Breaking: UAE’s Edfundo Eyes US$1.5m Seed Funding As Early Round Exceeds Expectations

 

 

UAE’s Edfundo Eyes US$1.5m Seed Funding As Early Round Exceeds Expectations

Friends & Family Funding Round Closes At $400k

Educators Rally To Back Smart Money Management App Investment Opportunity

 

Dubai UAE, November 29, 2021: The co-founders of Edfundo, the world’s first teacher-curated smart money management app for tweens & teens which is due for launch in the UAE in the new year, have opened the next US $1.5 million funding round with a target to close it during Q1 2022.

This follows the closing of the initial friends and family funding round at 12.5% over subscribed with the offer raising US $400,000.

Co-founders and former teachers Simon Wing, CEO and Andrew Toward, COO, say the early round has attracted strategic investment from members of the region’s education community who want to back Edfundo’s foundational ethos of promoting financial literacy among the young and enabling them to access the digital economy.

“This is a really strong strategic funding round poised to catapult Edfundo to market. We have brought on board teachers, educators and academic advisors who have not just invested financially but also strategically as they strongly believe in our vision and mission and want to play their part in helping Edfundo through their contacts and networks,” explained Wing.

Aside from ensuring the Edfundo App is cutting edge, the first-round funding means Edfundo can connect swiftly with youngsters and parents and engage the crucial conversations around smart money management. The Edfundo team is already active via sports and in-school events which kicked off at Jebel Ali School’s recent Festive Fayre, according to Toward.

“The next round seed funding will be used to bring on key hires and grow the proposition throughout the UAE and then in other geographies throughout the Middle East and North Africa,” explained Toward.

Testing of the Edfundo app is to take place over the coming month with input from some of the 1,000-wait list user-base who have subscribed for the product via www.edfundo.com. “With the interest that is magnifying we expect this wait list to ramp up in the coming weeks providing a strong go-to-market testing user-base,” explained Wing.

Wing and Toward have developed the Edfundo app to promote financial literacy and enable smart money management among the digitally active children and youth. Fully managed by parents using flexible, built-in controls, the app can be used to motivate tweens and teens to save by earning, adding chores for ‘pocket money’ with simple, yet powerful dashboards that allow parents to track their youngsters’ spending and saving.

“This will be an essential tool for parents who are keen to see their offspring equipped with financial intelligence which will stand them in good stead for the future and see them better prepared to avoid the mental-health pitfalls which can come from poor money management and debt,” said Wing.

“We have to reverse the mistakes of the past and ensure that our youth are able to manage their finances from an early age and in a fashion aligned to the cashless, digital economy era. It is now ever more important with teenagers of 15 and above throughout the UAE now able, under the new juvenile part-time employment law, to take on paid work with the written consent of their guardians.”

With Edfundo, parents can set spending limits and rules, make automatic allowance payments and transfer money in real-time. “Edfundo offers a safe spending solution and budgeting tools to encourage financial literacy,” concluded Toward.

About Us

UAE-based teachers-turned-neobanking entrepreneurs Simon Wing and Andrew Toward invite seed investors as initial funding raises US $400,000 for Edfundo, the world’s first smart money management app for youngsters created by educators.

Edfundo is the world’s first money management app for kids and teens built by teachers and designed to champion a new era of financial literacy, digital inclusion, and mental wellbeing among the 8-18 age group. The smart money app, and its associated pre-paid debit card help ensure youth are stakeholders in the journey towards a responsible, cashless society.

Curated around the principle of ‘doing is learning’ the Edfundo app, which has rigorous parental controls, is highly interactive and fun, with gamification elements and rich and engaging educational content where users can learn good financial habits from budgeting to earning to saving.

In readiness for launch in the UAE in early Q1 2022, the Edfundo wait list is now open to youngsters and parents on www.edfundo.com. The co-founders are also planning further roll outs in 2022, including in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

For Media Information:

Veronique Gregorec

veronique@edfundo.com

For Investor Information:

Susan Furness

susan@edfundo.com

 

 

Most of our knowledge is a delusion. We know far less than we think we do! David Gurteen

 

As individuals, we know far less than we think we do.

Our education system teaches us to accept and memorize so-called facts based on our teachers’ authority. We trust our teachers not to lie to us knowingly.

We are not encouraged to question these facts, or at least not too deeply. It is hardly surprising then that we think we understand things when all we have done is blindly accept and memorize them.

