Grade 10 student, Ronan Vaz, has launched an open access financial literacy platform to give fellow high schoolers a head-start on managing their money. The Woodlands International College student utilised his skills in IT and web design to build Finnclu, a website that aims to share information about investing, stocks, bonds, and assets – at no cost to the user. With a focus on breaking down the barriers of access to vital information on how to successfully invest, Ronan’s goal is to help others, to help themselves.
“Knowledge on investing and asset management is quite limited amongst young people, we only learn about investing in Grade 12 Business Studies. I’ve been privileged to have access to information about financial literacy and wanted to create a platform where I could share my passion. Many people can benefit from creating passive income streams, they just need to know where to start – Finnclu has created a space for this,” says Ronan.
The Boksburg based student’s passion for inclusion and access is supported by the web features and resources he and his team of six have created. The website offers monthly educational videos, webinars, financial literacy books that are accessible both online and offline, insight into investing algorithms, and links to resources that Ronan personally uses to track his investment portfolio. Finnclu also provides step-by-step slideshows that break down the basics of investing.
The website has cultivated a community of people, where users can network via their social media channels and share tips; “Our main focus is on Africa – we’re seeing a lot of traction in Ghana, Ethiopia, and South Africa mainly. However, I’d like to see it become global, that’s my ultimate vision for the platform,” says Ronan.
Ronan is also interested in robotics and formed a part of the Molo Africa team who assembled a plane that flew from Cape Town to Cairo in 2019. His long-term goal is to study mechanical engineering at a top-ranked international university, such as the University of Pennsylvania, Cambridge, or Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). To stand the best chance of admission, he has enrolled with global mentorship company Crimson Education, who will be working with him on all areas of his application, including choosing the best universities and majors, standardised testing, extracurricular mentoring, and application support.
“Top-ranked and Ivy league universities are looking for students who have ‘supercurriculars’ – activities which display leadership, innovation, and a passion for change in their communities. While marks remain an important indicator, universities are looking for applicants with purpose and passion – our future leaders in their fields of interest,” says Rebecca Pretorius, Country Manager at Crimson Education.
Crimson Education, which launched in South Africa in 2018, is a global EdTech company that focuses on building the candidacy of ambitious high school students wanting to study at top-ranked universities in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.
“Ronan is the perfect example of the benefits of starting early to work incrementally, plan ahead, and build out the right activities and projects that show depth, instead of cramming these in the last year or two of school. This is vital in more competitive majors like Engineering, Computer Science, Medicine, and Finance” says Pretorius.
For more information on Crimson or to attend one of their information evenings and workshops around the country, visit www.crimsoneducation.org/za.