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Marissa Sandler

CITY: SYDNEY

Business: Careseekers

What? A digital platform connecting families and individuals with care and support workers. We promote choice and control over care and work opportunities for care and support workers. Our focus is disability and aged care at home and in the community.

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How did the idea for your business first come about?

Personal and professional experiences – our family supported our grandparents to age at home by connecting them to wonderful care workers. We saw technology as a way to make these connections on scale. Working as a lawyer for people with disabilities, I saw the role for a platform that gave people with disabilities choice over their supports. 

When did you have a ‘f*ck-it moment’ and decide you were going to go all-in and start your business?

My sister and co-founder jumped first - she is less risk adverse! I tried to do both for the first year (working as a lawyer and on Careseekers) however I think if you really want to do something well you can’t do it as a side hustle. The moment I jumped was when I realised that we really could make Careseekers work if we just gave it 100%.

What were some major challenges you had when starting your business? And how did you overcome them?

The Careseekers platform required upfront financial investment so our major challenge was getting money to start the business. We had never run a business before so we needed to find investors who believed in us, our vision and our ability to pull it off!We did an accelerator program which was critical to opening the door to investment for us. 

What has been your biggest “pinch me” moment?

I know this is corny, but everyday when I walk into our office and see the incredible, passionate team we have built, hard at work helping people connect to care and support workers through a product my sister and I have created I pinch myself! 

Starting a business can be gruelling - what keeps you motivated, and keeps you going?

Knowing the difference our platform makes in people's lives. The connections made through our platform mean that people with disabilities and elderly people are living with control over their care and support, getting out and about and doing the things that are meaningful and often essential in their daily lives. These connections also create work opportunities for care and support workers. It’s a pretty great feeling knowing that these things are happening because of a product we have created and put out there in the world!

How do you create a work-life balance?

With great difficulty! Our business is still in its early stages so I'm not sure there is much room for work-life balance just yet, but I look forward to the day. I have young daughters (5 and 8 years old) so I leave the office by 5pm each day to have few hours with my girls before jumping back online at about 8.30pm. I also exercise every morning before work.  It makes me feel calm and focused for the day.

Website:
www.careseekers.com.au

Facebook:
Careseekers

Twitter:
Careseekers_Aus

Instagram:
Careseekers_Aus

LinkedIn:
Marissa Sandler