Aisha R. Pandor is a South African businesswoman and entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of SweepSouth, an online platform for booking and managing home-cleaning services from your mobile devices or laptops. SweepSouth is the first vendor-based home cleaning service booking platform in Africa.
Early Life and Education
Aisha Pandor was born in 1985 in South Africa to Naledi and Sharif Pandor. Her mother is a politician, academic, educationist and lecturer. She has served as a Member of Parliament for the African National Congress (ANC) since 1994 and currently serves as the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. Her grandfather, Joe Matthews was a popular activist and politician. Aisha Pandor has a PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Cape Town and an Associate in management from the UCT Graduate School of Business. According to her, she spent 10 years studying before venturing into a career.
Aisha Pandor and her husband Alen Ribic founded SweepSouth in 2014. Before this, Aisha Pandor worked as a management consultant, gaining experience in the telecommunications and mining industries. She and her husband (who was a software engineer) worked at Accenture for 2 years before quitting. They sold their house and car and moved in with her parents, where they started working to start a business together. According to Pandor, their first business idea was called ShiftSouth, a market place for tourist activities. However, the potential market for tourist activities was significantly small and the idea did not resonate with Pandor.
When the couple began experiencing difficulty in getting someone to care for their young daughter, the idea of SweepSouth was formed. The couple realized that with technology, they could bridge the gap between domestic workers and clients and SweepSouth was created. SweepSouth now has a database of 150,000 people who are mainly women and so far, over 15,000 jobs have been created by the application. The domestic workers registered on the app include cleaners, child-care providers and gardeners. The cleaners who are registered on the app are called SweepStars; they have flexible working hours and are paid rates that are significantly higher than the minimum wage in South Africa.
Aisha Pandor is married to Alen Ribic, a software engineer and entrepreneur. She is a working mother of three young children. When it comes to work-life balance, she sites Oprah, Meghan Markle, Melinda Gates and Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa as role models.
Awards and Recognition
Aisha Pandor was the first UCT student to graduate on the same day with qualifications from two different faculties. Between 2011 and 2012, she received a South African Women in Science Award for her research and was named as one of the Mail and Guardian newspaper’s 22 Young South Africans. In March 2020, she won the Forbes Woman Africa Technology and Innovation Award. Her app, SweepSouth, won the SIMODISA Start-up South Africa pitching prize and later became the first South African start-up to be accepted into the prestigious 500 Start-ups accelerator in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley.