Stop, Pause, think… 2017/2018 in review. Updates from the Chief Coffee Drinker

At the speed at which 2018 is disappearing, it is a good time to remind oneselves to take stock of what one has achieved and also stop, look up and decide if you are going the right direction. As the saying goes, entrepreneurship is just as much about deciding what to do as it is about deciding what not to do.

What we did in the last few months:

The Marriage….

Tamar and I met 3 years ago. I fell in love with her immediately. But it took me a long time to pluck up the courage to propose her. We always knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives eating Nutella together, but weren’t sure if the marriage institution was the right vessel as we were sceptical of marriage per se (my personal psychological luggage at having lived through many a divorces of family and friends). One day we decided to do it, but we wanted to keep it a secret. Well, that’s assuming I think my action through… I proposed to Tamar by writing “Will u Marry me?” on the roof of our house (see the video here: Now, a piece of advice to all you discreet romantics out there: if you want to keep a marriage private it really does not help to write it in meter high letters on your roof for the whole world to see…

The lodge…
Zebras Crossing – mom’s dream – was always a loss making dream. When she passed away ( we had to decide if we could keep her dream alive. Thanks to the amazing work of Tamar, Promise and all of you who supported us in booking us, reviewing us and sharing our posts, a big thank you for helping us making mom’s dream now a sustainable business. The lodge impacts the lives of some 48 people. To book or to see our revolutionary new website go to or email (especially if you would love to take your whole family or friends away – we have a unique “Have the whole lodge to yourselves experience”).

The Book…
But as nice as this is, it isn’t enough. Promise, Tamar, Phehello, Gugu and I – together with the phenomenal young people of Modimolle (the town 15km from Zebras) decided that we want to make a difference to the amazing 68.000 people in Modimolle and so we spent the last few month writing the book “Modimolle: a town of dreams” which is now available at . It is a positive, full of life and hope table book about the township entrepreneurs which can teach all of us a lesson in what it means to bootstrap a business. All the profits (price less printing and shipping costs) of the book go to Modimolle to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Email to order a copy of the book or see photos of it. The price is R 1.500 per book. Your support would mean the world to the entrepreneurs of Modimolle. We hope to sell 150 copies this year. If you want a stunning book for your lounge which at the same time will make a real impact on the ground please order one today.

The Business…
1.5 years ago I announced that Tamar and I would go on a 2 year Africa trip. We started but then the project that Anke and I started took off a bit faster than we expected and thus the Africa trip is on hold until later this year.

Our (Anke and I) “Tinder for Business” ( evolved somewhat and thanks to the support of amazing people who believed in us, our solution is now used in over 83 countries by corporates, entrepreneurs, SMEs, governments, chamber of commerces, trade fairs, universities, research centres and incubators. This makes us happy – as any entrepreneur would be in seeing their little idea mature – but this is not enough for Anke and I. The reason why we created this was never about the money: this was about democratizing access to markets so that EVERYONE, from the spaza shop in Soweto to the startup in the favelas in Rio to the innovator in Zurich would have an equal chance to all opportunities in a relevant way.

That we managed to find a business model that respects users and clients is the cherry on the top.

The SME Movement
But perhaps our biggest achievement was the launch of the SME movement in anticipation of the United Nations “World SME Day” on the 27th of June. The SME Movement is a global initiative that we launched on the back of a realization (over coffee of course) that almost everyone we meet – be it a student, a lecturer, a researcher, an entrepreneur, a start-up, a mentor, a government employee or a corporate actually wants to help SMEs but just doesn’t know how. The SME Movement is about giving everyone a practical easy way to get involved to help SMEs anywhere in the world without spending money or investing more than a few minutes a month. SMEs are the biggest creators of jobs (70% of all jobs in the world) and as a group usually the biggest single contributor to GDP (50% of global GDP). Supporting SMEs means growing economies and tackling unemployment. If you are keen to play your part to make the world better please join us at to . If you are already supporting SMEs please email me on and I’ll onboard your activities to the SME Movement.

Here’s to a 2018 full of opportunities, friendships, making a difference, love and passion. Here’s to you my Dear friends all over the world, for all your support and help. All of the above would not have been possible without you.

As always you can find me on Twitter @YZP or LinkedIn

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