Alex Lemille is the founder of Wizeimpact, a company that leverages business-as-a-powerful-tool to improve people’s livelihood, and regenerate the environment.
Here is Alex’s interview.
1. Why did you decide to start your business?
I felt like required changes within business were not going fast enough for me. I wanted to accelerate the pace towards more respectful business approaches of the environment & the society. I felt like there was so much to be done in that space while the corporate & public world was undermining its potential or using it as a Press Release/Marketing exercise.
2. What impact has running a business had on you and the community in which you operate?
On me personally, long hours of work and multi-tasking. Since you do not have to report to anyone you gain freedom of doing and deciding on where you want to focus your company’s attention on. You also have the freedom of speech which I enjoy a lot.
3. Would you say that your business is a success?
Maybe, but not from a financial point of view as it is still in its early days!! It is a success in the sense that Wizeimpact has introduced two concepts which are as of today not widely available in South Africa: the first one is about measuring corporate impact to understand its total return on investment, not only the financial return but also social & environmental returns which aims at taking better decisions. The second one is about innovative business models within a new economic framework where no or less waste is created. This is called Circular Economy and we have our first training happening in Pretoria next month.
4. What do you think are the top 5 most important qualities every entrepreneur should have?
Being able to take the right decisions at the right time, a good understanding of the market in which the business operates, knowing how to be financially sustainable, knowing how to develop a good network of contacts on which to rely on, and lastly believing deeply in what you do as a lot of people will distract you from your objectives.
5. Who is your role model?
6. Do you think it is important for entrepreneurs to have a mentor?
Oh yes, mandatory. I would need one too! You don’t have all the top skills in each area of business and you are often head down in your daily tasks. A mentor would take the time to look at where you are heading to from an external point of view. This is critical.
7. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
Do not hesitate to start your business today. South Africa needs more entrepreneurs. The country needs businesses for a purpose. Do not start a business for the sake of making money. Start a business to change the society and the environment around you. If you want to improve something start today!