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How did SweepSouth evolve?

Businesses can help each other adapt to a new normal post Covid-19

As the COVID-19 infection rate slows down and recoveries pick up, so too many businesses, in the SME sector particularly, are starting to find their new normal in a relaxed lockdown scenario. This means that in addition to financial support businesses need access to guidance around efficient resource management and robust business decisioning-making concepts. "This translates to a critical need for focused, practical, and freely accessible non-financial support at scale to assist all business owners in retaining the sustainability of their businesses," says Jesse Weinberg, Head of the SME Customer Segment at FNB Business.

Weinberg notes that the FNB Business Toolkit can go some way towards meeting this critical need. "Content includes a range of videos, articles, tools and templates to help your business respond to the current environment and provide you with relevant advice that will make a difference to your business and its growth," he says.

How did SweepSouth evolve?

SweepSouth is a fintech company that helps place home service providers such as domestic workers or gardeners, known as Sweepstars with clients at the touch of a button. However, when the lockdown commenced, millions of Sweepstars were unexpectedly out of work. In households where many of these Sweepstars were sole providers, the situation was dire. SweepSouth co-founder, Aisha Pandor explains Sweepsouth was able to provide financial assistance via a Covid-19 fund to which customers and members of the public could make contributions. While lockdown level two allows domestic workers to return to work, SweepSouth has continued to step up efforts to support these micro-entrepreneurs through a partnership with Airbnb. "The long-awaited reopening of South Africa's hospitality industry comes with unique challenges that SweepSouth has been preparing for, for months. In addition to providing dedicated sanitisation and hospitality protocols training for Sweepstars, our online platform has been upgraded to make booking a dedicated option for Airbnb hosts. Guests can now make Airbnb bookings, safe in the knowledge that accommodation serviced by our Sweepstars meets with the highest international hospitality cleaning best practice standards," explains SweepSouth co-founder, Aisha Pandor.

A recent study by Ernst and Young (EY) found that COVID-19 has accelerated two trends driving change in business models: digital transformation and a corporate shift to long-term value. "The ability to deploy computing power, bandwidth, the cloud and cybersecurity will define winners. Success will depend on continuous business model innovation with agile, open collaboration," the study says. Trends can clearly be seen in the SweepSouth model. The bank's ability to achieve sustainable economic growth is highly dependent on the success of our country's local enterprises, irrespective of size. The best way to move forward is to step forward together.