5 Minutes with Haidar Al-Fallouji - Founder/CEO of charityBay.
Get to know the person who came up with the idea of charityBay, and learn about his journey through the process of a startup venture. In this blog, we ask Founder/CEO Haidar Al-Fallouji a series of questions on how he started charityBay, its vision and mission, and the future of charityBay.
What is charityBay in your own words?
charityBay is an opportunity for all of us to give back to the community and the environment without having to make any form of compromise. By donating an item that is no longer being used, you allow someone else to benefit from that item and directly helping a charity that you get to choose.
There is no doubt that we need to change key behavioural attributes such as impulse buying & shopping that are unsustainable for the environment. That being said, until we as a society begin to do so, we can at least repurpose the leftover items and give them a second or even third life.
What inspired you to build your startup?
The inspiration was initially derived from the frustration of seeing an issue that no one wanted to address. For some reason, everyone seems happy with seeing good valuable items being discarded in an unethical way on the nature strips while there are people out there buying the same item brand new from a shop. To me, this translated to a simple equation, on one side, much-needed resources are taken from the earth to create the brand new item. In contrast, a functional item is sent to landfill, causing exponential damage that is entirely unnecessary and avoidable. To add to this dilemma, charities all across Australia are tirelessly going from one grant application to another to stay afloat. This clearly affects their ability to give back to the community and environment, let alone begin to address the issues that most choose to ignore.
This all got me thinking, what if there was a way to repurpose these items from households that no longer wanted them to those that needed them, and in the process, have the majority of any money that is generated go to charity. From this, charityBay was born.
Where do you see charityBay 5 years from now?
A sustainable household name that people recognise to be the bridge between them and charities, a one-stop-shop where you can go to learn and discover about all Australian charities and the beautiful work they do while helping the environment and protecting our planet.
What is the most important first step for a startup or a new business?
In my opinion, I believe there is absolutely nothing more important than VALIDATION.
Once you have identified a problem and have found a suitable solution that addresses it, it is integral to go out and validate that:
- One, the problem you have identified is a real problem for many people and not just yourself.
- Two, the solution you have found is one that people would use and, of course, be willing to pay money for it.
Only with validation will you truly know whether or not your startup or new business has the potential of becoming a sustainable company.
What are some things that did not work that you learned from?
Months worth of work to prepare and build a particular feature that didn’t ultimately get utilised taught us that a good idea is not necessarily one that we deem as being good, but rather one that our community thinks is good.
What is the proudest moment in your business – biggest success?
My proudest moment at charityBay would have to be the first-ever cheque that we sent to charity. It was a heartwarming moment to know that we genuinely prevented an item from reaching landfill and, in the process, generated funds that ended up going to a beautiful cause that helped to change someone's life.
A fun fact about yourself?
I love many things in life and ALWAYS try to find light in the darkness. However, a fun fact is that I am a huge fan of music, especially Latin music and, to be more precise, Salsa.
I spend countless hours every day listening to salsa, and I don’t think I can get enough. From the shower to the gym, to the car, to work... absolutely any occasion, and you may find me listening to some salsa. It is pure bliss :)
We hope you enjoyed this segment where we introduce the people behind charityBay. Stay tuned for our next star!
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