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Access to Financial Education for all school aged children

We have developed a Financial Literacy program to enable every school child to give themselves a chance to create a better future

Photo of Liz Taylor-Kerr
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Our Idea is to create a fun, dynamic and memorable financial education program for kids age 3+ to teach them everything they'll need to know about money by the time they reach adulthood. We include budgeting, savings, credit card and debt, avoiding scams and investing by presenting the information in a fun format - using games, scenarios and (eventually) an online application. The OECD have released worrying statistics regarding the number of adults who are lacking basic financial knowledge, despite many countries implementing compulsory financial literacy curricula. Money is in every single thing we do - no matter our age, background, occupation or nationality. Managing it may be the most important skill throughout our lives and yet the great majority are unable to understand what inflation and diversification are, two fundamentals of the subject. Having a compulsory national curriculum doesn't necessarily seem to be helping, although it may be too early to tell in the UK. Canada for instance have a well-established program and yet owe on average $1.68 for every $1 earned. Even countries that have a national curriculum seem to ignore the importance of investing which in 2018 is vital given the increasing life expectancies, the change to many retirement schemes and the increasing number of investing options available. Many parents (particularly women) avoid the subject at home - either lacking the confidence in their own knowledge or their ability to impart information. They are looking for guidance to cut through the overwhelm. The challenge that we solve is providing a program based around the concepts of money and ingrained behaviours and biases. We guide parents to bring the subject up in a natural way using daily opportunities that present themselves - trips to the shops, the supermarket or family holidays. We emphasise fun and parental education so they feel empowered to involve themselves and to be the hero in their children's story

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are children aged 3+ and their families who would otherwise have to learn about money through trial and error, something that has the potential to damage whole families for generations. We believe that every person we help can improve their family's future. If we can reach enough people this will extend to helping whole communities and ultimately nations.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The existing initiatives are aimed at adults or taught by schools or large banks - there is surprisingly little focus on children despite the increasing attention on the subject. The restriction with many teachers educating students is that very few are specialists in finance so they're teaching a subject they're unfamiliar with. We've spoken to a number of teachers who have said that despite the compulsory curriculum, the subject is pushed to the bottom of the pile. Banks have great reach but have a tendency to teach about debt and bank savings. They have a vested interest in people borrowing money as opposed to investing in other asset classes. Our uniqueness lies twofold - We are finance professionals who hold relevant qualifications and have experience teaching investing and economic subjects, with a complete non-bias towards any particular subject. I've taught across 3 continents and have used this knowledge along with our research to create a dynamic and fun program.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Our parent company focuses on teaching professional finance qualifications to industry professionals. The focus of this company (Talking Cents) is totally dedicated to financial education. The majority is this children's program with a small niche aimed to help female investors become more confident and knowledgeable about the subject.

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

We teach women about investing and one day when researching financial literacy statistics, it occurred to us that the problem doesn't start as an adult - it starts much earlier, at school. When we investigated further we realised there is a disturbing lack of emphasis on teaching children to learn to manage money and that this needs to change - and fast, if the next generation is going to be able to support themselves into retirement. Our other motivation? Our kids and their generation's future

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Prosperity - influenced by the research the OECD (and other organisations) have done and the warnings they've issued about the future generations and the struggles they'll face unless they are able to learn how to handle their finances, debt and investing better. This is not only for families but also communities and countries. Planet - there is inequality between education across and within countries and social classes. Not everyone currently has the same access to financial education and it's as relevant to people living in small rural communities as in a large city, and arguably more relevant to the lower socio-economic classes. We have a vision that our program will be universally accessible to anyone, and that we can access families and communities who wouldn't usually benefit from this type of education. When we think about the potential impact this can have on the people who most need it, it makes us even more passionate to get the word out and create a global movement.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We have liaised with the local government to run a one-off presentation to both primary and secondary teachers from the local island schools to help them become more confident in the subjects they're teaching to students. We've also given individual schools the opportunity to approach us to help them with their curriculum (being introduced in September 2018) to ensure they're familiar with the concepts they need to impart to their students and to guide them when creating their lesson plans.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Our parents are determined not to let their childhood and own past dictate their children's future. Many of them haven't thought consciously about teaching their kids about money, but every one of them want to give their kids the best start in life. They need a guide for their journey and to put their own fears and bias aside. By spreading the net wide we can utilise the resource that knows the children best - their parents. They are a parent first and we help them become an educator.

Geographic Focus

Initially the UK, USA, Canada and Australia but we'd like to expand into all countries eventually

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

2 months. The program is already written, the activities currently being prepared and videos recorded. We'd like to introduce online games, a magazine, educational TV show and online application which would take longer as we built up. The majority of the time taken would be for website overhaul and membership site creation as well as video/activity recording. Additional funds would expedite the process as we could outsource some of the activities.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

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