Role and company:CTO and co-founder of giveonthemobile®
Growth forecast for the next three years:A compound growth of 30 per cent.
In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:Currently, giveonthemobile® is the only mobile crowdfunding app in the UK for NfPs. The platform challenges the current breed of website-based fundraising solutions. With an extensive road-map, including multi-payment integration for SMS, credit card and NFC, giveonthemobile® is shaking up the sector. Giveonthemobile® has been nominated by the Institute of Fundraising for best digital fundraising platform and is up against the might of Vodafone and eBay – pretty good company for a small start-up!
What’s the big vision for your business?To bring global philanthropy to the general public, let’s support it properly. With the current economic climate seeing well established brands such as Blockbuster, HMV and Jessops going into administration, it is imperative that the third sector embrace digital commerce, especially mobile. Giveonthemobile® delivers a solution that embraces digital commerce challenges through innovation and a “just make it happen” philosophy!
Current level of international business, and future aspirations:Currently the giveonthemobile® platform has been deployed in the UK but has a roadmap that will facilitate International distribution.
Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:Technology is expensive and good software developers cost a lot of money. The biggest challenge facing the company has always been finding the appropriate funding and particularly, identifying serious investors that understand the business model and are quick to execute. On a personal level, I do not spend enough time networking as I should do!
What makes you mad in business today?Time wasters – there is nothing worse. If you are not going to do something please don’t waste my time, I already don’t have enough hours in the day.
What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?When the penny drops for our customer base and they realise that they should have embraced m-commerce a long time ago. Digital convergence will also be a challenge as our customers look to promote themselves through new mediums such as interactive TV.
Can businesses in your sector/ industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things?This question gets asked a lot. While companies do get investment, the reality is that it is extremely hard to raise funds in the UK. Investors are unrealistic in their equity stake and return/exit strategy – everyone wants to make lots of money quickly and life isn’t like that, otherwise we would all be rich.
How would others describe your leadership style?Creative, fair, firm and passionate.
Your biggest personal extravagance?I have a passion for good automotive design and have wasted a lot of money in the past pursuing this interest – now I don’t bother owning a car.
You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:Prime minister, like you I am passionate about this country. Like you I believe that we have some of the best entrepreneurs and minds in this country. In order for us to harness this energy and spirit, we need to do much more to support investment and growth. We need to get the banks to lend more and stop them coming up with excuses. We need to expand the EIS scheme to be even more attractive so that investors can take much higher risks. We need to cut through the PR bullshit and get our hands dirty because if we don’t, we will be left behind as a nation. By Shané Schutte
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