosted the business, and now 4 000 women work for the company. Next up? Gardening, plumbing and electrical services. 

“It’s been wonderful to see the impact of SweepSouth on women at every level,” says Aisha.

Visit sweepsouth.com or download the free app for iOS or Android.

See all the 2017 GLAMOUR Women of the Year winners here.

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