Dean – BetterWage

Who are you in 3 words?
Nice Jewish Dad.

Dean, BetterWage is your baby let’s talk about the thinking behind the idea?
Well, my co-founder Rudie Shepherd and I come from a financial services background. Financial service companies rightfully encourage people to save for retirement and other future events and to protect themselves by buying appropriate insurance products. But, there was always one massive problem – most people do not have enough disposable income to buy these solutions. They are lucky if they have enough to meet their basic needs. It’s heartbreaking to hear stories of families who are struggling because they don’t have enough money for their basic needs. We never want money or the lack thereof to get in the way of people living truly happy lives. We want people to have the money needed to achieve their life’s ambitions and this is why we created BetterWage.com.

BetterWage.com has a huge directory of hundreds of apps and websites that pay for various tasks and a cool tool called The WageFinder that will help you find the most appropriate ones for you based on what you have to offer.

 Do you find South African’s are moving towards a more freelance lifestyle or that we are taking on extra work alongside the 9-5 to make ends meet?
Both, to be honest. The younger generations seem to be gravitating more towards freelancing lifestyle and this, in fact, is a global phenomenon. Millenials, in particular, crave the independence that comes with not working a traditional 9 to 5 job. Amongst, the older generations though, freelancing definitely seems to be a way for people to make ends meet.

But there is a global shift towards freelancing as a full-time occupation. For example, it is predicted that by 2020, 1 in every 2 Americans will be doing freelance work. 

What is your personal goal for BetterWage?
I want to help people. This is more important to me than vanity metrics like getting a million sign-ups. I want to make a real difference.

A success story or some feedback from your audience?
The feedback has been fantastic at this early stage. At the moment we have heard some cool stories but it is still early days. I would rather report back on this after 6 months where we have had the time to make a real difference in people’s lives. I think the biggest accomplishment now, is having given people hope. As they have discovered ways to make money that they could never have dreamed of and seen the first income come into their bank accounts, they have had renewed hope.

We have also seen some amazing goals that people are earning towards. For example, one young lady has set out to earn enough to have water taps and pipes installed in her home. She said that she has to walk so far each day to get water. I thought this was incredible. She had access to the internet to log onto BetterWage but she did not have immediate access to water.

 Money is a problem for the majority of people on different scales of course, what made you want to help give people a chance to change their circumstances?
The direct and indirect benefits of not having enough money can be quite tragic. I am not interested in helping people earn enough to buy a new Ferrari (although BetterWage can help people get there too). I am more interested in helping parents for example, who are willing to do everything they can to provide for their children.

 Family to you is like….
The best and most important thing in the world. My family is amazing and I wouldn’t be anything or anywhere if it wasn’t for them. 

Dean in 5 years is….

BetterWage in 5 years is….
Celebrating having helped thousands, if not millions of people have transformed the way they earn money.


3 thoughts

  1. Dean hi, since the majority of Africans who truly need and would benefit from Betterwage are either uneducated or unconnected through lack of technological access and lack of affording the basic tools to effectively participate and benefit from Betterwage, how do you propose to bridge that gap? For example: I worked for less than a minimum wage in a nearby Factory for Registration with UKZN. Then I dropped out of Varsity through lack of Financial Aid, even while at Varsity tackling a Community and Development Bachelors Degree I struggled with Transport, Food, Clothing, Computer access, Books ect. How do we get Betterwage to help those who truly need it and not those who find it convinient. Townships vs Surbubs, Walking vs Driving, Malnutrition vs Organic, Second-hand clothing vs Name-brands, Candle + Paraffin vs Electrical lifestyle. While using this second-hand Nokia X2, I ask you to start from the bottom up and help those who truly need help to help themselseves. Good-day!

  2. Dean Furman Author

    Hi Njabulo

    Thanks for your comment. I agree with you there is a real need to help those who need it the most. My heart was warmed the other day by a story of a lady who was using BetterWage to make money to install water taps in her home so that she no longer had to walk miles to fetch water.

    With more areas getting free wifi and an increased number of people having access to smartphones, we hope that more and more people will benefit from what we are doing in the future.

    All South Africans should try to help those who need it most and I hope I can provide you with a better answer in the future.

  3. Sandy Author

    @NjabuloSidaki Please see below link where your comment has been featured.

    Please mail sandy@humansofsa.co.za to share your story.

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