The problem is not people being uneducated.

The problem is that people are educated just enough to believe what they have been taught, and not educated enough to question anything from what they have been taught.

Credit: Richard Feynman

Accepting (knowing) something to be a fact is not the same as understanding it.

Most of us believe the earth circles the sun, contrary to what our senses tell us, but we could not explain how we know that other than we were taught it in school.

This acceptance of facts from a source we trust comes to haunt us in our adult lives when we think we understand things that we don’t.

We accept far too much of what we read in the media, especially social media, without question. We blindly trust the source, particularly if it’s from a member of a tribe to which we belong.

We then get into arguments over issues which we know precious little about – one ignorant person arguing with another.

Some cognitive scientists consider our knowledge to be an illusion, but if we reflect on it for one moment, it is obvious we don’t know.

An illusion is sensing that something exists but misinterpreting it, for instance, a mirage in a desert.

On the other hand, a delusion is a belief that we hold despite contradictory information or evidence, for instance, believing we are immortal.

Most of what we consider to be our personal knowledge is more than an illusion. It is a delusion. Knowledge is communal.

Clo-me Re-positions & Re-brands Interview with Chairman Paul Michael Gledhill

 

Chief Learning Officer Middle East (CLO ME) has been informing regional HR and L&D professionals for over ten years. Tell us why have you decided to reposition Clo-me as MEA HR?

In these changing times, I believe we now have an opportunity to offer enhanced and more intuitive services to our members, our strategic partners and our stakeholders. We are doing this by firstly, rebranding and repositioning Clo-me and secondly by partnering with a successful and innovative UAE based media and events business. We have added considerable value to the regional Human Resources & Learning and Development (HR and L&D) professions, but have been limited to what we can undertake because of the voluntary nature of our initiatives as part of our CSR services for the HR and Learning community.

Do the changes you are making to CLO -ME reflect growing recognition of the importance and stature of HR and L&D professionals to regional business and industry? 

It is fair to say that we, along with the profession, have come of age.
Since the onset of the pandemic we have seen such a dramatic change in learning and HR, where technology has advanced significantly and the new conditions of employment and skills development have pushed HR and L&D higher up the priority scale and into the boardrooms of an increasing number of businesses. So, it is exactly these changes which have prompted us to initiate our metamorphosis in order that we can be a leading voice in the regions’ HR and Learning community.

Why has Clo-ME partnered with  MEA-Finance/business to launch MEA HR ? 

MEA Finance and MEA Business are successful and well-regarded media platforms in the Creative Middle East Media stable. Their talented team are a perfect fit for us to help transition into not only a commercially successful company but also enhance our long-held values and vision of helping HR and Learning professionals by highlighting their growing importance to business in the region and keeping them up to date with the latest trends in our marketplace

How will the business model for MEA HR & Learning change with the rebrand and repositioning? 

From our inception, because of our voluntary approach, we have not had a “commercial” model. However, we will now transition from our volunteer’s website to a commercial enterprise.

We have done an amazing job over the past 10 years, producing great content for our members, keeping them informed of the latest developments, jobs and up-to-date reports and data.

The new company will have a much wider array of offers, including digital and print publishing, providing updated news and opinions, events, and market networking opportunities which will enhance our stakeholder value and give opportunities for our strategic alliance partners to have the ability to expand their services to our members and readership.

How will the delivery of news and information to the market change under the new format? 

We want to reflect the growing prioritization and prestige of the HR and L&D professionals in business in the region, and I believe the whole look and feel will be more contemporary and professional with deeper and richer news and content from a broader variety of contributors, not only from the Middle East but internationally too.

Will MEA HR be developing new ideas for interaction and networking in the regional HR and L&D arenas? 

Absolutely. The options are almost limitless but for right now, I suggest you watch this space for new and exciting initiatives coming in the form of new publishing, events, networking opportunities and lead-generation exercises from this new, bigger and revitalized entity.

 

 

 

December Spotlight: Where are they Now?- John Robins Great Impressions

 

Tell us about you, your experience and time in the Middle East.

I had a fantastic time in the Middle East. The things I loved about it most include the opportunity to meet people from all around the world and learn so much about different cultures. The opportunity to travel extensively both East and West as well as around the region, and the opportunity to watch a relatively under developed part of the world evolve into the exciting, vibrant commercial and tourist center that it is today.

