Founder of SpunkGo - www.spunkgo.com
Co Founder of HRTech venture TalentKonnect;
PropertyTech venture RentEasyUAE.
Netra is a 15 years old serial entrepreneur and with her initiative SpunkGo she's actually doing what a lot of large corporates/organizations/platforms are struggling to do; paying it forward.
SpunkGO is a global movement that is providing free educational webinars to young women across developing countries. They started as a social media conversation and now they have grown into a global organisation with over 5000 women members in 21 countries
How did it all start?
The thought of entrepreneurship first came to my mind when interning at a local start-up that focused on digital delivery of services. I got to experience first-hand how the organisation ran and what it meant to establish and grow a successful organisation.
After a while, I enrolled in an online course at a prominent US university. I suddenly realised the power of being able to educate vast audiences at a low cost using webinars and social media. With support from a friend in Kazakhstan and one in Kenya, SpunkGo – Social Media for Good was born.
When establishing my venture, I wanted to become a multi-country organisation that focused on helping girls audiences in developing countries in Africa and Central Asia. We did this by enlisting Student Ambassadors across various countries from Australia to Canada and Uganda to Congo.
The rapid growth and adoption of SpunkGo were much faster than I had anticipated.
Post the launch, we grew pretty fast, and in no time we were in 20 countries, had more than 1000 subscribers and had strong interest from women speakers from as far as New Zealand to the United States.
How did you go about financing this venture?
To build our organisation, increase awareness and pay for webinar and social media capabilities, we needed funding. We used the crowdfunding route as a solution. SpunkGo has used the IFundWomen.com platform to raise money for our initiative and now is likely to get sponsorship from a leading multinational.
Looking back, how has it been?
Being an entrepreneur also has downturns, and it is a parcel of being an entrepreneur.
Hence, the key to being successful is having confidence in your idea, yourself and your team. A large part of being an entrepreneur has the grit to keep going when you’ve hit a wall. The key advantage one has as a younger entrepreneur, is that you have more time on your side to build upon your idea and establish your organisation. With that advantage, there comes the risk that people do not take you seriously. They think you are doing a school project, not establishing a global organisation.
Luckily, my family was supportive, and I got the encouragement to continue from the student ambassadors across the world.