Well-known financial guru and entrepreneur Simon Brown has unveiled his latest start-up business, JustOneLap.com, meant to bring lessons about finance and trading to ordinary South Africans using the Internet.
The website was launched at the JSE on Wednesday evening. “I called it JustOneLap because you get only one lap in life, and it’s the same with money,” says Brown.
Brown, who hosts a weekly show on satellite TV station CNBC Africa and has appeared as a regular financial commentator on Radio 2000, Classic FM and other TV and radio stations, says there is a lack of quality advice on money available to South Africans and the information that is out there is complicated and doesn’t have to be.
“Finance is a goliath too big to conquer in a sea of fancy financial jargon, hidden clauses and subjective sales pitches. With JustOneLap, we want to take people from being intimidated by finance to being knowledgeable, confident and ultimately successful.”
The site will run as an online university teaching people about the various aspects of finance. The content will be delivered through a series of seminars that potential users can access from the site and watch and interact with lecturers in real time.
“I want to use this online platform to teach South Africans about money – everything from creating a personal balance sheet, to managing debt, to investing and trading,” says Brown.
Topics will include money “how-to’s”, investing and trading. Each topic will have content suitable for beginners through to advanced understanding of finance. “The key value of the content will be simplicity,” says Brown.
Core to the idea is a videoconferencing system developed by Cisco, where users and lecturers will come together to discuss various topics in finance. Users will be able to submit questions during the discussion and receive feedback in real time.
Webinars will be between 15 and 20 minutes each. “The Internet allows anyone, anywhere to interact with our service. But we are primarily targeting South Africans,” says Brown.
Brown, who is no stranger to the start-up world having been involved in launching several businesses, has roped in several financial experts from SA and elsewhere in the world for JustOneLap.
Though the site doesn’t yet offer downloadable content after the Web seminars, the plan is to introduce this soon. Eventually, the site will also send content to interested parties on USB memory sticks. This will be done at cost price.
In a giant leap of faith, Brown will foot the bill to run the online university for the coming year. After that, he plans to approach a financial institution to become a title sponsor.
The first Web course will be held in about 10 days from now. — Candice Jones, TechCentral
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