Overploy - Empowering Employees and the Future of Work
Welcome to our Founder Spotlight series, where we showcase the brilliant minds behind the startups in the Black Valley accelerator programme.
In this blog, find out about Bev Banahene, CEO and Co-Founder of Overploy — an internal talent marketplace for brand-safe, authentic, on-demand employee generated content.
Q: Tell us about yourself and your startup.
Bev: Hi, I’m Bev, the CEO and Co-founder of Overploy. We help retail marketing teams in large organisations save on external agency costs for content creation. How? By tapping into their most valuable asset - their employees. We empower employees to earn extra by doing what they're passionate about — creating content. Essentially, we're the internal 'Upwork' for enterprises, bringing the side hustle in-house.
Q: What led you to where you are today?
Bev: Well, I literally won the award on employee engagement... twice! My journey includes leading communications at General Electric, Sky, and Virgin Media O2, handling £50 million in business. As a serial entrepreneur, I've always been drawn to solving real-world problems.
At Salary Finance, where I led employee communications, I crafted Employee Financial Programmes for top UK retailers like Aldi and JD Sports. It was here that I encountered the pressing issue: stories of staff struggling financially, some even fainting from hunger or missing work because they couldn't afford the commute.
Current Employee Financial Wellbeing Programmes, while well-intentioned, often miss the mark. They offer discounts, early wage access, and loans but overlook the crucial need for income growth strategies.
Q: What has been the biggest highlight of your Founder’s journey so far?
Bev: The real thrill is seeing an idea transform into a tangible solution. Our dedication is bearing fruit. We've forged partnerships with notable brands like Cargiant, Ikea, and Virgin Media O2. Their commitment to Overploy is evident in our regular collaborative sessions. Beyond that, our interactions with hundreds of users, from marketing and HR professionals to tech experts and retail employees, have been enlightening. Discovering that 90% of HR professionals recognise untapped skills in their employees and that 76% believe side hustles could significantly enhance both employee income and business growth has been a revelation.
Q: What lessons have you learned that you would like to pass on?
Bev: Every challenge is an opportunity in disguise. Embrace feedback, both positive and negative, as it's the most valuable resource for growth. And remember, the journey is as important as the destination; cherish every step.
Q: If you could invite anyone to join the Black Valley community, who and why?
Bev: I'd choose Sharmadean Reid. As a black female entrepreneur, she's a beacon of inspiration. Her achievements, from founding WAH Nails to her current venture, Beautystack, exemplify innovation, resilience, and the power of community. Her journey would resonate and inspire many within the Black Valley community.
Q: Final thoughts?
Bev: We have a big vision for Overploy. We aim to revolutionise the future of work holistically. Imagine a future where employees are compensated for all their skills, not just those listed in their job description. Our vision is of an organisation where every employee is more than just their job title. They're a dynamic blend of skills, ready to be tapped into. With Overploy, we're breaking down tasks, accrediting every skill, and, instead of a rigid pay structure, pay is fluid and fair, adjusting to the value of each task. This isn't just about adapting; it's about pioneering a new way forward.
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