Why Ledula Exists?

A key part of the answer is that Ledula exists to help small businesses; but let's start with some background.

South Africa is a wonderful place to live. Unfortunately since 1994, while the gap between black and white has reduced drastically, the gap between rich and poor has increased and keeps on increasing. We believe education and employment are the two critical things that will fix this problem. Education is fundamental, and the founders of Ledula are also very involved in a private school north of Johannesburg that is impacting the lives of thousands of young South Africans; not just the private school kids who go to the school but also the under-privileged children in the nearby Diepsloot and surrounding areas.

But education without employment doesn't solve the problem - this is where Ledula comes in. Ledula believes in small businesses as a critical way to address unemployment in South Africa. We want to do everything we can to support efficient and top-quality small and micro enterprises who have effective technical skills but lack the business skills they need to be successful in their industries. We want to give them the tools and opportunities they need to compete with other larger businesses in their industries. Our aim is to empower home service providers by supplying them with resources like advertising, online marketing; a search-engine optimised web presence and enhanced word-of-mouth.

Why small businesses? According to Small Business South Africa "it is estimated that as much as 80% of new jobs in world economies are being created by SMMEs (Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises), making small business a key player in the future growth of our country." We can see the impact that small businesses are having on our country, so we want to make under-resourced small businesses as successful as we possibly can.

So how does Ledula help?

Our reseach has shown that finding new customers is the number one challenge faced by small businesses in South Africa. Most of these businesses rely almost exclusively on traditional word-of-mouth. Ledula uses technology to provide electronically-enhanced word-of-mouth for small businesses. If a one-man-show or small business is rated by one of their clients on Ledula, they automatically get a free online profile, which is basically the equivalent of a website - with a difference. Not only do they have their details listed online where their clients can see them, but their clients are also able to share their service with their friends on Ledula and Facebook, or via email and SMS.

So for the painter who stands on the side of the road holding a paintbrush as his only form of advertising, an online Ledula profile is a BIG step up. And the free Ledula profile is only one of the many things that Ledula has in mind for uplifting small businesses. Keep an eye out for the new initiatives we’re planning to release in future - we're excited about them!

The Ledula Trust
The Ledula Trust is a shareholder of Ledula. Its mandate is to uplift small businesses in South Africa and develop their business skills. As long as the Ledula business continues, the Trust will continue to empower small business owners. We believe that this is the most effective way for us to help the community - having a vehicle for social change supported by a thriving business.

Inspired by TOMS
Ledula borrowed this concept - using a healthy business to back-up our efforts on social change - from TOMS Shoes, a shoe company in the US that gives away a pair of shoes for every pair they sell. The founder, Blake Mycoskie, started a shoe company to support his drive to give shoes to people in impoverished communities in Argentina. This means that as long as TOMS continues to sell shoes, children in developing nations will receive shoes from TOMS. (You can buy shoes to support this initiative at www.toms.com) This is the kind of sustainable model we’re trying to replicate with Ledula.

So how can YOU help?

If you know an efficient and trustworthy one-man-show or small business, all you need to do to help them is add them as a provider on Ledula and rate their service. By doing that simple thing, you’ll get them a free online profile on Ledula, and your ratings and comments on their service will encourage your friends to use their service too.

Give them a high rating and a glowing comment on their service if their service is good - that way, your friends on Ledula will want to use them too, and they’re get new clients. In the same way, share their details with your friends via email, SMS or Facebook, so even more people get to hear about their business.

To make sure that these service providers get maximum exposure through the website, you can also extend the audience by inviting your Facebook friends and encouraging them to join Ledula. This means that as well as the service providers you’ve rated being seen by your friends, you’ll also be able to see their service providers.

Add. Rate. Comment. Share. Invite. It’s that simple!

It doesn’t take much to make a difference in someone’s life. And we believe Ledula is an easy and effective way to make a difference for the home service providers in your community, all the while ensuring that when you need them, you can find the service providers that your friends trust.

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