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The power of enterprise education!


New Directions2

Students from a London Pupil Referral Unit have raised over £200 for a fellow pupil’s hospital costs after a MyBnk enterprise education challenge.

Jamel Stevens* has been hospitalised with a serious chest infection since earlier this year and his family were struggling to afford the travel expenses to be with him in a specialist unit in Cambridge.

In one week, 10 young people from New Directions from the went from drawing board to Queens Market, Newham, using interest free micro loans. They made their own designer jams and sauces and are now taking orders on their website.

Our Education Officers taught them how to design and sell products, write business plans, give sales pitches and budget.

The Mind Your Own Business project, supported by Blackstone Charitable Foundation, is helping hundreds of disadvantaged young people in London’s poorest boroughs.

MyBnk CO-CEO Lily Lappena said: “This is the power of enterprise! Young people not only learnt vital employability and soft skills, they used their new business smarts to help a friend. Projects like ours are a key first step in young people being their own boss.”

Kelvin, Teaching Assistant, New Directions Pru said: ”These students have done themselves proud. They had a purpose, a goal and they all worked onwards it with discipline, more so than in other classes. This experience will help them be more confident, improve their job prospects and become entrepreneurs. I can’t thank MyBnk enough for bringing their workshops to our young people”.

* Not real name.

enterprise education

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Financial education: one year on…



What has been the impact of compulsory money lessons for 11-16 year olds in English schools?

For an academic year now, students have been learning how to budget and understand tax and pensions through Citizenship and Maths classes.

But, is it working? What are students learning? After the government decided personal finance would not be tested, there has been a risk of financial education’s introduction being seen as tokenistic.

Fear not!

MyBnk has crunched the 2014/15 data and can show a surge in young people’s financial capability and the impact of expert-led money lessons. After our sessions with tens of thousands of young people in hundreds of UK schools, collecting 100,000s of pieces of data, we found:

  • Budgeting: 58% jump in those planning to budget.
  • Confidence: 86% feel confident making informed financial decisions. +29%.
  • Scams: 90% know security features of money +36%.
  • Banks: 44% increase in ability to use a bank.
  • Maximising money:  91% can use budgeting to make effective use of money.
  • Risk: 87% can identify risks of financial decisions +23%.
  • Rights: 89% know their employment rights like minimum wage, tax and hours +38%.
  • Jargon: 81% feel confident understanding banking terms +41%.
  • Ethics: +44% will ask for bank’s ethical policy.
  • Macroeconomics: 47% increase in understanding how money flows through the financial system.
  • Teachers: 71% recommend us to other schools. Our Net Promoter Score is 67, that’s as high as Apple!

However, we are just scratching the surface and the need is ever present as UK Personal debt edges £1.5 trillion, the cost of living along with youth and graduate unemployment remain stubbornly high and the Bank of Mum and Dad stays under huge pressure with young people struggling to afford independent living.

In addition, 50% of 11-18 year olds are potentially missing out as Academies and Free schools can opt out of the National Curriculum. Sixth Forms do not have to teach money skills.

borderedThoughts from our our Founder & Co-CEO Lily Lapenna, on year one.

“At face value, it has been a success! Awareness is up and more young people than ever are learning about money. The argument that we need to give students the skills to manage money has been won.

On the other hand, exactly what they are learning and how, varies widely across schools. Concerns around quality and tokenism are abound. The Money Advice Service’s Evidence Hub rated online resources for teachers and financial service schemes lower than our face-to-face independent expert-led provision. Ofqual also decided that only government finance will be GCSE tested – meaning young people’s knowledge on things like budgeting, risk, and interest rates remain unmeasured.

Ironically, since money lessons were made compulsory, the sector has had to turn away many schools as demand for our programmes soared. Trusts, foundations and CSR Units are reluctant to fund something that is even marginally statutory, meaning young people and teachers miss out on what works.

The time has come to properly fund effective financial education for young people in schools”. 

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Riding high! Pru cyclists raise thousands for MyBnk




Seven cycle warriors raised nearly £9,000 at Prudential Ride London to help us arm young people with money skills.

This means 750 young people will now receive expert-led financial education workshops to learn how to budget, save and avoid debt.

A huge thanks to all who sponsored our brave volunteers in their 100 mile challenge. See our dedicated Flickr album, here.

There is still time to donate! Just £12 puts a young person through one of our award winning programmes.

Also, register your interest for Pru Ride 2016.


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House of Lords Summer Showcase!



Young people, funders and supporters gathered at the House of Lords this month for the MyBnk Summer Showcase – celebrating the power of our financial education and enterprise programmes!

On the banks of the River Thames, we heard stories from the frontline of poverty prevention and enterprise. There was also a loud call to build on the success of getting money skills onto the national curriculum by raising quality and standards.

