WHO WE ARE
What we do, and why we do it.
Fix Forward, (formerly Trade-Mark) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to connecting homeowners and businesses wanting to renovate, with hand-picked quality tradesmen. Having seen first-hand how basic marketing resources and a good reference helped a struggling tradesman friend from Diepsloot secure work, Josh Cox established Fix Forward in 2012 to help others achieve similar success.
People wanting to renovate their home or office struggle to find quality, reliable tradesmen. At the same time, many of tradesmen from low-income communities lack the professional networks or access to effective marketing resources, and therefore struggle to secure contracts.
With Fix Forward’s assistance, skilled tradesmen with initiative are able to build successful businesses by connecting with potential customers. By selecting our tradesmen through a strict screening processes and holding them accountable for delivering an exceptional service Fix Forward ensures that our clients get the very best service.
We see a future where tradesmen from low-income communities are recognised for exceptional service by their clients. These individuals will inspire entrepreneurship and improve their quality of life through building thriving businesses that catalyse job creation.
To create a thriving social enterprise that positively influences the world. We aim to do this through challenging mindsets, offering exceptional client value and empowering tradesmen to build flourishing businesses, to improve their quality of life and to inspire others to do the same.
Fix Forward is a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) and a registered Enterprise Development (ED) beneficiary. Read more about our Enterprise Development work.
We offer a holistic 12-month development programme to our tradesmen. The aim of the programme is to empower them with all of the skills and experience necessary to grow into successful, independent entrepreneurs.There are three key components to the programme
We have developed 11 tailored modules of e-learning which are hosted on a platform designed for low-income users with limited data usage. The aim of the e-learning is to give tradesmen access to highly relevant. industry-specific content that equips them in the various aspects of the business, from marketing and pricing to financial and project management,
Small group workshops create an environment where tradesmen are able to share learnings and experiences related to the themes of the e-learning, This ensures that they are able to integrate their learning from the e-learning within their specific context and stage of business development.
Our team provides ongoing one-on-mentoring that provides the tradesmen with tailored support to address the many challenges they face in growing their business, from effective quoting to conflict management.
Josh’s inspiration for the work he does comes from people who work tirelessly to overcome enormous challenges to improve their lives and those of people around them.
Born in England and growing up in South Africa, Josh’s entrepreneurial spirit took hold after graduating from the University of Stellenbosch in 2004. However, having a large student loan and no network gave him first-hand experience of the challenges facing South African small business owners. This experience led him on a path of community development work. It was through his determination to create change that Fix Forward was born. Josh was recognised for his efforts with a Life-Co-UnLtd South Africa award for social entrepreneurship.
Patmanathan (Pat) Pillai is a teacher, businessman and impact entrepreneur. He has previously held executive directorships in the media industry, as well as a news anchor, having broadcast for 22 years in various roles, more recently, E-TV News. Pat has now dedicated the rest of his life to grow and serve LifeCo UnLtd and its mission.
Lizo has a firm belief in the work being done by Fix Forward to empower those who are often invisible in society, giving them an opportunity to succeed.
Lizo, a full-time pastor and community developer, is originally from the Eastern Cape and moved to Cape Town in 1996. Through his work, Lizo regularly comes into contact with poverty and unemployment, inspiring him to get involved with Fix Forward as a means to help the community.
Lizo’s well established and trusted relationships with community members as well as his many years of experience in upliftment projects make him a key member of the Fix Forward team.
Richard believes that we have a responsibility to help build our communities. We each have means to uplift and improve our environment; it begins with our attitude and a simple decision to do something, regardless of how big or small.
Richard, a chartered accountant and management consultant, returned from the UK and saw the social issues in South Africa with fresh eyes. This inspired him get involved with Fix Forward, offering his skills to help uplift others. Initially offering advice on financial models, Richard’s belief in the Fix Forward mission soon drove him to join the team as a trustee.
Marli believes in the possibility of replicating the Fix Forward success to create a socially innovative South Africa.
Marli was born in Vredendal and moved to Cape Town where she has spent her professional career working in media and communications within the NGO sector. Marli met Josh in 2008 through her work as a specialist in corporate relations for WWF South Africa where she managed relationships with key partners such as Pick ‘n Pay, Woolworths, Sanlam and Honda. During Fix Forward’s initial stages, Marli was a sounding board for ideas and soon became a critical member of the team.