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Humility and grit - Lessons from entrepreneur who bought first business for R1

17 February 2021 8:41 PM

Tech entrepreneur Kirsty Bisset started her business journey as a result of a challenge on The Money Show in 2012.

At the end of 2012, Bruce Whitfield issued a unique challenge on The Money Show.

He asked four regular contributors (including small business guru Pavlo Phitidis) and a listener, to start a business with a mere R1,000 start-up capital.

They were also challenged to turn a profit within just six weeks, all of which would go to The Starfish Foundation.

Phitidis called in business graduate Kirsty Bisset and together they launched a social media business called Stir.

Within two days they'd roped in seven clients, Bisset writes on her web page.

Six weeks later, after having raised more than R50,000, the business was declared the winner of The R1,000 Challenge.

It was an astonishing evening... Pavlo came in with armed security guards... with cases full of cash. He even brought in one those money counting machines!

Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show host

He also brought with him someone called Kirsty Bisset... She was armed with the princely sum of R1!

Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show host
Image: @KirstyBisset on Twitter

Pavlo and I worked our butts off for six weeks! We developed a kind of social media agency using both of our skills - Pavlo's being his network and ability to systematize and my skills with marketing at the time...

Kirsty Bisset, Founder CEO - Stir

That's effectively how Stir was born, when I bought the business off him for R1.

Kirsty Bisset, Founder CEO - Stir

Bisset relates how the partnership grew out of her very first post-university job at Phitidis' Aurik Business Accelerator, where she started working in 2011.

Some of the brands they started with in 2012 for the R1,000 Challenge are still with _Stir _today.

The tech entrepreneur says she's upfront about the highs and lows of business because she believes that entrepreneurship has been glamourised too much.

I want entrepreneurs to know that, because I don't want entrepreneurs to fail!

Kirsty Bisset, Founder CEO - Stir

I think 90% of businesses fail in the first year and I think that's due to a lack of realisation of what entrepreneurship actually involves.

Kirsty Bisset, Founder CEO - Stir

Bisset recently sold Stir - the business has merged with an agency called HaveYouHeard.

They are a world-class agency with offices in Joburg, Cape Town an London... I didn't just want to sell and run, so our agreement is that I'm staying on as the managing director of _HaveYouHeard _Durban.

Kirsty Bisset, Founder CEO - Stir

Listen to Bisset discuss her successes and also a significant failure below:

17 February 2021 8:41 PM

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