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Despite how much many students learn about history, mathematics and social sciences alike, finance education, on the other hand, is severely lacking in many school curriculums. MyBnk is a social enterprise based in the United Kingdom that is attempting to change that. By offering basic financial management, MyBnk’s goal is to counter the high debt levels and low savings rate that are prevalent in many households in the U.K. MyBnk works with youth in schools, community groups, colleges and youth groups and their ages range from as young as 11 and to as old as 24.
Due to the complexity of the current financial and banking systems, MyBnk is an essential tool for young people to learn how to manage their personal finances and they learn things as simple as how to submit credit card payments. MyBnk also provides education on entrepreneurship so that youth can learn important enterprise-related skills including risk-taking, business skills and personality development. Some of the education seminars include university finance, budgeting, saving and hands-on lessons on making an entrepreneurial idea happen. The creative titles of the programs range from ‘Money Twist Workshops’ to ‘Savvy Savers Assembly’ to “Uni Dosh’ and ‘Business Battle.’ Who says finance education has to boring? Certainly not MyBnk.
MyBnk is the first independent banking scheme, run by youth and for youth, that is approved by FSA (Financial Services Authority). MyBnk was founded by Lily Lapenna, who has a background in international development. Through her work, she was exposed to microfinance in Bangladesh and its endless possibilities. With the inspiration Lapenna got in Bangladesh and with help from Michael Norton, she translated what she learnt into a reality for youth in the U.K.
Lapenna received an Ashoka Fellowship Award in 2010 due to its commitment to creating positive social change. MyBnk is an accessible social enterprise where young people can receive interest-free loans and save their money in order to set up their very own enterprises—and most importantly, have fun doing it.
MyBnk at Unit 4
Huguenot Place, Heneage Street