How the CEO of Ellect is creating creating online opportunities for small business suppliers to sell to corporate customers while promoting supplier diversity and gender balance.
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Tell us more about Ellect
My name is Sandra D'Souza and I am the Founder of Ellect - Creating Gender Balance through its digital marketplace connecting microenterprises with corporate and government procurement buyers.
A long fight...
I have spent 20+ years advocating for gender equality as a volunteer for an International NGO. After my last business was acquired, I have been working on a new business model to create a business that can support gender equality. In July 2018, the concept was born and on International Women's Day in 2019, Ellect was launched in Beta.
Your biggest challenge at the start of the project?
Aside from the usual issues of funding with your own money that is not enough, I started with a different marketplace technology. Unfortunately, that platform had a lot of issues that delayed the full launch and after 9 months, we had to go back to the drawing board and start again with a new solution. That is when we found Kreezalid!
How did the Kreezalid solution help Ellect achieve your project
Kreezalid is a robust marketplace platform that has an amazing user experience. We asked the founding customers to start again with Kreezalid when we relaunched early this year and they all found the experience so much better. Since then we have found that our new customers can self manage their profile and listings with little need for our support team.
Ellect in a few figures
Ellect is set to address the gender gap in business with its global procurement marketplace and certification program. As I am a strong advocate for gender balance in business and aware of the barriers women and men encounter in establishing a gender balance, this unique digital marketplace and certification program offers businesses to shown as working towards gender balance. Ellect is aligned with the United Nations Global Goal no. 5 – Gender Equality to be a purpose-driven business where part of the proceeds funds known gender equality projects.
What are the models that inspire you every day?
If you mean who are the role models, I always look to Oprah Winfrey.
"You can have it all." - Oprah
What are the next steps in developing Ellect?
Ellect is focusing on increasing user adoption and fundraising then international expansion!
How has the current health crisis (Covid-19) affected your business?
Ellect started off as a global marketplace with paid memberships but with the current health crisis, we have opened up the platform to make it free forever to help as many businesses as possible.
I would like to see that all corporate and government buyers know that Ellect is the place to find and support microenterprises. Furthermore, it is known to have a positive social impact due to every transaction supports gender equality projects.