Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa
Bootstrapped Booming Image Credit: Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa
Bootstrapped Booming Image Credit: Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa

Bootstrapped & Booming

You don’t need millions in investment (or even thousands) to get a successful business off the ground. With passion, perseverance and a product or service that customers will pay for, you can start a successful business on a shoestring budget.

From USN starting in a small flat in Pretoria with a hand-cranked washing machine to mix product, to UCOOK launching in a garage and sharing floor space with a Chrysler, there are many ways — and many businesses — that you can launch from your home. You just need to get a little creative.

Nadine Todd

THE GIGPRENEUR

LAUREN GOUWS Copywriter and founder of LKM Creative

Despite her best efforts, Lauren Gouws (neé Meikle) was a terrible employee. The commute from Pretoria to Joburg every day was depressing, she didn’t like the fact that whether her workload was high or low she earned the same salary, and she was realising that the inflexibility of an eight to five job didn’t suit her.

So, she did what many budding entrepreneurs have done. One evening, she got home and Googled ‘How to make money online’ — and discovered the world of the gig economy. “I couldn’t quit my job because I had bills to pay and needed an income, but I also knew I wanted to be my own boss,” says Lauren. “You need to be careful, there are a lot of traps, scams and get-rich-quick schemes online. I just wanted to have control over my earning potential. I came across an article that listed ten gig economy websites. Basically, if you have a skill that you can offer digitally, you can sign up to these websites and offer that service — it’s MacDonald’s for services, you place your order and get it within a day or two.”

Lauren is a copywriter, but gig economy sites cater for web developers, consultants, coders,


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