I spent all of my time in the advertising and marketing sector; from the day I arrived in August 1985, until the day I left in March 2018, 33 years! During this time I was involved in the launch of many of the initiatives that make Dubai what it is today as a result of being a supplier to the Executive Office and a number of other big organisations and trading families including the Al Naboodah Group, Al Futtaim, Emirates, Dubai Ports World to name a few. Projects included the launch of Dubai Media City, Dubai Healthcare City, Global Village, The Dubai Shopping Festival and many others. It was a fabulous time.

How would you describe the culture of your business?

Our business is driven by creativity and collaboration. As a result, by nature, the people in our office work well together and deliver great results. We are a small company, six of us in total and there is no particular hierarchy. We are very much driven by the requirements of each project. We each have our skill sets and we apply our skills according to what is required by the project. No one tells anyone else what to do, we all know what to do and get on with it.

What are your biggest challenges in the next 5 years?

As a small company, growth is always the biggest challenge. Taking on just one additional person can have a big impact on your expenses without initially increasing revenue.

What prompted you to write your book ‘Find and Empower the Inner-You’?

Having spent many years reading about theology and philosophy I was able to learn the fundamental techniques and skills needed to live a successful, happy stress-free life. I was unable to find a single book or reference that I could pass on to my children so that they too would be able to acquire the skill and so I decided to write a book for them. During the time writing the book it became apparent that this book could be invaluable to anyone.

Can you share a segment of the book to give people an indication of how it could help them?

Certainly, the excerpt below is just one of the exercises you will find in the book. It comes in Chapter Two and shows you how to become truly self-aware and connect with the inner-self. It is the most important step in being able to live a happy and stress free life. Once you experience this for yourself, the remaining techniques become so much easier to understand and put into context.

Many people find this section of the book quite profound, it really opens their eyes and their mind. Once they carry out this exercise they are keen to read on and to achieve a complete understanding of how it is possible to live a successful, happy and stress-free life. Like all things, it’s easy when you know how!

How to Experience Self-Awareness

For some, experiencing self-awareness and separating the inner-self from their mind for the first time can be achieved quickly with a simple exercise. For others, it can take longer and require several exercises. Some people never manage it. However, be aware that becoming self-aware is essential before moving forward and releasing the power within you.

Exercise 2: Try this simple exercise below now and see if it works for you the first time around. This exercise is designed to lead you from the known to what is unknown to you and help you become aware of the inner-self:

  1. Read the following steps slowly and deliberately.
  2. As you read these words, find and listen to the voice in your mind reading out the words.
  3. Listen to each word as your mind is reading them.
  4. Now ask yourself this question. If your mind is reading out the words, who is it that is listening to them?
  5. The answer is that it is your inner-self. Be conscious of the fact that your MIND is reading the words and that your inner-self is consciously listening to them.
  6. At the same time, as the inner-self is listening to your mind reading these words, become aware of yourself in your surroundings.
  7. Close your eyes for a moment, sense yourself and the environment around you. When you open your eyes again,
  8. Become aware and observe yourself. Sense your presence in the space you are in and remain aware of YOUR mind reading to YOU.
  9. Become conscious of what else is going on around you. Keep listening to yourself reading while you are doing this.
  10. As you carry out this exercise, you become the observer. As the observer, you can sense all of these things, including your voice and yourself in the space around you. You are connecting with the observer, the inner-self. And you are allowing the inner-self to become awake, conscious.
  11. Stop reading for a moment, count to 10 slowly. Listen to the numbers as you count. You are now directly conscious of the fact that you are not the voice in your mind. You are now controlling the voice. The inner-you is now controlling your mind and being self-aware.
  12. Now stop the voice. Make your voice silent. See how long you can keep your voice silent before it spontaneously starts up again. This step shows you how your mind is constantly trying to chatter. But remember, you can stop it for as long as you want. It just takes practice.
  13. Go one step further. If there is someone in the room you can talk to, strike up a conversation. Observe both sides of the conversation, observe what that person is saying, observe what you are thinking and saying back to them. If there is no one in the room, call up a friend, observe yourself on the phone, and envisage your friend on the other end of the phone.

If you were able to identify and sense the inner-you listening to the words as your intellect read them out in your mind and if the inner-you was at the same time able to observe your mind, body, and the surroundings around you; remaining conscious of what was going on around you. And if the inner-you that watched both sides of a conversation between your intellect and another person, then you have awoken the inner-self and experienced self-awareness.

Imagine what other techniques and skills are available in the book!

