Founder Spotlight: Calvin Mabi

Published in
8 min readOct 3, 2023


Calvin Mabi is a seasoned digital marketer and the Founder of Home Munch. Calvin’s entrepreneurial journey began with his venture in connecting influencers with brands, demonstrating his knack for forging valuable connections. His latest brainchild, Home Munch, showcases his passion for homemade cuisine and his mission to bring it closer to food enthusiasts. Calvin’s latest endeavour, Home Munch, serves as an online platform that brings together individuals seeking unique homemade meals, meticulously prepared by talented local chefs. His vision is to make homemade meals accessible and delightful for all, celebrating the art of homemade food, one delicious bite at a time.

Calvin Mabi, Founder of Home Munch

Calvin, tell us about Home Munch and what motivated you to startup?

Home Munch is all about connecting people who love delicious homemade food with talented local home cooks.

“We wanted to create a platform that celebrates the joy of homemade meals and gives home chefs a chance to shine in their communities.”

As for what motivated me to start Home Munch, well, it’s a mix of things. I was always amazed by the incredible cooks I saw on social media, but it was a bit frustrating that you could only enjoy their food if you stumbled upon them.

“Being from a different culture, I often craved food from my own background, but it was hard to find. I knew there were great home cooks out there, but they often went unnoticed without an online presence.”

So, Home Munch was born out of a passion for homemade food and a desire to connect people with diverse, authentic culinary experiences.

Tell us about your journey on the Lloyds Immerse programme

My journey on the Foundervine Immerse Programme was truly incredible. From the mentors to the classes and the opportunity to connect with inspiring Black entrepreneurs, it was a transformative experience.

The programme provided invaluable mentorship from seasoned professionals who shared their wisdom and insights. Learning from their experiences and gaining guidance on navigating the entrepreneurial landscape was immensely beneficial. Their support and mentorship were instrumental in shaping the direction of my startup, Home Munch.

The classes offered as part of the programme were not only informative but also tailored to the specific needs of early-stage entrepreneurs. They covered a wide range of topics, from business strategy and financial planning to marketing and growth strategies. Each class provided actionable takeaways that I could immediately apply to my startup.

One of the most inspiring aspects of the programme was the opportunity to connect with other Black entrepreneurs. Meeting like-minded individuals who were passionate about their ventures and eager to make a difference was truly motivational. The camaraderie and shared experiences fostered a sense of community and support that extended beyond the programme itself.

Overall, my time on the Immerse Programme was a journey of growth, learning, and inspiration. It equipped me with the knowledge, networks, and confidence to take Home Munch to the next level. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a dynamic and supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem.

What’ve been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your entrepreneurial journey?

The entrepreneurial journey is a wild ride, and it comes with its fair share of challenges. Two of the biggest hurdles for me were building the right team and navigating the tech world as a non-tech founder.

1. Building the Right Team

Finding the right team members can be quite the puzzle. It’s not just about having skilled individuals; it’s about having a cohesive team that shares your vision.

Talking to Izzy, the founder of Foundervine, was a real eye-opener. She emphasised just how critical it is to find the right people to join you on this crazy journey.

“It’s not just about skills; it’s about passion, commitment, and a shared sense of purpose. Building the right team is like putting together a puzzle, and when you get it right, it’s magical.”

2. Tech challenges as a non-tech founder

Being a non-tech founder in a tech-driven world, that was a challenge. But here’s the twist — we managed to build our platform ourselves, even without deep technical knowledge.

We leveraged AI and no-code tools, and it was like having superpowers. These tools democratised technology for us. It just goes to show that with determination and a willingness to learn, you can overcome even the most tech-related challenges in the startup world.

So, in this crazy entrepreneurial journey, building the right team and tackling tech challenges head-on have been some of the most significant obstacles. But they’ve also been incredible learning experiences that are shaping our path on our journey.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting up?

You know, looking back on my entrepreneurial journey, there are some things that, well, I’ve come to realise are incredibly important.

1.One of those things is resilience. I mean, the ups and downs in entrepreneurship can be really tough, and being mentally prepared for that is key.

2. Networking is also significant. It’s not solely about your expertise but also your connections. Establishing strong professional relationships is immensely valuable in this world.

3. The third lesson is the need to validate your ideas in the market. I wish I’d understood that earlier, you know, testing the waters and getting feedback. That’s critical.

4. Continuous learning is another lesson. The business landscape keeps changing, so staying up-to-date is a must.

5. Another crucial factor is mentorship, mentorship is a game-changer. Having someone experienced to guide you is invaluable.

