The Academic – Turning lockdown into an opportunity

An impromptu sit down with Dr. Denise Toussaint, a self-proclaimed recovered academic that started her own business in 2019. In this episode, we reflect on the aftermath of business in a Covid-19 world.

Her business, StadtGold pre lockdown, was a thriving Airbnb operation with 20 clients/properties in the Western Cape. The journey of this startup is a familiar tale of figuring out contracts with clients, employing staff and dealing with that niggly thing called cash-flow. By December 2019 her business was rocking, so much so that she took on additional premises to further streamline the operational side of the business, like laundry.

Then came lock-down and everything stopped. Tourists were leaving Cape Town in their thousands and the government closed the borders. And then the reality sets in, zero income.
Perhaps its her academic background that stepped in at this point, but instead of climbing into a dark hole and hiding, she grabbed this forced period of reflection to start again.

We talk about how a potentially devastating period of lock-down actually provided the perfect opportunity for a reset. This time, from a place of strength and resilience.

Denise is the owner of StadtGold, a company that rents and manages apartments in Cape Town.

As CGTN reports, tourism in South Africa has fallen sharply in the wake of the Corona crisis.

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The conversations are casual and unscripted. We talk about life, business and hope to inspire you with insights, lessons learnt and fast track hacks from these entrepreneurs that you can implement in your own business.

The journey of starting and running your own business is one of the most rewarding things you can do. It’s not always glamorous and requires dogged determination to stay the course. Now more than ever we need to share, collaborate and learn from one another to not only survive in this economic climate, but thrive!

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