At a time when South Africa is highlighting women’s issues and the many important roles that women play in society and business, one of the critical issues that consistently emerges is that women have been the most affected by economic downturns. Yet, they are often the most responsible for the financial survival of their families.
South Africa’s history shows, though, that its women are resilient, determined, and will always do their utmost to find a way to make sure that they find a way to provide for their loved ones. This could be by inspiring other women to follow in their trailblazing footsteps or offering informal counselling and advice as they go about their daily lives.
With innovations in technology creating new opportunities to earn an income, either as side hustles or primary work, women are even more empowered to drive their careers. It’s not always the clear-cut skills that make women successful, as Bolt driver Ellen Chinwadzimba points out. “I do so much more than just being a driver. I provide counselling, advice, and assurance to my clients, and provide comfort to parents if they’re not able to collect their children from school,” she says. “Women are also great at helping one another – I’m always happy to help other Bolt Women Only drivers learn the ropes so that they can provide the best possible service to their clients.”
Even though the platform itself is designed for individual drivers, it creates opportunities for women to build bigger businesses with greater reach than their own microbusinesses.
Nomcebo Vilakazi supplements income from her permanent job as a Judge’s Clerk by driving with Bolt Women Only for a few hours after work every day. She plans to build her own business by buying more cars in time and training women to drive through the platform.
“Passengers are always happy when they see that it’s a woman coming to collect them, even when they’ve hailed a regular Bolt ride, not just through Bolt Women Only,” she says.
Soweto’s Joyce Ditshego agrees, adding that passengers’ demand for women drivers means a significant opportunity for ladies to want the flexibility and income that driving with an e-hailing platform offers.
“Women feel more comfortable being driven by another woman, and the more women drivers there are on the platform, the better the experience that women passengers will have, as they won’t have to wait as long for their driver of choice,” she explains.
Angelina Nkabinde enjoys the flexibility that driving with Bolt Women only offers, noting that she drives during the day on weekends to supplement her income from working as a credit controller. “Driving with Bolt Women Only also empowers me to choose where I earn money – I can decline trips in areas that I don’t think are safe, for example,” she says.
With Women Only services available through Bolt in South Africa’s larger cities, there are so many opportunities for women who have a professional driver’s permit to take advantage of that most basic of economic principles: meet demand with supply, and you’re sure to enjoy success!