6. Make sure you don’t forget about the legal and financial aspects. It’s important to understand these from the start to avoid any problems later on. Also, keep in mind that entrepreneurship often takes more time than you might expect, so being adaptable is crucial.

7. Delegation is a skill worth mastering, you can’t do it all alone.

“Failure is part of the game; it’s not something to fear but to learn from”.

8. Lastly, balancing work and life is crucial for the long haul. So, these are the things I’ve learned, and they’ve made me a better entrepreneur.

What are some of the important milestones and recognitions in your journey so far?

Meeting Amanda Mashapa, my co-founder, was undoubtedly a game-changer. Her expertise and insights have been instrumental in diversifying our offerings and expanding Home Munch into South Africa. South Africa has a rich culinary culture, with home cooks and chefs playing a vital role. Amanda’s involvement has allowed us to tap into this vibrant food scene and connect with local culinary talents.

Another noteworthy recognition was being chosen to participate in various startup programmes, including the Immerse Programme. These opportunities have provided us with invaluable mentorship, resources, and exposure. They’ve helped us refine our business model, connect with industry experts, and fine-tune our strategy for growth. Being selected for such programmes has been a testament to the potential and uniqueness of Home Munch in the startup landscape.

Currently, we’re in the development phase of our app, and I’m thrilled to announce that we’ll be launching it soon. This app represents a significant step forward for Home Munch and our mission to connect hungry individuals with talented home cooks.

With the app, we’re aiming to enhance the overall user experience, making it even more convenient and seamless for our customers to discover and order delicious homemade meals. It’ll provide an intuitive platform for home cooks to showcase their culinary talents and for users to explore a diverse range of authentic, homemade dishes.

The development of this app has been a labour of love, and we can’t wait to share it with our community. It’s a testament to our commitment to providing a top-notch platform for homemade food enthusiasts and culinary talents alike.

“Stay tuned for the official launch — it’s just around the corner!”

Any top tips for entrepreneurs struggling with structure?

Absolutely, maintaining structure as an entrepreneur can be a real challenge. Here are some top tips to help:

Set Clear Goals: Begin by setting clear, achievable goals for your business. These could be daily, weekly, or monthly objectives. Having specific targets helps provide a sense of direction and purpose.

Prioritise Tasks: Not all tasks are created equal. Use tools like the Eisenhower Matrix (urgent-important matrix) to prioritise tasks based on their importance and urgency. Focus on high-priority tasks first.

Time Blocking: Allocate specific blocks of time for different types of work. For instance, designate certain hours for creative tasks, others for meetings, and some for admin work. Stick to these time blocks as closely as possible.

Create a Routine: Having a daily routine can provide structure. Start your day at the same time, allocate specific times for breaks, and establish a consistent bedtime. Routines help create habits.

Use Productivity Tools: Utilise productivity tools and apps to help you stay organised. Project management software, task lists, and calendar apps can be incredibly helpful.

Delegate Where Possible: As your business grows, delegate tasks that can be handled by others. Trying to do everything yourself can lead to burnout and a lack of structure.

Batch Similar Tasks: Group similar tasks together and tackle them in one go. For example, answer all your emails at designated times rather than constantly checking your inbox throughout the day.

Regularly Review and Adjust: Periodically review your structure and productivity. What’s working? What isn’t? Be willing to adjust your approach based on your findings.

Stay Accountable: Share your goals and progress with someone who can hold you accountable. This could be a mentor, a business partner, or a colleague.

Take Breaks: Don’t forget to take short breaks during your workday. Stepping away from your tasks for a few minutes can actually boost productivity and creativity.

Entrepreneurial communities can be such powerful support networks — do you have any asks or gives to the foundervine community?

What I’ve learned is that in this entrepreneurial journey, learning never stops. Soak up knowledge like a sponge because what you know is your power.

Don’t shy away from feedback, it’s how we grow and refine our ideas. Stay tough, the road can be bumpy, but your resilience will see you through. Build relationships within this community; collaboration often leads to incredible things. The impact you make can be just as important as the profits you earn.

On the flip side, if you’ve been around the block a few times, consider mentoring someone who’s just starting out. Collaboration is a two-way street, so be open to exciting partnerships. When someone seeks feedback, share your insights — they’ll appreciate it. If you’ve got a wide network, help others connect with valuable contacts. And if you’re an expert in something, share your wisdom with workshops or webinars. We’re all in this together, and together, we can achieve amazing things.




Helping tomorrow’s founders shape the future. #Acceleration #Networking. #Community. Got an idea? We're here to support.