Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and jump and hope you land on something soft.

A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION: Nature and how she always keeps going, and overcomes whatever stands in her way to grow. TWO TRUTHS ABOUT ME AND A LIE: When I was a kid I had a cow named Maggie and a donkey named Donkey; I have visited all 7 continents; I have broken 13 bones in my body.

Zulé Vuuren

Bringing a sense of security to everyone in healthcare

FREELANCERS REQUIRE TRUE FREEDOM. Zulé Vuuren founded LocumBase.com to empower locums (i.e. temporary, independent contractors in the medical space) with the online platform and tools necessary to manage their work, but it all started after learning how her own wife was sometimes poorly treated as a locum practitioner. “My wife, Tanya, is an optometrist and had to turn down a locum booking request for the following day due to already being booked. The manager was extremely upset and actually yelled at her. I thought to myself, nobody should treat anyone like this, especially in a professional context. There needs to be a better way to improve these interactions, making managing locums simple,” Zulé explains with a tone that still vividly recalls that very day.

For Zulé, LocumBase was personally driven within her own professional and personal experiences too, “I was a freelancer myself, a professional photographer, and when I rented out my skills and time to others, I learned that’s about more than just self-discipline, you also have to be able to deliver on what you promise, on what you are known for.” These insights, combined with her wife’s experiences, set the stage for creating a platform that was all about freedom and flexibility.

In many ways the idea was simple: give freelance professionals the best business tools possible, allowing them to truly focus on their profession. “We’ve built a tool that works to create a supportive ecosystem, currently focused on the medical professional, so that all parts of the process of securing continuous quality care can be streamlined.”

“I want to create solutions for people to do more of the work they love, not more of the management of their work. The results of this leads to more people having more access to healthcare services by more locums, adding to this framework of fostering individual, family and community security and trust.”

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER. While her company was born out of perspective gained from personal experiences, Zulé doesn’t see her entrepreneurial journey in South Africa as having a direct link or association with the LGBTQ+ community in or out of the country. “In many ways it’s been a non-issue, but I do think people are often intrigued by this insight into who I am. People are curious about what goes against their assumptions of what they think a tech entrepreneur should look or be like” she adds.

Zulé is quick to point out that while parts of South Africa are not always driven by the social segmentation that is often experienced by other LGBTQ individuals in other parts of the world, representation is keenly important to her in her work, as a lesbian, the wife of a medical locum, and as an entrepreneur. “I’ve often felt like I was different, like I didn’t belong, like I was supposed to be somewhere else. There are many reasons for this, and being queer is one. Entrepreneurship is a way for me to build where I belong, and become more who I am because all the puzzle pieces come together.”

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