Contact: John 

Cell: (863) 397-3646
Web: www.greatimpressions.biz

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New Book – Find and Empower Your Inner You: John Robins Great Impressions

John Robins former UAE resident, who you can read about in our December Spotlight, re-located to the US after many years, and has written – along with contributor Trey Wilson –  this compelling guide to living a successful, happy, and stress-free life.

John describes “Living”  as being  an art. Most people are unaware of this. We are born, grow up, and go about our day-to-day activities without any formal training on how to make the most of our lives. Our parents coach us based on their experiences, and schools attempt an academic education. For the rest, we assume we have to make it up and learn as we go. No wonder we don’t do a good job. So many people feel stress, anxiety, and sadness. The solution is to learn and practice the art of living, the same way we learn and practice any skill to become good at it.

This book is a practical step-by-step guide to learning how to live a successful, happy, stress-free life.

Cell: (863) 397-3646
Web: www.greatimpressions.biz

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We Can Learn From Anyone: David Gurteeen – Gurteen Knowledge Cafe

 

“We can learn from anyone, there’s always a clue,” says David Gurteen of Gurteen Knowledge Cafe.

Occasionally a reader of my knowledge letter takes issue with one of my posts or quotations that reference certain other people or their ideas or even their tone. One or two readers have even stopped subscribing to my knowledge letter at the mere mention of someone’s name.

Typically, they “do not like” the person in question. They consider them bad, evil, stupid, ignorant, or ill-behaved. This is especially true when it comes to political figures. They ask me why I am giving credence to that person and their ideas. Sometimes I agree with their sentiments, other times not, but that is not the point.

There are two principal reasons I write about or quote people I don’t entirely agree with, whose writing tone I find aggressive, or whose behavior or ideas I find repugnant.

We need to understand each other better

In writing, speaking, or conversation, I feel it essential to draw attention to people with contrary beliefs.

I want to tell the other side of the story — not censor it, even if it opens me up for criticism.

I wish my readers or listeners to weigh the evidence, not just agree with me. I don’t wish to play safe and have them agree with me on everything.

Being exposed to alternative viewpoints is how we more fully understand the world’s complexities and, maybe, more importantly, our fellow human beings.

We can learn from anyone

We can learn from anyone. A person’s ideas are rarely totally bad/false. There is always some signal, and that signal is often worth searching for.

We can categorize people’s ideas in one of three ways. Each category, in its fashion, helps us learn and make better sense of the world.

  1. The ideas with which we agree. The person gives us more in-depth insight.
  2. The ideas with which we disagree. The person provokes our thinking by stimulating us to reflect on why we disagree.
  3. The ideas that make no sense or that don’t convince us. The person provokes our thinking, and we research and reflect on the ideas.

We should show respect for people whom we believe are speaking in good faith, and although we may not agree with everything they say (or even anything they say) and even if we don’t fully understand what they say if they provoke our thinking, learning, and sense-making we should take them seriously.

Just because there is a great deal of what we might consider noise, we should not disregard the signal. Wilbur Wright understood this.

No truth is without some mixture of error, and no error so false but that it possesses no element of truth.

If a man is in too big a hurry to give up an error, he is liable to give up some truth with it, and in accepting the arguments of the other man he is sure to get some errors with it.

Honest argument is merely a process of mutually picking the beams and motes out of each other’s eyes so both can see clearly…

Men become wise just as they become rich, more by what they save than by what the receive.

After I get a hold of a truth I hate to lose it again, and I like to sift all the truth out before I give up an error.”

Credit: Wilbur Wright

We can learn from anyone. The point of learning is not to affirm our beliefs but to challenge and question them and evolve them.

David Gurteen

 

TRAINING NEEDS ANALYSIS – (TNA) Uzair Hassan 3hSolutions Dubai

 

 

Training, without understanding its need, relevance, applicability or accountability, is futile. Thus, a full-scale Training Needs Analysis is carried out to understand the specific requirements.

There are many ways to look at this critical aspect of staff development. Get this wrong and the entire process / effort / budget is wasted.

Training itself can be either about creating manual dexterity or cognitive ability or explaining process flows or future proofing or resource based or motivational or to support strategic organizational direction or task based or aspirational (gap based) or, behavioral change based or It can be skill based, knowledge based or attitude based. The deployment of initiatives linked to staff development can be as complex as the basis on which they are created.

