One of the world’s great statesmen was born 207 years ago. Known from a young age as Honest Abe owing to his firm belief in truth and honesty, Abraham Lincoln played a leading role in freeing millions of slaves in the United States of America.

207 years later, a mobile app called Honest Abe has been developed by two South African African entrepreneurs who saw the need for millions of South Africans to be freed economically.

The app has been through an extensive Beta-phase of trials and tests over the past six months and is now ready for the public and tradespeople to activate online or through their cellphone. is the brainchild of Derick Bolton and James Mittan, both of whom have extensive experience in the trade services industry.

“My partner and I work in the building services industry and we have seen how a lot of smaller tradesmen struggle to find regular work. This isn’t because the work isn’t out there for them, it’s because homeowners in particular are wary of inviting strangers into their homes to quote on jobs and to do the work,” says Mittan.

Honest Abe operates on a push-pull basis. Tradespeople list their businesses and their services on the app, while members of the public post jobs that they would like quoted on for their home, business, school or club. Every job listed is then emailed to tradesmen who work in the relevant vicinity for them to submit their quotes for each job.

Honest Abe has created an informal tendering process that ensures that homeowners receive numerous quotes quickly and with minimal effort.

What really sets Honest Abe apart from standard directories and online resources, is that the tradesmen are rated on their completed work. This feature rewards tradespeople for delivering reliable, quality service, in so doing helping homeowners to steer clear of fly-by-night operators. Honest Abe’s quality control of the tradespeople listed on the platform gives homeowners a sense of confidence that the person they are inviting into their home can produce work of the required standard and that they are trustworthy.

“This issue of trust is crucial because tradespeople rely on homeowners for their bread and butter, and homeowners need tradespeople to help them build and fix their homes. When this trust is strong it creates an economy in which tradesmen are able to grow their businesses and to employ staff and apprentices. When homeowners have the confidence to use tradesmen more frequently it helps to create an industry which also offers other young people a chance to work in trades, earn a living and build a career,” says Bolton.

Honest Abe allows homeowners to list their jobs on the platform for free. Registered tradesmen working in the area get a notification and have an opportunity to submit their quote for the work.

“The benefit of using professional help is that you can rely on a better end result for your build, renovation or DIY project. You’re also saving yourself the hassle of potentially learning how to do a new task and you don’t have the worry hanging over your head of having to pay more money for someone to fix up your mess,” adds Mittan.

Homeowners are encouraged to list any jobs they need done on the platform. Tradesmen not already listed on Honest Abe can register to be on the database at no cost. The platform is open to any tradesperson, from the owner of a large business that works in the trade and services industry, through to individual painters, plumbers, electricians or any other trade professional.

Honest Abe can also be utilised by homeowners, businesses, organisation, clubs and municipalities, as well as other builders and trade professionals.

Visit Honest Abe at the Cape Construction Trade Expo on the 11 – 12 August 2016 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre as they will be showcasing the latest technologies for the building industry.

Honest Abe is available through Google Play and Apple’s App Store.