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Interview with Kwame Kuadey, CEO & Founder

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Welcome Kwame Kuadey please take a second to introduce yourself, explain the man behind GiftCardRescue.Com, and a little bit of your background.

I grew up in Ghana from very humble beginnings. I moved to the US twelve years ago to seek a better life for myself and my family. I was fortunate to get a scholarship to attend Middlebury College in Vermont and got my MBA from the Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School. Prior to founding GiftCardRescue.com, I worked for Citigroup for 7 years in various roles in Operations, HR, and Compliance.

Wow, that’s an amazing story in itself. So where did the idea of Gift Card Rescue come from?

The idea for Giftcardrescue actually came from a friend, who came to me with a problem I am sure many people are familiar with. He had received gift cards to several stores but since he did not shop at those stores, he wanted to find a way to sell the cards or exchange them for a card he can use. That got my attention, and after doing some research, I realized there was a need in the marketplace for a place where people can unlock the value in their gift cards. That’s how GiftCardRescue.com got started.

What has been your vision for Gift Card Rescue and how will winning the Forbes competition help you attain that goal?

My main goal is to make GiftCardRescue.com the place of choice for people to unlock the value in their gift cards.

Have you always been an entrepreneur at heart?

I have always had the entrepreneurial bug, which I got watching my mom run her small grocery business to help our family make ends meet.

What advice do you have to other small business owners in this economy?

I think there is a tendency to cut back during a recession, but actually, this may be the time to gain market share. So, while the competition may be pulling back, you should look into boosting your marketing efforts to attract new customers.

What makes Gift Card Rescue the première choice for gift card exchange?

GiftCardRescue.com has two qualities that differentiate us from the competition:

  • First, most people are hesitant to sell their gift card on auction sites since there is no guarantee the card will sell, and even if it sells, you are not sure how much you will get until the auction ends. Giftcardrescue provides a hassle free way to sell your gift cards since we buy the cards directly from consumers.
  • Second, our customers get their cash faster since we make all payments through PayPal, unlike other sites where you have to wait for a check in the mail, which can take more than two weeks.

Where do you see yourself and Gift Card Rescue in the next five years?

In five years, I see GiftCardRescue becoming a dominant player in the secondary gift market while still fulfilling our original mission – which is to be the place of choice for people to unlock the value in their gift cards. I am confident I will still be involved with the company in some capacity.

Now if a busy man like yourself ever took a day off. What could we find you doing?

Honestly, I don’t take a day off. At least, I have not done that in a long time. When you have a small business like I do, you are pretty much on the job 24/7. I know it is not healthy but that is what it takes. Only the paranoid survive.

But the small time I get is spent with my wife and daughter, who continue to sacrifice so that I can pursue this dream.

Thanks Kwame Kuadey for taking the time to do this interview. I’m sure that we’ll be seeing a lot from you and Gift Card Rescue in the future. Do you have any big plans coming up?

Well I can’t reveal all my secrets at once, but make sure you subscribe to our blog and twitter for exciting upcoming news in the future. Also, I would greatly appreciate your vote in the Forbes Boost Your Business Competition which recognizes some of the top entrepreneurs and small businesses in the country. I have been fortunate enough to make it to the semi-finals but need your help making it to the final round. You can vote for Gift Card Rescue here.

Well Kwame thanks again and we’ll all be looking forward to what plans the future holds.

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12 Comments

  1. Great interview. This is an interesting service not currently offered in Australia.

  2. Thanks Ranya maybe one day we can expand to the Aussie Nation.

  3. Gift card rescue and is a great idea, I wish I knew about this before I let my gift cards expire.

  4. @Cash Back Real Estate

    Your card may not have expired yet. The federal government recently made a ruling that all gift cards must maintain their value for up to four years.

  5. Megan

    I saw you tonight on Shark Tank and I think your idea and story is awesome! Congrats on your deal and best of luck to you and your family 🙂 I’m sure your publicity is going to go through the roof!!!!!

  6. benhebert

    Thanks we certainly have had a lot of positive press come out of the shark tank. Glad that you enjoyed the show. I always tell Kwame that if business doesn’t work out for him that he should move onto TV!

    Ben @ giftcardrescue

  7. Ms. Carolyn A. Yeager

    Good Afternoon, Mr. Kuadey:

    I trust that your day is progressing well. Thank you for all that you do and are doing. You are a great inspiration! I am a high school Business Education Teacher in Prince George’s County and I had an opportunity to see and hear your business plan presentation last night on network television. It was awesome! To God be the glory.

    Congratulations, to you and your beautiful family on securing venture capital and acquiring two partners for your business. God is good!
    Perhaps, you are open to speaking to my great NFTE Entrepreneurship class in the near future. Currently, we are working on developing business plans and studying the economics of one unit. I know that they would love to hear your story!

    Thank you in advance for your attention and consideration to this request. If you should have any questions please feel free to contact me directly at (301) 390-0230 office.

  8. Ms. Carolyn A. Yeager

    Thank you for all that you do and are doing. You are a great inspiration! I am a high school Business Education Teacher in Prince George’s County and I had an opportunity to see and hear your business plan presentation last night on network television. It was awesome! To God be the glory.

    Congratulations, to you and your beautiful family on securing venture capital and acquiring two partners for your business. God is good!

    Perhaps, you are open to speaking to my great NFTE Entrepreneurship class in the near future. Currently, we are working on developing business plans and studying the economics of one unit. I know that they would love to hear your story!

    Thank you in advance for your attention and consideration to this request. If you should have any questions please feel free to contact me directly at (301) 390-0230 office.

  9. Simon Groll

    Amazing performance on Shark Tank, Kwame, best of luck for the future!

    Hoping to one day get to use this service here in South Africa!

    Regards,
    Simon

  10. Well done Kwame. This is an excellen business and I wish you all the best. For those who want to know more about Ghana, visit http://www.tourofghana.com for more info.

  11. Impressive!!! Wish you all the best Kwame with this business. I ome from the same background and can relate to your story. Goodluck and look forward to meeting you one of these days for some brain picking session.

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