OUR VISION IS TO CATALYZE SYSTEMIC CHANGE IN THE WAY SOUTH AFRICAN YOUTH ACCESS AND RETAIN EMPLOYMENT
The Lulaway Story
Lulaway was born when Jake Willis and Errol Freeman realized the need for young South Africans to cost effectively and efficiently access available job opportunities. Youth would rely on internet cafes to type and print CVs and scour the internet for job opportunities with little success. Entry-level jobs were not posted online centrally, and young people faced high barriers to entering the working world.
Lulaway initially envisioned an online portal catering directly to entry-level work seekers and employers. As we increased our understanding of the complex socioeconomic reality facing job seekers, we realized that what was required was a bridge connecting job seekers, employers and the public sector in meaningful and impactful ways.
We expanded our services to answer the pressing needs facing the job seeker in the unique South African environment. We now run over 200 job centres in 9 provinces. Located within local communities, these job centres allow youth to access jobs at little or no cost. These job centres connect young people with work opportunities, without requiring them to incur high transport costs. Our advanced technological platform provides an easy-to-use interface for job seekers and employers, aiming to address the mismatch between skills and vacancies. Our recently added work-readiness training provides young people with the skills to secure, but more importantly, retain jobs.
Fulfilling our mission depends on partnerships. Working closely with government, non-profits, and the private sector we develop and implement high-impact job creation projects across the country. Our approach is collaborative and agile, all the time turning to the realities facing job seekers and seeking to support them.
While we have made a great impact on thousands of lives, we have so much more to do. We believe that sustainable youth job creation is the primary driver of change and we will continue changing South Africa, one job at a time.
Where we are today
- Touched the lives of 300,000 South African job seekers
- Sent 55,000 job seekers for job interviews
- Placed 30,000 people in jobs
- Facilitated the distribution of over R150 million in internship funding to young interns
- Established over 200 network partner job centers
- National footprint in 9 provinces
- Receives over 10,000 job applications every month
I’m responsible for strategy and new business development for Lulaway. I studied Economics and Business Finance at the University of the Witwatersrand after which I worked as an Equity Sales Trader at Equisec Stockbrokers. I then went into Corporate Finance with a boutique corporate advisory outfit called Vuna Africa Corporate Finance, of which I was the Managing Director.
I’m inspired by success which means being the best that I can be every day.
I was later head-hunted by Absa Capital, now a division of Barclays Africa, in their Investment Banking division – my unit was responsible for financing of BEE transactions. I was again recruited by Motlekar Capital, a private equity business with investments ranging from construction, telecoms to building materials where I was the Chief Operations Officer, and Director of the joint venture housing development company with Group Five called Group Five Motlekar.
I relax by travelling with my family, playing golf, reading autobiographies and business magazines, finding new recipes and cooking for family and friends.
I’m inspired by change and the ability to imagine the world differently. There is something profound about the impact that ideas have on people and people on ideas.
I’m responsible for managing Lulaway, this means I spend my days working out how our top class team can become even better, and consistently deliver on everything we do.
"At the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly"
In my time at Lulaway I’ve established crucial relationships with government officials, social partners, and business leaders. I spend my days working with our team and am inspired every day by what people can accomplish when given the right opportunity and motivation. Getting the right people working together is more difficult than I ever imagined but equally rewarding.
Prior to Lulaway, I spent several years on Wall Street, and also worked in management at Nandos.
Tasked with Lulaway’s overall financial management, I’m responsible for the company’s financial reporting, planning and investor relations.
"I strive for perfection and won’t rest until the business reaches its potential."
I’m extremely analytical and have a knack for sensing opportunity. I’m able to cut to the chase and get to the essence of things. In business that’s saving money, allowing for growth. I bring balance to the Lulaway team of directors, where my counterparts are optimistic, I’m the practical counterbalance thus creating a dynamic team. I have kept Lulaway financially stable and viable. I have brought in a number of solid corporate clients and relationships. I have assisted in saving our corporate clients and SME’s cumulatively over R30million a year for the last few years, by means of Lulaways variety of government-funded programmes.
As a chartered accountant, I worked at KPMG as well as at several JSE listed companies prior to opening Lulaway.
I am responsible for the Lulaway brand, marketing activites, and increasing our corporate client base.
"If your brand is right business comes naturally"
I am a marketing person at heart and believe that a business is successful when it earns the trust of its customers, which to me means having a great brand. If I do marketing right sales comes easy and that’s why I am meticulous about every aspect of our brand image and passionate about getting the word out there of the great work our team does.
Prior to Lulaway, I ran my own advertising agency and served as a director of a national agency for twenty years.