Sheeza Shah is an inspiring woman, successful entrepreneur with a wonderful story to tell. She is currently investing in her venture UpEffect and we had the pleasure to interview her.
UW: What is your name and your background (career wise)?
My name is Sheeza Shah and I’m the Founder and CEO of UpEffect, a crowdfunding and support platform for companies dedicated to improving lives and the planet. My background is in Computer Science, I worked for tech companies and I also volunteered and worked for a number of charities including Save The Children, British Red Cross, Encompass Trust (see Sheeza's website for more).
UW: What motivates you to get up each morning?
Sheeza Shah: to bring impactful ideas to life. Witnessing an idea convert into a successful business and make a real impact in a community is incredibly satisfying.
UW: How did you realise about your calling to work as a social entrepreneur?
Sheeza Shah: although the core of my career has been focused on delivering technology solutions for clients, (my background is in Computer Science), since a young age I’ve maintained a keen interest in amplifying impactful solutions for global issues. So alongside my studies and my full-time job, I always had a side volunteering role, however, after many years of it, I came to learn how inefficient the traditional charity model was.
Time-based aid and relief produced short term results which meant we were masking the problem rather than actively resolving it. Resources were stretched. Funds were drying up. They were dependent by design and impact was often limited.
I realised we were going about it wrong. If we were to tackle today’s greatest problems, it could only be achieved and scaled through sustainable and impact-based business.
After spending many months engaging with social enterprises I realised very few social entrepreneurs working on these solutions had space to successfully bring their ideas to life and those turning to crowdfunding were struggling to achieve success since most platforms had limited curation, support and were mass-market focused.
I maintained the belief that entrepreneurs with the potential to have a profound impact on the world should have the opportunity to turn ideas into real ventures. So, I made it my mission to help and build social enterprises and improve the success rate of new companies creating transformative social and environmental change. In 2016, we launched UpEffect, a crowdfunding and support platform for companies dedicated to improving lives and the planet.
UW: tell us a bit about your venture and why our readers should follow you on your journey?
Sheeza Shah: UpEffect is a crowdfunding and support platform for companies dedicated to improving lives and the planet - the world’s only crowdfunding platform with a 100% success rate. Our company has become the go-to business for entrepreneurs who are driven not by how much money they can make, but how many lives they can impact. Using crowdfunding as our foundation, our team offers entrepreneurs hands-on support to launch their campaigns, ensuring that these social-good companies are primed for success.
UW: What makes you so willing to help others in social impact? What is a social impact for you?
I believe that entrepreneurs with the potential to have a profound impact on the world should have the opportunity to turn ideas into real ventures. The planet’s future may be shaped by these products that may not otherwise be brought to market.
We aim to maximise the chances of success by first vetting the campaigns and thereafter offering incubator-like support. The ultimate aim of the venture is to harness the power of crowdfunding to launch these social-good projects and give individuals around the globe the ability to start a business through access to capital, sales, and customers.
UW: What advice would you give to young people all over the world who are wishing to be change - makers but need just a bit of extra motivation?
Making any kind of change in the world requires time, resilience and persistence. There will be many challenges on the journey but only when you learn to rise from your failures will you be able to appreciate success.