[Interview] Kathryn Main, CEO, Money Savvy Kids, South Africa
Kathryn Main is an advocate of financial literacy and believes it is a cornerstone of prosperity and security for any community. The author of 'Raising Money Savvy Kids', she runs her company in Johannesburg, South Africa, delivering financial education in a number of ways.
Would you introduce your company?
Born out of the need to teach our kids that money is something to be understood and respected, Money Savvy Kids (MSK) is the beginning of the end of financial mismanagement and misunderstanding. Where Money Savvy Kids and teens caters primarily to the youth market as a means to address the glaring lack of financial knowledge in our education systems, The Money Savvy Generation (MSG) seeks to broaden its spectrum and spread its net it includes a wider target audience.
While Money Savvy Kids will put an end to financial illiteracy cycle, starting with our kids, The Money Savvy Generation will help those in our generation. We’re talking about those who are in dire need of financial guidance and education to stop making the wrong decisions and start making their way to financial freedom, as well as those who know what needs to be done, but would like to further develop their financial literacy. Remember, we don’t promise to make you rich, but we’ll help keep you rich.
Where does MSK operate, and since when?
I founded the company in 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
How is the company funded?
I boot strapped from day one. I sell content and workshops to keep building the business. I have walked away from inverstor and partnership opportunities as they were not the right fit for the business and brand that I am trying to build. A good PR and marketing strategy helps to keep the business coming in.
Who are your clients?
We have lots of clients in each of our target markets. Our corporate clients include Banks, micro lenders, insurance companies, Mines, Schools, NGO’s. We also sell license agreements to small businesses so they can utelize our business models and tap into our partner networks and content for a wider reach.
What are the best selling points of your model?
We cater for all market segments and our content is completely customisable. We have been doing this for many years and have the experience in African markets. We deliver end-to-end solutions as I also run an advertising agency, so we can handle content on any media platform.
We’ve taken a lot of learnings from the success of Money Savvy Kids and are carrying those across our business model. Our content aims to engage our audience in a manner that is relevant and understandable. Students of all ages now have the opportunity to engage with the latest in financial and teaching through multiple channels like workshops, in school training and teacher training. MSG also creates custom financial literacy products for Corporates on the African continent.
How has the market responded to your services?
Incredibly well. The market has received all my products well. We make a big impact in peoples lives and thats what matters most to us.
What are the ambitions of MSK as a company?
To grow into all African countries and change the cycle of poverty on the continent. To build an online platform for easy access to anyone. To eventually sell this brand and retire.
What does the company need to further thrive?
Like any business we need access to markets and clients. Funding is important but rather than selling or giving away equity, I would prefer clients on the African continent.
In what direction are you taking MSK this year?
We launched our new teen brand in Jan 2019. We have two sponsors and will be doing a national road show in SA as well as penetrating the market in Namibia, Lesetho, Mozambique and Botswana. We are in the process of selling license agreements for a wider reach in SA and neighbouring countries. There are two book launches coming up in 2019 - Raising Money Savvy Teens which will come out in March/April and Becoming a Money Savvy Adult due for release in September/October 2019.
What is the latest news from the company?
I am talking at a number of events over the next few months. Global Teen Summit in Johannesburg on 16 March. Seamless Africa on 12/13 March in Cape Town and the Global Teen Summit in Lagos in 2019. Look out for my articles/profiles in Essentials magazine in March 2019 and the 3-page spread in Female Entrepreneur in March 2019. Raising Money Savvy Teens will be published in Q1 and we kick off with our teen workshop roadshow in April 2019.
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