Dean Furman

Chief Executive, Better Wage

Dean Furman is an actuary by profession, but definitely far from what one would call a typical number cruncher. Fin-tech innovation is where his passion lies, something he learnt after his studies while working at Discovery and later, Alexander Forbes.

“Alexander Forbes is an organisation with such a big heart — they really have their customer’s interests at heart,” says Furman. The renowned financial institution backed Furman (as well as his friend, colleague and now co-founder Rudie Sheperd) by giving him a blank paper to disrupt the status quo, and create a hub for innovation.

“We were intent that the first solution had to help people make more money — this is how was born and I’m very proud of what we have achieved in such a short time … I enjoy doing anything that improve the lives of others.”

Furman says that time spent developing solutions like BetterWage have been his real education. And in a nutshell, it offers a solution that will help others, especially those in need of extra income.

“We have a  very unique country and this means there is opportunity to create unique solutions that wouldn’t fly abroad,” adds Furman. “Anyone developing a start-up outside of the major hubs like Silicon Valley, New York or Tel Aviv are at a disadvantage, purely because of the inability to connect with the right people. As the saying goes, it is not what you know but who you know.”

Furman is inspired by his father, someone who taught him what it means to be your own boss.

“I don’t draw too much inspiration from the world’s most famous entrepreneurs. I feel that unless you know someone personally you cannot use that individual as a role model. Once you know someone, you learn whether their successes stemmed from a positive or a negative place. If you want to know whether a man is truly a legend speak to their family, don’t read their autobiography or the press.

“We need to ensure that all South Africans are fighting for the same goal of making our country a beautiful, safe place to live in with opportunities for all it’s people,” says Furman. “I want to create more and more solutions to help others live better, happier lives. I hope to do this by growing BetterWage.” — Tiana Cline

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