Needs analysis is a tricky subject, and perceived differently by different people. For the bosses / line managers, they assume they know what is needed. The people to be developed think they know what they need. Management knows best and the training department has their own ideas. For all these to converge, effectively, a 360 degree look at the actual needs must be conducted. Training needs of the people, must be in the context of organizational objectives to be achieved.

It is the single most critical step in enhancing staff abilities / performance / competencies. It is like diagnosing a patient. If misdiagnosed, the resultant treatment is worthless.

Some sample approaches / methods for TNA:

 

1)    Organizational strategy-based future competency requirements
2)    Hiring – Job description competencies tested, shortfalls collated
3)    Succession planning – Gaps
4)    Change management requirements
5)    Individuals own needs: Their challenges / job or task related issues etc.
6)    Focus groups
7)    Problem area assessments (Customer service / Sales / Teamwork / Conflicts / Leadership / Time management / Communication or presentation skills etc.)
8)    Organizational Values based (e.g. Empathy / Empowerment etc. etc.)
9)    Customer surveys to bring out potential challenges
10) 360 Assessments / Feedback
11) Generic minimum standards for soft skills (e.g. Presentation skills / Negotiation skills / Sales and customer service skills / IT skills etc.)
12) Tests
13) TNA questionnaires
14) Work sampling
15) Performance problem charting
16) Currently needed competencies – Gaps with current competencies
17) Appraisals: Uncovering gaps
18) KPI evaluation shortfalls
19) External benchmarking
20) Mentor feedback
21) Talent Management / HIPO gaps
22) Performance management issues / gaps
23) Employee surveys (Self assessments / self requirements / self doubts etc.)
24) Benchmark market structures / requirements / methodologies
25) Career progression charts
26) SWOT analysis
27) Direct observation
28) BPO (Business process Reengineering) based
29) Business objectives based
30) Knowledge / Skill / Attitude based

 

The above is by no means a definitive list. It simply provides an idea about the myriad ways that exist to exact a TNA.

The idea is to view training needs analysis not as a singular one-dimensional outcome-based exercise, but to see it through the prism of the context itself.

A 360++ view, a structured approach and an inclusive /diversified assessment is required.

Stakeholders across this broad divide need to be engaged, to ensure their voices are heard and their input is taken into account. A multi-pronged and layered approach. Singular perspectives can highjack a TNA, and thus, a cross functional, broader pool of potential stakeholders and a deeper dive is required.

To effectively and deeply diagnose, not simply to develop a heat map by aggregating multiple approaches but to do a deep dive and get to the heart of the matter.

What complicates it further are personal ambitions, political camps, perspective clashes and vested interests. Then comes the delivery vehicle choices, the time to be spent on each subject, the implementation strategies involved, the accountability of the process and success criteria for the initiatives, culturally sensitive choices etc. etc. This then needs to be aligned with organizational objectives, budgetary constraints (if any), business / stakeholder buy-in, resource allocations etc. etc. A substantial undertaking if done right.

Keep in mind that not all gaps / challenges can be solved via training. It could be a will problem and not a skill problem. It could be a process-oriented issue and not an attitude issue. It could be a workload challenge that may not be solved via training and so on.

But, what comes first and plays a pivotal part in it’s success, is the diagnosis itself. Without effective deep-dive diagnosis, everything else undertaken based on incorrect data, would be futile.

 

Uzair Hassan

CEO, 3H Solutions Group

Dubai, UAE.

(Uzair.hassan@3hsolutions.biz / 00971506228126 – call or whatsapp / www.3hsolutionsgroup.com)

 

An ex-banker and a serial entrepreneur. Trained / consulted in over 15 countries. Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM-UK) as well as a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI-UK). Adjunct professor at a university teaching the executive MBA. Featured in over 20 different publications. Adviser to the American Leadership Board (ALB), Advisor to European Bank for Reconstruction & Development ASB team, A Board member at an OD/HR company and a member of Mensa.

 

Book review: Greatness in NOWHERE: Melkhart Rouhana Consultant Executive Coach

 

 

“Unleash the best version of yourself, your team, and your organization.”

Says Melkart Rouhana

Author of

Greatness is NOWHERE

Three Principles to Jazz up Your Culture, Pep up Your People, and Spice up Your Customer Experience

“Audacious, insightful and thought-provoking.”

Horst Schulze, Founder, Former President & COO of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Founder & Former CEO of Capella Hotel Group.

“A riveting read!”

