Kanan Wealth uses social media to support The Big Issue

In what is a first for Big Issue South Africa, Kanan Wealth CC (@KananWealthCC) launched a Twitter campaign promising financial support to The Big Issue based on the number of new followers it gained in the period 2–9 October. The initial offer was R2 for each new follower, but shortly after Helen Zille tweeted ‘I don’t usually do this but anything for@BigIssueSA. Every new “follow” of @kananwealthCC will bring R2 to the Big Issue. Go on, follow’, the financial advisers upped their pledge to R5 per follower.

Kanan Wealth is a financial services provider with a difference; what sets them apart is their integrity – and I know this from personal experience. They take the time to get to know their clients and their needs and always give the advice that’s best for the client and not their own pockets. What sets The Big Issue apart is its comprehensive social development programme, aimed at giving vendors the necessary tools to sell the magazine, address issues in their personal life and move on to more long-term income-earning prospects.

Kanan Wealth are firm friends of The Big Issue, having advertised in the magazine, joined the Big200 fundraising campaign and regularly attended Big Issue fundraising breakfasts.

I asked director Stuart Kantor why Kanan Wealth are such loyal Big Issue supporters. “The Big Issue and Kanan Wealth are both organisations that are worth knowing,” he told me. “Kanan Wealth provides quality financial advice and service; The Big Issue is an extremely well run and important NGO. Together we represent an impossible-to-renounce fact – that business-for-profit and NGOs are totally co-dependent.  In other words, business-for-profit cannot sustainably exist in a world riddled with extreme poverty and skills shortages. The Big Issue offers a powerful platform for encouraging micro-entrepreneurship by giving the unemployed a product to sell and teaching practical business principles.”

Acting MD of the Big Issue, Derek Carelse, adds that “Kanan Wealth epitomises what The Big Issue can do with the right partners. It is great that they ‘get’ The Big Issue and help us spread our message. The magazine is just the tip of the iceberg – our vendors are micro entrepreneurs whom we support with social and business development services; our biggest wish is for them to move on from selling the Big Issue to secure employment or starting their own business.”

What prompted Kanan Wealth to use Twitter as the platform for their campaign? “As I am writing this, the Kanan Wealth Twitter account is beeping non-stop – and it feels amazing,” says Kantor, who tweets as @Urwealthadviser and admits to being a little obsessed with social media. “We wanted to grow Kanan Wealth’s profile via social media. I don’t go a day without considering how to uplift someone in some way (Kantor donates to the Big Issue from the proceeds of his own poetry book, Poetry for the Corporate Coffee Table.) The idea of donating per new follower felt natural, authentic and exciting.”

Both Carelese and Kantor have been thrilled to see how deeply so many people care about The Big Issue and our country’s many challenges. “With such care, there is absolutely no reason why South Africans can’t turn the tide and create a better future for all,” says Kantor. “We are a nation rich with a young demography, beauty, resources, creativity and talent – only our collective willingness can create the South Africa we yearn for.”

If you’d like to support the Big Issue:

  • Follow @KananWealthCC – and spread the word to get more people to follow them before 9/10;
  • Follow @bigissueSA, too;
  • Buy The Big Issue – a quality issues-based magazine – every month;
  • Subscribe to the digital version of the magazine on Magzter from mid October if you live outside the Western Cape;
  • Sign up to donate R200 per month to The Big Issue and become part of the Big200 campaign;
  • Come to The Big Issue fundraising Breakfasts at the Table Bay hotel – the next one is on 25 November;
  • Take out an advert in the magazine – contact Derek Carelse on md@bigissue.org.za;
  • Make a once-off donation to The Big Issue using this Snapscan QR code or these bank details;
  • Match Kanan Wealth’s donation;
  • Get your friends and family to do any of the above!

Caryn Gootkin is a freelance writer and deputy chair of The Big Issue South Africa.