Since the start of the global Covid-19 pandemic, many people have been anxious about maintaining their jobs in order make it through the crisis. Businesses have closed and there seemed very little hope available to fuel the entrepreneurial fire that has the power to create opportunities and solutions to the global unemployment problem.
For two entrepreneurs, the journey began with seeing the vast needs that arose during the pandemic.
“I was working from home and receiving constant messages from different people needing help,” says Kim Webster, Director at Websterbiz Consulting.
“It was frustrating to know that I have the capacity to help in some ways financially or with donations, but that I was so tied up at work that I couldn’t respond immediately,” added Kim.
Kim recounts a pivotal moment happened when she heard the local neighbourhood watch in her area was mobilising donations for families that needed food relief during the lock down. “I had committed to buying 5 hampers, but for a few days could not get to the store to actually purchase them,” she remembered. “I sat one evening quickly gobbling down a meal in between meetings and it dawned on me, I am so rushed trying to eat this food, not even appreciating it and other people are starving without a thing to eat. It was then I decided that I need to do more to help swiftly,” Kim added.
In September 2020, Kim, who holds qualifications in Public Relations, Retail Management and Project Management decided to quit her full time job as Head of Communications at The Sunflower Fund and launch her consulting business to free her up to attend to some of her personal passion projects too.
Having had experience of running a business before, and also former client contacts to lean on, Websterbiz Consulting quickly gained traction. The 100% female –owned, Cape Town based consulting agency, which she runs with her sister-in-law Ruth Webster, serves a client base across South Africa as well as abroad.
The mom of one says its been liberating to be able to respond to needs, popping to the store to buy some food hampers or mobilising and dropping off donations where possible. In addition Websterbiz Consulting has been able to pass on work to other small businesses through contracting in their services on specific projects, thereby easing the impact of the Covid 19 lockdown for some freelance consultants.
Ruth, a mother of three, brings to Websterbiz her experience gained working in parliament as well as in the private sector and with NGO’s. She hold’s a Masters in Philosophy: Management Coaching, a Post Graduate Diploma in Leadership and a degree in Human Resource Development.
After working independently in their corporate careers as well as in consulting, the duo joined forces combining their collective skills of 40 years in industry to offer Strategy Consulting, PR & Communications, Training & Development, Leadership Coaching as well as Transformation and Governance advisory services to clients.
The business is centered on the values that the duo holds dear: Passion, Efficiency, Commitment, Service to others and to Lead with courage.
“I want to be where I am needed to help people,” says Ruth. “My journey into coaching stems from the desire to impact change in people’s lives personally and professionally,” she added.
“One of the best things is being able to model a lifestyle of impact for my son,” says Kim. “When he sees me busy with late night deadlines, or rushing off for a quick trip to the store, or packing boxes and parcels, I am able to enlighten him about the need to help people.” Kim continued.
Both ladies say being a ‘mompreneur’ is demanding as it involves you and your spouse juggling diaries, meetings and travel with school pick ups and drop offs but it pays off by refining one’s time management skills.
In addition to this business, the duo has extensive voluntary roles and business interests. Kim is a partner in two other businesses, Everywhere Supply and Distribution and Artistry Production & Logistics. She is also a co-founder with Ruth and their sister-in-law Erica, of Fellow Workers International a project through which their community engagements are channelled and she serves on the Community Policing forum in her area. Ruth is a voluntary board member at Mannenberg Pets Project and voluntary Regional Director for Breakthru Community Action NPO.
Both women are excited about leaving a legacy for their children and growing the business to continue to impart their skills and live out their passion for people and community development.
“The entrepreneurial journey is a journey of education on many fronts, but I am excited after more than 17 years in industry that I can continue to learn and grow in my skills as well as my impact,” concluded Kim.
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Issued by: Reitumetse Poo
On behalf of: Websterbiz Consulting