Diana R. Oreck, NetJets Vice President, Service Representatives and Philanthropy, Former Vice President, The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center

“A must read for all leadership fans.”

Dr. Andreas Löhmer, MLitt, Director of Corporate Programs, Executive School of Management, Technology and Law (ES-HSG), University of St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland

“I read it in one sitting—nowhere did my attention drop off!”

Shelley Perkins, Former Chief Talent & Culture Officer, Rosewood Hotel Group

“Whether you’re a CEO or an entrepreneur, you will be energized for more effective leadership if you embrace the principles advanced in this book.”

Andre Bisasor, Founding President, Harvard Negotiation Alumni Society; President, Institute for Negotiation Leadership & Diplomacy

“This actionable read is for those who wish to inspire the hearts, souls and minds of their teams.”

Kimberly Rath, MBA, Co-Founder & Co-Chair, Talent Plus

“Sensational book.”

Marc Dardenne, Chief Operating Officer, Accor Europe Luxury Brands

“If a non-fiction book can be described as a “page turner,” this is certainly that book.”

Jacqueline Moyse, Vice President of Organizational Development, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

“Greatness is the ability to unleash the best version of yourself, your team, and your organization,” says Melkart Rouhana, the author of Greatness is NOWHERE and distinguished international speaker.

“Ever since the dawn of civilization, greatness has been the voice of our human spirit. It is not an outcome, but a way of living. We are in a constant chase after meaning and progress. We seek to find the best possible version of everything, including ourselves, yearning to unleash our potential and make an impact.”

“Greatness is not exclusive to athletes or famous people,” says Melkart.  “It concerns every one of us—you and me, people who choose to find meaning, the voice to lead a purpose-driven life, and the courage to make a meaningful contribution.”

Melkart asks readers what their definition is of greatness? “Is greatness nowhere?” he asks. Or is it now here?

In Greatness is NOWHERE, Melkart examines three principles to enable greatness:

  • Principle 1: You can’t be what your culture is not

How do you promote and inspire a winning culture: that intangible and hidden mark of distinction that literally shapes everything you do?

  • Principle 2: You can’t be what your people are not

How do you translate talent to performance, surround yourself with the right, talented, and passionate colleagues, and bring out the gold in others?

  • Principle 3: You can’t be what your investment is not

How do you bring your investment to the world, deliberately evoke emotions in your customers and convert your customer experience into one that chills and thrills?

Greatness is NOWHERE answers all these questions and more and shares 3 Principles, 15 Truths, and 20 Tools to jazz up your culture, pep up your people, spice up your customer experience, and ultimately unleash greatness. Rouhana wrote to share a roadmap that will guide readers to find greatness and lead their people and organization to ultimately unleash their potential.

Here’s the book’s trailer:

https://youtu.be/8VMLpnWsx9A

 

 

ABOUT Melkart Rouhana:

 

An unshakable, pragmatic leader and highly sought-after keynote speaker whose core purpose is to enable greatness everywhere, Melkart Rouhana is the Chief Engagement Officer of MRT Consultants and a distinguished inspirational speaker who inspires people and organizations to make sustainable change, and most importantly, to finish strong. He is a world-renowned culture, leadership, and service expert and was named “The Rock Star of Customer Service” by Porsche executives and “The Engagement Magician” by top hoteliers. Melkart has held previous positions such as corporate director of global learning at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and corporate head of learning and development for Emaar Hospitality Group and Armani Hotels and Resorts, to name a few. He also coaches on Leadership at the Executive MBA program of London Business School and is the co-founder of the Culture and Performance Forum. He is also part of Talent Plus Global Advisors Network, which provides unprecedented access to masters of their industry who can help transform organizations. Melkart’s philosophy has been recognized as foundational and has been instrumental to the success of some of the most celebrated companies and institutions around the globe.

 

You can connect with Melkart via

www.melkartrouhana.com

 

Breaking News: Edfundo: Home-grown Neobank For Kids & Teens Poised For UAE Launch

 

 

  • Edfundo App & Pre-Paid Card Helps Parents Boost Youth Financial Literacy & Raise Money-Smart Children
  • Smart Money Management App Designed by Teachers & Parents
  • Edfundo to Help Plug Financial Education Gap Among UAE’s Expanding Youth Population

 

Dubai UAE, November 1, 2021: A transformative neobank application for children and youth will soon be launched in the UAE enabling parents to securely control their youngsters’ spending habits and boost their money management and saving abilities.

