ListMinut is an internet platform that allows its 40,000 users to outsource small tasks and jobs to reliable service providers located nearby. In this interview, co-founder Jonathan Schockaert talks about his experience and the challenges he encounters on a daily basis, and gives advice for young entrepreneurs thinking of starting their own businesses.
Name: Jonathan Schockaert
Business name: ListMinut
Year started: 2013
I was born and raised in a family of entrepreneurs. I’ve always wanted to start my own business and to build something that would have a real positive impact on people’s lives. I started really young – taking part in different entrepreneurial initiatives during my teenage years, ended up studying for a Master’s in Entrepreneurship at university and started developing ListMinut for my thesis.
ListMinut is a marketplace where we allow our users to outsource their small tasks (mowing the lawn, assembling IKEA furniture, taking care of the dogs during the holidays…) to reliable individuals in their neighbourhood.
What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
I wanted to become an entrepreneur to be my own boss and choose my schedule. But in reality, I rarely take important decisions alone. What’s more, I wake up much earlier than when I was at university and also return home later. But I truly love what I do. I’m working with awesome people every day, doing something different all the time and having a real impact on the outcome. I learn something new every single day.
Which challenges do you have to overcome on a day-to-day basis?
Being active in the sharing economy implies a lot of legal troubles. A few hours after our first TV broadcast, I received a call from a Belgian institution asking us to shut down the platform. We had to fight really hard for three years, but now a new law has just been passed in Belgium to support the sharing economy. Belgium is one of the pioneers in Europe and we’re proud to be part of it. We’ve also created an association (the Digital Platform Initiative) together with Take Eat Easy, Menu Next Door, Deliveroo, Uber and Flav’r to go further and reduce the barriers to entrepreneurship in Belgium.
What advice would you give to other young people thinking of starting their own businesses?
Stop thinking, start doing. Ideas are worthless. It’s all about execution. This means that you don’t have to be afraid of other people stealing your idea. To avoid building something that nobody wants, you should talk to people. Talk to people about your idea and make use of the feedback to grow.
What would you have done differently if you had the chance?
Nothing. I’m really happy to be where we are. We’ve made a lot of mistakes, but we’ve learned from all of them and that’s what makes us what we are today.
Perhaps a final message you feel should be broadcast, to encourage peers to take the plunge?
Fasten your seatbelts. Entrepreneurship is not a long quiet river. But it’s definitively worth it, so stop hesitating – the time to start your business is now!
To find out more about Listminut, visit www.listminut.be .