Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.

Spiffy here! I’m back with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Kingsley Ezeani, the founder and CEO of CashEx. Let’s see what he is doing to make a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Welcome to the blog! What challenge are you addressing through CashEx, Kingsley?

Kingsley: Thrilled to be here today, Spiffy. At CashEx, we are working to reduce the high cost of money transfers to Africa. Africans are charged fees as high as 10% when sending money; these fees are the highest in the world and are not fair on African migrants.

Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?

Kingsley: When I left Nigeria for my studies a few years ago, I saw how difficult it was sending money to my younger siblings in Nigeria. The best platforms had fees hidden in their poor exchange rates. I started working on CashEx to solve this problem.

Spiffy: How are you working towards a more equitable world with CashEx’s mission?

Kingsley: By reducing the cost of money transfers for African migrants, we are ensuring families in Africa receive more money to spend on food, health, and education. This way, we help make the world a better place.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does that make?

Kingsley: We transacted over $400,000 for our initial users—this helped us show that there was a big need for our solution. We also won the Harvard Business School New Venture competition, one of the largest competitions in Harvard further validating the idea.

Spiffy: Wow, congratulations! Flipping over to the other side before we wrap up today, please share an experience when you faced failure and didn’t give up. What did you learn from it?

Kingsley: When we started working on CashEx, it was difficult getting investors interested in the idea, and we got a lot of rejections. We went back to the planning table, and once we realized we could do a better job at communicating the idea behind CashEx, we significantly improved our pitch and began getting more interest from investors. Shortly after that, we raised our first round of funding.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Kingsley—it’s been an honor!

Kingsley Ezeani is an entrepreneur with 12 years of experience building and scaling technology businesses in Africa. He is a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Oxford. Kingsley has also been selected as an Obama Foundation African Leader. In 2022, Kingsley founded CashEx to help reduce the cost of money transfers for migrants.(Nominated by Alex Parks at Harvard Innovation Lab. First published on the Ladderworks website on July 20, 2022.)

© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy’s Corner here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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