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Usawa Set to Provide Trustworthy Investment Tool for Africans and Change how Pension Funds and Bank do Business
Kenya, Africa: In the last three to six years, some African countries have lost more than 40-50% of their currency’s value, making it incredibly difficult for residents to confidently and securely invest for their futures. Over the last decade, with rising inflation, most pension funds are only providing an average return of 2.5 per cent over ten years.
Today, American serial entrepreneur Gary Nealon is announcing a solution set to have a global impact and change how pension funds do business. Usawa is a stable and liquid investment solution that is backed by hard assets in the form of US real estate now accessible to Africans. It is a reliable investment tool that will provide immunity to currency depreciation and guarantees a rate of return of 6.5% a year return in USD with the interest payments paid monthly.
The idea for Usawa was first conceived several years ago when Nealon and fellow entrepreneurs visited South Africa and met with local entrepreneurs to provide business guidance. Nealon and friends quickly realized that while these entrepreneurs had successful businesses, they simply weren’t able to access small business loans to grow and scale their companies to their full potential.
“It really made us think – if the government isn’t providing them with the resources to grow, how can we as entrepreneurs help,” explained Nealon.
This led to Nealon researching African currencies and how they perform against the US dollar, and ultimately realizing there was an opportunity to help more than just small businesses. When you removed the middle class and wealthy from the equation, Nealon saw that while there was a lot of lending going on, there were not a lot of opportunities to save. There was no financial education.
“We wanted to create a company that would have a global impact by giving access to savings or interest returning accounts to people that are unbanked or don’t have access to financial institutions,” shared Nealon. “When looking at new technologies coming out, we discovered that Blockchain was a great way to leverage technology to help people that have never invested or saved before. We could turn it into an investment tool for these people by creating a stable environment with a steady rate of return, eliminating the ebbs and flows of other cryptocurrencies.”
Nealon and his team have personally guaranteed the revenue stream by testing it with their own money over the last two years, proving the model and consistency of the rate of return. “We have found a way to successfully beat the global rate of inflation and the rate of return you can get on the global markets with Usawa,” said Nealon. “We give countries a way to hedge against the devaluation of their currency. By shifting their money to a USD based asset, we hedge against that decline and offer them a rate of return on top of it. For someone that has never been able to save before, small gains from shifting to a USD based asset can have a huge impact on their life.”
So what’s next for Usawa? Nealon revealed Usawa is currently working with African telecom companies to figure out how to integrate Usawa within their mobile platforms. Nealon believes this will have the largest scale to most people, even if only a small portion starts saving. Nealon added that they are also looking at ways to partner with banks and pension funds to offer unparalleled liquidity options.