There’s something to be said for those individuals who cut a swathe through their professional fields by doing it their way.
Those with the vision, the drive and the determination to see their dreams fulfilled are called entrepreneurs and Edgar Lebelo is one of those select few.
Born and raised in Pretoria where he matriculated from Mabopane Secondary School, young Edgar always knew that dedication would be his key to success. He promised himself that no workload would be too big and no task too menial.
With a grant from the Old Mutual Educational Trust, he enrolled at the NWU’s Vaal Triangle Campus for a BCom Accounting degree while staying at the Vergelen men’s residence.
“I wanted to be an active student,” he explains, and boy, was he. Edgar served on the Student Representative Council’s Marketing and Communication Committee. He was also part of the Toastmasters’ Riverine club and a member of the Global Business Roundtable that took part in the JSE Investment Challenge for learners and students. To top it all, he learned to trade currencies on Forex, worked as a part-time salesperson at the nearby Makro and played basketball.
“My time on campus was a wonderful experience that shaped me to become the person that I am today.”
“I know I had a lot of extramural activities, but I still feel I could have done more,” he says, with true entrepreneurial spirit.
Edgar’s accounting degree opened up new possibilities. From 2013 to 2015 he worked for Barclays London as a fixed income cash commodities analyst before starting a venture that saw him reach national media exposure: e-Kasi Bucks.
e-Kasi Bucks is a loyalty card consumers use to earn redeemable points when they shop at local stores. Sound familiar? The difference is that e-Kasi Bucks are used in townships in Gauteng. From salons to tuck shops and car washes, about 700 small businesses are already part of the business that launched a year ago.
It is fair to say that with business partner Lucky Kgwadi, the duo is revolutionising the loyalty card concept and tapping into a previously overlooked market.
“This is more than just a loyalty card.”
You can also use your mobile phone to make direct wallet-to-wallet payments and we are looking to include more services.”
The Midrand-based enterprise has already attracted a number of high-profile partners eager to join what promises to be a lucrative venture.
Much like one of his role models, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Edgar’s purpose is guided by a sense of philanthropy. “I believe we are all here to serve a purpose and to make life better as well as easier for those after us.”
Growing up with an absent mother and without a father, he lived with his grandmother who instilled in him the virtues that have been the bedrock of his success. He speaks of her fondly and with reverence.
When not expanding his business, Edgar can be found engrossed in books about entrepreneurship and self-development. “I also listen to a lot of music and compile my own hip-hop tracks.”
That said, the digital clicks of mobile devices trading e-Kasi Bucks remain the sweetest music to his ears.
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