We welcomed our new MyBnk Patron, broadcaster and campaigner June Sarpong, who shared her experiences of struggling with money growing up in East London. Doug Wills, Managing Editor of the Evening Standard Ltd. explained how MyBnk was championing the same spirit as his newspaper’s literacy and social enterprise campaigns, and our sponsors MVision laid out the sustainability argument on the need for what we do. Syed Kamall MEP also brought the political take on the MyBnk mission – even shooting an impromptu video with June and our Founder & Co-CEO Lily Lapenna!


The Impact


Young people from Ealing Leaving Care, Havering College, Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls, and Collage Arts told us how they gained new skills and confidence from our workshops.

“MyBnk taught us how to communicate and conflict resolution. Young people need this experience”.

Henrique, Havering College – Made £150 in profits from selling customised cakes and brownies in Romford Market – Mind Your own Business, supported by Blackstone.

“I thought I could budget, I left care and my savings disappeared. MyBnk taught me how to look after my money – they got us where we needed to go”.

Adriana, Ealing Leaving Care – Learnt how to budget and live independently – Money Works. A programme supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.


The Need

bordered3Backers of our vital work shared their insights on the need for young people to learn money and business skills in an age of the global race.

“Education is key, what MyBnk does is amazing, giving the most financially vulnerable in our society the skills to live independently and achieve their dreams.” June Sarpong, MyBnk Patron.

“For a young person, learning how to manage money is as important as learning how to cross the road.” Charles Beazley, MVision.

“You’re providing a life raft for young people.” Doug Wills, Evening Standard Ltd.

A huge thanks to everyone who helped make this a special day as we continue our journey to give young people the skills, knowledge and confidence to manage their money and lead enterprising lives!



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MyBnk Co-CEO Appointed to MAS Financial Capability Board



MyBnk are delighted to announce our Founder & Co-CEO’s appointment to the Money Advice Service’s Financial Capability Board.

The level of financial capability in the UK is low. Half of people aged 25-64 say they find it a struggle to keep up with bills and 2/3 of working age people don’t have enough savings to cover one month’s income.

Lily will be working alongside representatives from financial services and other education providers to help shape the Children and Young People strand of the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK. As well as ensuring the voices of young people and young adults are heard, she will continue to make the case for effective financial education, the need to measure its impact and increase its reach.

The benefits of money advice leading up to 2060 were laid out in the Thoresen Report and would reap over £15 billion worth of benefit for consumers and £4 billion for the financial services industry.

If we’re going to improve financial capability, we need to work together. That’s why the strategy is based on collective impact, where we have a common vision for what we’re trying to achieve, and we collaborate collectively to achieve it.

We look forward to working with the entire sector to help young people gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to manage their money and lead independent lives.

Earlier this year, the strategy’s Evidence Hub gave MyBnk the UK’s highest rating of any money skills programme for young people.

Money advice service board

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The UK’s youngest bankers win big!




One of our school banks has been Highly Commended by the Community Education Awards.

A dozen Year 8s at Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls have been running their own in-school and online saving and lending project for fellow pupils thanks to the charity MyBnk. Hundreds of students have opened accounts and deposit on average more half their weekly pocket money.

Mount Carmel certThe MyBnk-in-a-Box project, which opens every lunchtime and now in its 6th year, is backed up with hands on workshops on banking, borrowing and taxation and enterprise challenges.

Financial education only recently became part of the National Curriculum. The Money Advice Service recently found that MyBnk is delivering the UK’s highest rated money skills for young people.

Community Education Awards Ambassador, Esther Rantzen DBE said:

“I have been astounded by the effort, commitment and the quality of this project as well as the dedication and brilliance of the individuals”.

MyBnk Founder & CEO, Lily Lapenna said:

“We are so proud of these girls! They have volunteered their own time to help fellow pupils learn how to save and borrow responsibly. Across the UK, young people and the Bank of Mum and Dad are crying out for money skills to be taught properly in schools – we want to bring more quality and fun programmes to classrooms and help teachers keep children out of debt”.

Nicole Haynes, Principal, Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls:

“MyBnk-in-a-Box is an inspirational initiative. Our students have developed the knowledge and skills related to a plethora of financial issues: i.e. global financial instability, the credit crunch, banking, risk and debt. Our girls are already well ahead of the curve in understanding how money works and how it effects them”.

Young saver Amy 13:

“Saving is really important. At the moment I just spend and spend and I never have money for the things I need. I will open my account with £1.50 and I’ll be putting in £2 every week!”

IMG_8787 - Copy (800x562)

financial education award


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Student wins big bucks in Global Money Week competition!


A MyBnk participant bagged a cool £100 to kick start his savings after winning a financial education competition.

Wimbledon College pupil Richard Appiah, 12, beat 1,000 entrants in the Demotivator poster contest as part of the Global Money Week awareness campaign with the Institute of Charted Accountants of England and Wales.

