Our first YBG this year is 25yrs Lucky Kgwadi, from Kgabalatsane, in the North West just outside Pretoria and the founder of E-Kasi Bucks. For those who don’t know what E-Kasi is, E-Kasi is a blockchain-based Crypto Currency which has been built on an Ethereum Blockchain to minimise the use of cash in the township. In short is, E-kasi is digital currency used by township businesses.
The valuable story behind the township currency:
Lucky Kgwadi and his partner, Edgar Lebelo wanted to start a township bank and issue complementary currency that will only be used in townships. The aim was to assist in growing the township economy by encouraging the circulation of money in the community.
“But that was probably going to take another 10 years or more for us to achieve this,” says Kgwadi.
Kgwadi and his partner spent months studying Crypto Currencies, the Blockchain after discovering the technology behind Bitcoin. After discovering and experiencing the power of the technology, he says they knew that township Crypto currency was the way to go.
Challenges faced by Kgwadi & Lebelo
As young black entrepreneurs from the township, Kgwadi says they have to constantly to prove themselves everywhere they go.
“But I got used to it, so it does not bother me anymore,” says Kgwadi.
However, Kgwadi identifies the biggest challenge for their business and a young entrepreneur as lack of funding, which eventually leads to most brilliant ideas or concepts to fail.
“starting out a business is difficult especially without any source of financial backup, you have to look presentable all the time, you bear a lot expenses from your own pocket, transport, telephone, internet, networking sessions and others” he says.
Kgwadi & Lebelo were fortunate enough to met Mr. Ernest Klokow, who owns Forex Academy in 2013. They had pitched the idea and he was their first investor. Helping them to fund their dream and to get the business off the ground.
Q & A: I asked Kgwadi to give us some views on the politics of Growth in the Entrepreneurial Space, especially in the township space
- How huge is the Market for Digital Currency in Township?
The market is huge; our target market is the youth and the working class, although it will take some time as we spend a lot time educating the community about the importance of spending local.
2. What do you think is the role of Government & Local communities in growing small businesses?
Well I believe all parties have a role to play, in this regard we have been well accepted by the Government and the community, and we will be launching a Crypto Currency named after a Metro City supported by the municipality.
3. What are your future growth plans for E-Kasi?
In 4 years time we will have our own E-Kasi Bucks ATMs, E-Kasi Bucks Mall which will be 100% cashless, and taking the project into other African Countries.