#WIB – Q&A With Estelle Olifant Founder Of Swiftstar Technology

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1. Can you please tell us more about your business?

A. I am a loving mother, devoted partner, passionate software developer, and CEO of SwiftStar Technology, a software company based in Cape Town since 2017, which focuses on growing the tech ecosystem within the informal and SMB sectors.

Computer Science has always been something I loved and I am most proud of 10 year old me for convincing my mom to buy that Sahara computer on her Morkels account so many years ago. My greatest achievement thus far is finally being able to share everything I have learned about technology with women who have always wanted to learn more and work within the IT industry but due to circumstances beyond their control were not fortunate enough to pursue their dreams.

Being able to play a role in the skills development of these women is a phenomenal opportunity for me to build a community of strong women who thrives against all odds and who can capitalize on technology to advance their lives. We provide SAAS, PAAS, SDAAS and Digital Marketing Services.

2. When, how and why did you start your business?

A. After many years of working, I have literally been working since 16, from part-time weekend & holiday gigs and later for DirectFinicial solutions in sales, Eskom as a customer services rep & Rectron as a key account manager, I really got to get my hands dirty doing what I love, working on building and putting together server & high-end PC components and this made me decide to start Swiftstar Technology which started as a shopfront in Kuilriver, where we did hardware and software sales, hardware repairs and software upgrades.

With R300000 in savings, loans, and contributions from my life partner, we kicked of Swiftstar Technolgy with 3 employees. The shopfront was doing okay, for a new business in South Africa but just wasn’t sustainable & we wanted to do more to grow the tech ecosystem.

Because we want to give back more to our community, we have many ideas that need to be developed, we want to be pioneers of the future & shape the future we want, we decided to pivot to focus solely on software development.

3. What is your role in the business?

A. I see the business like my precious baby, so I sincerely take care of being involved in every aspect thereof. I am the CEO as well as a software developer. Website designing has always been something I am very passionate about, but I want to get more involved in mobile application development and so I am currently enrolled as an Android associate developer and in the Apple developers program.

4. Where did you study and what did you study?

A. I am currently completing a diploma in New Venture Creation offered by the University of Free State Business School graduating in November. I also studied Anthropology and Sociology at UWC and Business Management at CPUT.

5. How did you finance your business?

A. As previously mentioned I funded the business through savings, personal loans, contributions from my life partner and we received R50 000 worth of equipment from NYDA in 2017.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

A. I wake up at around 3 am to have some me time, mediation, and prayer time. After which I put some ideas down in writing, work on content creation(this is the best time for new ideas), check my emails, and do a bit of excise to get the blood flowing right. Then I get the kids up and ready to have breakfast, clean the house, and hit the shower.

By 8 am I am replying to emails, making business calls, checking up on clients, and making sure everyone else knows what to do and are doing what they are supposed to do for the day. After lunch, I usually work on projects or content creation, by 16:30 pm I am checking my kid’s homework and preparing for supper which we then have by 18:30 pm family time.

The kids are in bed washed and prepared for the next day by 20:00 pm. The next hour or two I spend time with my partner reflecting on the day, just talking or sometimes we go for a drive. On some days I am giving or receiving classes, I usually follow the same plan except between 09:00 am and 14:00 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.

This is the way my default diary goes. I try to stick to it as much as I can to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to make sure that everything gets done.

7. How do you balance your home life and your work life?

A. I know people advise compartmentalization. But I like a holistic view. My work life is honestly doing what I love so there is no boundary for that except for when it is time to work on my relationship with my partner or the kids.

8. What drives you and inspires you?

A. My goals and my family, I want them to have the most beautiful life. I want to be financially free and I want to help others become financially free whiles growing the tech ecosystem.

9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

A. Any time is a good time for new ideas but I’d say in the morning, In the shower, or after mediation.

10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?

A. Most of my business now comes through word of mouth but I advertise on social media, Facebook especially for now.

11. What is next for your business?

A. Next is a complete launch of all the products we have been working on for the past year. This will be in November and we are hopeful to have some big names in attendance.

12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?

A. Dream Big. Start Small. Act Now.

Contact Information:

Estelle Michelle Olifant estelle@swiftstartechnology.co.za

Website: https://swiftstartechnology.co.za