According to the founders of the digital age solution known as Edfundo it is the world’s first smart money management app designed by teachers for use by tweens and teens.

The app and the associated pre-paid debit card are the creations of UAE-based Simon Wing and Andrew Toward who both hail from the education sector and are each parent of two.

Formerly teachers at the Rashid School for Boys in Dubai, the British partners have used their combined education experience of almost 25 years to address a pressing need for financial literacy primarily among the 8-18 age range.

“Having worked in schools in the UK and the UAE we know that financial literacy is not taught well and often isn’t taught at all,” said co-founder Wing, who is also Edfundo’s CEO.

“Indeed, even Andrew and I didn’t leave school with a good enough understanding of how best to manage our own money, and there is much to suggest a large majority of adults do not have the basic financial skills to make sound decisions with money.

“It’s time to right this vital educational oversight and not repeat past mistakes.”

Wing explains that Edfundo encourages kids and teens to make choices about money.

“Once a member of the ‘Edfundo Squad’, youngsters can spend, save for a specific goal, as well as learn the power of saving for their future.”

He confirmed that the app is fully controlled by parents, and they can help motivate their children to save by adding chores for nominal ‘pocket money’ payment using Edfundo’s built-in flexible controls.

“Simple but powerful dashboards track the youngster’s spending and saving, and they can use Edfundo to pay in-store or online with their pre-paid card, phone and watch using Apple Pay TM or Google Pay TM,” Wing shared.

He confirmed the Edfundo pre-paid debit card can be used in all stores around the world and online where the Visa sign is displayed.

According to co-founder and COO, Andrew Toward, this is not first-to-market, but it is a first from those who know what makes kids tick.

“We are not the first to create a product like this and we certainly won’t be the last. But what differentiates us from the rest is education.

“As educators we understand how children learn best and our company vision is driven by lifelong learning. The result is a super secure, clean, engaging app design which makes learning about money simple, practical, safe, and rewarding.

“This is smart money management in action for a smarter generation,” Toward stressed.

The Edfundo app is quick and simple and features biometric log-in and multi-factor authentication for security as well as unique parental controls. Parents can upload funds and transfer allowances in an instant, top up their child’s card in a single click, set spending rules, set tasks or chores for their offspring to boost their earnings, decide where their youngsters can spend their money, get real time notification of their spending, and instantly block or unblock cards at any time.

“Young people learn by doing. Edfundo speaks to this and will help them to become money smart from an early age,” explained Toward.

“Contrary to what many young children believe, money is not infinite and no, it does not grow on trees! With Edfundo’s tasks and chores feature, youngsters can develop an early understanding that work and money are connected.

“Being able to differentiate between ‘needs and wants’ helps children to become smarter with money and they can use the Edfundo saving goals feature to help decide whether to spend now or save for later.”

Wing and Toward contend Edfundo is a timely initiative with the UAE population now comprising 1.4 million youngsters under the age of 14 who represent its fastest emerging segment.

Wing shared that recent research carried out by Edfundo saw that many teens in the UAE spend over $100 a month, with some spending more than double that.

“Teens are a significant group with a passion for digital innovation. Overall, they are comfortable with modern technology tools, and this can be leveraged to improve their understanding of money management standing them in good stead for the future,” explained Wing.

“However, indications are that Millennials and older Gen Zs in the UAE are struggling to manage their own personal finances, lack financial education and tend to be higher spenders – up to three times more than their western peers – particularly in high-value segments.

“The need for financial education among the UAE’s youth is even more pressing given that older teenagers can now take up paid, part time work with the recent initiative to offer work permits for young residents, from the age of 15.

“The lack of financial wisdom among our youth is an oversight which needs to be quickly addressed and Edfundo is a tool to plug this vital education gap,” he stressed.

Wait List Live, at www.edfundo.com

Edfundo is due to go live in the UAE very early next year, and later throughout the Middle East with the two founders in advanced talks with funding investors.

The app will be available for download from the App Store and Google Play Store and an app & card waiting list for those wishing to join Edfundo’s community is available for registration on www.edfundo.com.

Edfundo’s founders UAE-based Simon Wing and Andrew Toward get set to springboard the nation’s unbanked youth into a positive, life-long relationship with money by giving parents the reins on spending, and youngsters the financial literacy missing in schools.

