Entrepreneur Tshepo Moloi is, with the launch of his app, hoping to bring tech to an institution that has yet to embrace technology – the still very traditional world of stokvels.
WATCH: StokFella founder tells us why his app is about to revolutionise South African stokvels.
StokFella, a financial management application for stokvels, offers a solution to streamline the administrative burden of running a stokvel. The app allows users to not only keep a record of all financial transactions, it also has a scheduling tool to help with the planning of meetings and even helps with governance in the form of a stokvel’s constitution.
From the outside into the mainstream
The National Stokvel Association of South Africa (Nasasa) estimates that about 800 000 groups in South Africa collectively save about R49 billion a year through stokvels.
Stokvels are a long-standing practice within township communities. They are an invitation savings schemes, whereby members regularly contribute an agreed amount from which they receive a once-off lump sum. The sum can cover the costs of burials, groceries, investments and holiday celebrations, or simply to save.
Long underrated by the formal economy, stokvels have for a long time formed part of what was regarded as the “hidden economy”.
Today, the institution is, however, gaining more recognition including from the banking sector, and now techpreneurs who are eager to find ways to help the sector maximise its potential as viable investment vehicles.
In pursuit of financial freedom
Launched last month, the StokFella team decided to go where their core market is. Stokfella was introduced at a gathering of administrators of stokvels and Soweto-based business owners at the National Tourism and Hospitality Association in Meadowlands, Soweto.
“Our dream is to provide every ordinary, hard working citizen an opportunity to pursue financial freedom. We believe through better honing the rich history and success of stokvels and burial societies; this is possible,” says Moloi.
The app is available for download on Google Play and the App Store.