South Africa

Katlego Sekete: Using innovation and intentionality to make an impact 

South African business owner Katlego Sekete believes that innovation and intentionality drive positive impact. Even the company’s name points to Sekete’s mission with “baadaye” meaning “future” in Swahili. 

From the start in 2020, these values have guided Sekete’s vision to found Baadaye, a boutique digital marketing, media and technology agency that works with forward-thinking brands in Africa and around the world to help them connect honestly with consumers in order to expand their reach and influence. The agency’s services are aimed toward projects and companies that want to make a difference in the world. Sekete and her team work with clients to keep their brands current and top-of-mind by using their creative abilities and expertise. 

“Growing up, I knew I wanted to have my own businesses to make an impact and create employment opportunities for talented youth,” Sekete notes. “However, I had no idea what kind of business I wanted to start or how to get one off the ground.” 

In 2014, she started off with a corporate job after graduating from university, but a couple of years later, Sekete was searching for something more fulfilling and purposeful.  

After job-hopping a few times across listed companies in the banking and information and communications technology sectors, she decided to take a chance in February 2020 to pursue her purpose and aspirations on a full-time basis.  

Sekete merged her marketing and technology experience with her love for innovation and started a digital marketing agency. In the beginning, profits weren’t even covering salaries, but she didn’t give up. She had a bigger end goal in mind, so she invested her personal savings combined with profits from initial contracts to persevere and keep the business afloat.  

Forming a business right before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged Sekete and her team to think outside the box by also investing in and building in-house digital solutions to accommodate evolving business and market needs.  

In a highly competitive industry, Sekete has learned to differentiate her brand and offerings, as well as to be constantly visible to the right people at the right place and time.  

“Digital marketing is ever-evolving. There are consistently new trends and techniques to learn,” she explains. “If we can’t keep up as an agency, then we will be left behind.” 

Baadaye is a one-stop shop for clients, offering a complete and wide range of digital services spanning from website design and social media marketing campaigns to brand activations and video production. Her team tailors its services to an industry, exhibiting an understanding of each client’s particular requirements. 

Sekete has had to overcome age stereotypes when potential clients have been initially hesitant about her youth and the seemingly lack of experience (on paper) of her team. She has also had to deal with being the one woman in charge of a whole team, taking on additional roles as a strategist, customer support specialist and legal counsel, in addition to her job as CEO of Baadaye. 

Sekete expects her solutions to make a big impact on the world and to grow her business into a profitable operation. She wants to grow her team and also provide them with the corporate compensation and benefits they deserve.  

Her certification with WEConnect International at the end of 2020 has already contributed to her goal. Thanks to WEConnect International networking, she has converted three certified WBEs into clients.  

“At the networking events, I took the opportunity to find brands within our focused industries, and then identified weaknesses and opportunities from conducting a quick audit of their online presences,” she shares. “I then presented our findings and used the initial meetings to establish rapport by displaying a thorough awareness of the clients’ missed opportunities to drive a persuasive pitch.” 

Even as a young business, Sekete is confident that more opportunities will come, leading Baadaye to make its mark on the world.