About Us

Edfundo is the world’s first money management app for kids and teens built by teachers and designed to champion a new era of financial literacy, digital inclusion, and mental wellbeing among the 8-18 age group. The smart money app, and its associated pre-paid debit card help ensure youth are stakeholders in the journey towards a responsible, cashless society.

Curated around the principle of ‘doing is learning’ the Edfundo app, which has rigorous parental controls, is highly interactive and fun, with gamification elements and rich and engaging educational content where users can learn good financial habits from budgeting to earning to saving.

In readiness for launch in the UAE in early Q1 2022, the Edfundo wait list is now open to youngsters and parents on www.edfundo.com. The co-founders are also planning further roll outs in 2022, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

For Media Information:

Veronique Gregorec

veronique@edfundo.com

For Investor Information:

Susan Furness

susan@edfundo.com

 

 

The Recruiters Presents: Pakistan Sourcing Summit on January 13th, 2022

 

 

Karachi, November 2022: The Recruiters, a leading recruitment, payroll outsourcing and training consultancy will be organizing the fourth edition of Pakistan Sourcing Summit on January 13th, 2022 at Karachi School of Business & Leadership Auditorium.

Pakistan Sourcing Summit is the only platform in Pakistan where people finders, talent geeks, game changers and risk takers congregate to collaborate, network to hear first hand the challenges, new trends and opportunities shaping the talent sourcing industry of corporate Pakistan.

Around 150 HR decision makers, CEOs, Talent Heads, Consultants, CHROs will attend the event.

The proud partners of Pakistan Sourcing Summit are Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP) as promotional partner, Talent Management Institute (TMI) and Mentoring Hub as Learning Partners, IGLOO and Sacha’s Cakes as Dessert Partners, Karachi School of Business & Leadership as Venue Partner, AAJ News and Business Recorder as Electronic and Print Media Partners.

 

For tickets please email us at info@therecruiters.com.pk

or contact the Business Acquisition Team
The Recruiters

63U Block 6 PECHS Karachi, Pakistan

Web: http://www.therecruiters.com.pk

Cell: 92334-0208666

Spotlight November: Where are they Now? Damian Hehir Capytech Dubai

You’re still here in the UAE, what has happened since we did your spotlight almost 5 years ago?

I’m happy to say that I’m still with Capytech, and we are now in our 9th year. I’m not sure what the statistics of business failures are, but hopefully, we’ve passed the most difficult period!

The past five years have been full of all kinds of challenges, learning and successes. It’s hard to summarise everything into a few sentences, but I’m glad to say that despite some hiccups along the way, we’re still going strong.

When I did my last profile, I think we were a company of just 5, and now we’re almost at 50! It’s incredible the diversity of things you need to think about when you undergo that type of growth. All of a sudden, things like payroll, performance management, offices etc etc. are all real things you need to deal with.

It used to focus just on new clients and building products, but now I find I need to share my focus amongst many more things. I’m slowly learning to delegate better and getting back to where I love to focus, namely having happy clients and building cool things!

Looking back what were your high and low points of your time in the UAE? What reflections can you share?

The high points would certainly be when I decided to leave my work and start something of my own. Then the little victories come along the way when you win big clients who trust you to execute on their e-learning needs. There’s such a rush with this that it would be hard to give up. It’s also great to hear positive feedback and organically grow through word of mouth and recommendations.

The low points would all be around money! As we all know, the UAE is far from a cheap place to live, and there were periods where things got really tight. I admit to suffering anxiety when it comes to these concerns, and I dream of never having to worry about cash flow again!

What were the biggest changes you faced when you came to the UAE?

I had come from living in Riyadh for 2.5 years, and Riyadh back then is certainly not what it is now! So on arrival, it was more of a factor of being spoilt for choice! There’s so much happening here, and it is such a great place to live that I can see myself being here for many years to come.

More recently, and without stating the obvious, COVID posed some significant challenges with the inability to visit loved ones back home in Australia and Singapore. The powerlessness and uncertainty made this particularly difficult. However, I’m pretty happy to say that I think the UAE is undoubtedly one of the best places to be to wait out a pandemic!

If you had your time again what might you have done differently?

There are so many small lessons along the way that it might be easy to look back and correct choices made in hindsight. I’m very much someone that doesn’t want to change the past as it led to the experiences that got me where I am today. Since I’m happy with my lot, then why change anything?!

Ok, maybe I would have bought some Tesla stock or more bitcoin!

Damian Hehir | Co-founder | Capytech

email: damian@capytech.com | web: www.capytech.com