@ work

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - @WORK -

You’re the co-founder of ded­i­cated SME la rm No ate What rom ted ou to tart it The le­gal pro­fes­sion, it is said, is one of the old­est and like most old and es­tab­lished struc­tures, it is slow to in­no­vate and change. I worked for many years in tra­di­tional law rms, as did my busi­ness part­ner. We saw a lot we didn’t like, which led us to ask­ing our­selves how we could im­prove the pro­cesses. No­vate works with small and medium scale busi­nesses, and we aim to make the law more ac­ces­si­ble, un­der­stand­able and af­ford­able. You’re al o a ocial acti i t and en­tre reneur Where doe that moti ation come from I’ve al­ways been driven to want to erad­i­cate in­equal­ity. Most South Africans love the coun­try and are up­set by what they per­ceive to be go­ing wrong. We need to move from a cul­ture of com­plain­ing to a cul­ture of do­ing. My pas­sion is trans­for­ma­tion from both a gen­der and cul­tural per­spec­tive. Ho ha e ou u ed thi a ion in our le al u ine My busi­ness part­ner and I have found ways to use our le­gal skills to make a so­cial im­pact. So­cial im­pact doesn’t have to be some­thing feel-good and char­i­ta­ble, it has to be some­thing that cre­ates the kind of world we want to live in. We all want de­cent jobs, a bet­ter econ­omy and ac­cess to op­por­tu­ni­ties. You can make these things hap­pen through your busi­ness and still make money. What’ een our i e t mi ta e that ecame a i ni cant le on Stay­ing in a job I didn’t en­joy for too long. I al­ways wanted to be in hu­man rights but I had good aca­demic re­sults, so a law rm seemed the place to go. I landed the big job and ev­ery­one thought I should be happy there but I wasn’t. It was a neg­a­tive and com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment. I should have left much sooner, but in ret­ro­spect I learned a lot about how not to lead. What ad ice can ou i e a out u hin er onal oundarie to fa­cil­i­tate er onal ro th It’s im­por­tant to do things that scare and stretch you. In 2012 I was work­ing for an NGO in Ber­lin and feel­ing that I still hadn’t found my pas­sion or place in the world. A friend of­fered me the chance to cy­cle with him from Ger­many to In­dia to raise funds for a san­i­ta­tion project. I’m not an ath­lete and I’ve al­ways shied away from phys­i­cal chal­lenges but it changed my life.

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