SaveAct

Marcel Jakubec on working with SaveAct — and the future

When did you join the board and what are your core skills and experience?

I joined the SaveAct board in 2015 and continue to feel proud of the incredible work being done to financially empower vulnerable South Africans.

My experience is in strategy consulting, with 10+ years in the financial services space, and I’m passionate about helping to create new opportunities for people to live better lives.

My current focus is on developing SaveAct’s digital enablement strategies to really achieve what we’ve set out to do: drive successful financial wellbeing initiatives for those who need them most.

What have you found most interesting about SaveAct in your time with it so far?

SaveAct is an impressive organisation, with important foundational work being done at a grassroots level that spans financial literacy, building ecosystems and enterprise development.

The team has had to be incredibly dynamic, and I appreciate how innovative digital solutions are being explored to support the broader mission — helping boost security and reach in the savings space, while accounting for a lack in some of the “human” elements which are so critical in this context. It’s been a challenge to find ways to balance this.

What I find particularly exciting about SaveAct is the impact these initiatives are having, and the clear knock-on benefits across the communities we serve. More than a hundred thousand people have been positively affected in some way through SaveAct – and as one of the few organisations committed to solving financial inequality in predominantly rural areas, the lessons we’re learning through our rigorous testing help to feed into our long-term savings initiatives.

This is never easy – and was made even more challenging during the pandemic. But, the team’s ability to evolve and adapt has meant the initiatives themselves have remained resilient over these last 18 months.

What do you see as the main challenges going forward?

Going into 2022 we will continue to expand our reach, to give access to more South Africans in need of financial tools. Here, sustainability remains a key focus for us. We must ensure that the great work being done continues, and that people feel agency through our programmes and projects to make informed financial decisions to improve their lives. In this way, the aim is to uplift entire communities and change the way people see saving, thereby creating wealth opportunities that may otherwise have not existed.

I look forward to the next chapter of SaveAct and feel privileged to be working alongside such a dedicated team.