During a Money Twist programme, our expert Education Officers taught Richard and his class how to budget, bank and borrow and understand the difference between wants and needs in interactive workshops that build good habits, like saving. Richard discovered he was spending big money on Haribos and made a savings pledge to cut back, designing a poster that scooped top prize!

During Global Money Week, through competitions, special events and free resources, MyBnk armed 8,000 11-25 year olds with key life skills in money master classes, youth-led saving banks and marketplace enterprise loan challenges across the UK and beyond.

“I have a bank account and it’s going straight in! MyBnk have helped me learn how to save so I can spend my money on useful things and not waste it.” Richard Appiah.

“While financial education is now being taught in secondary schools, it’s only the tip of the iceberg for building a nation of savvy savers. Making effective financial decisions has never been more important. Financial education needs to branch out of the curriculum and become embedded in everyday life. And it starts from talking about money with children at a young age. We are thrilled to support initiatives with MyBnk to help reach more young people and empower them to make informed decisions.” ICAEW Director for Global Student Recruitment, Sharon Spice.

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Evidence Hub – MyBnk delivering the UK’s highest rated financial education programme for young people


IMG_8787 - Copy (800x562)MyBnk is delivering the UK’s highest rated financial education programme for young people, according to the Money Advice Service’s Evidence Hub.

The joint University of Bristol project scrutinised dozens of schemes and examined ‘what works’ in financial literacy in an effort to raise standards and outcomes.

MyBnk’s Money Twist programme for 11-18 year olds was rated as ‘Effective’ and resulted in increased money skills, abilities and mindsets, according to the study. It covers everything from debt and banking to pensions and careers and was rated higher than any UK bank or state initiative.

MAS also discovered that direct, expert-led and independent delivery of money lessons achieves better results than teacher training or volunteers. We are delighted that the Hub has raised the bar for everyone arming young people with the skills they need to stay out of debt and make informed choices.

Why is it important?

Fin Cap LogoThis is the first time that UK financial capability programmes have been independently assessed and rated together. It helps teachers, policy makers and funders make informed decision and refocuses the sectors efforts onto quality, impact and methodology.

In September 2014, financial education was made compulsory for some young people in a limited number of schools in England via Maths and Citizenship. The Department for Education has subsequently announced that only government finance will be GCSE tested – meaning young people will not be tested on things like budgeting, risk, and interest rates.

MyBnk has long expressed concerns regarding timetabling pressures, the absence of extra funding and limited specialist teacher training, all of which may result in schools struggling to become experts and to deliver quality and impactful lessons.

What next?

Last week, the Farnish Report recommended that MAS support financial education in schools. MyBnk can deliver what is required on the National Curriculum at a cost of £25-30 per pupil.

Ironically, since money lessons were made compulsory, our sector has had to turn away many schools as demand for our programmes soared. Trusts, foundations and CSR Units are reluctant to fund something that is even marginally statutory meaning young people and teachers miss out on expert-led projects like ours.

The time has come to properly fund effective financial education for young people in schools.

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Evidence Hub


Evidence Hub Outcomes


Evidence Hub Costs


Evidence Hub Points


Evidence Hub Standard

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Global Money Week: Round up & Prize Winners!

Click below to see who out of 1,000 entrants won and a mini-round up of how we armed 8,000 young people with money skills like budgeting, banking and business.



icaew-logoA big thank you to Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales who have kindly donated some of our prizes – A Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone, £100 in starter savings cash and a pair of Ministry of Sound headphones.

We also have headphones for three special participants. Posters have been reviewed by our guest judges, Money Saving Expert himself, Martin Lewis, Rebecca Bolton, Financial Capability Manager at ICAEW and founder & Co-CEO of MyBnk Lily Lapenna. More on that soon.

Once again, huge thanks to all who helped us raise awareness of financial literacy, check here for the daily dispatches from the frontline. Be sure to register your interest for next year’s Global Money Week and get in touch to find out more about our award winning programmes.

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Financial Educator of the Year Competition!


moneywiseTo celebrate financial education’s new home in the National Curriculum, Moneywise magazine are on the hunt to find the UK’s best Personal Finance Teacher.

A public vote will decide the three best secondary school teachers – one of which will win a prize of £5,000 of equipment for their school. MyBnk works very closely with teachers to ensure our programmes map into your curriculum and it has been amazing to see our resources used as evidence of impact.

Schools and parents can nominate who they think is deserving of the prize, and teachers can nominate themselves. Once a nomination has been verified, teachers have until Friday 10 April to upload their entries.

They accept written lesson plans and learning outcomes as evidence of how the subject has been brought to life. You are encouraged to think BIG with either a classroom video or an audio recording explaining why you deserve to win. The more original your entry, the better.

Enter, here.

Good luck!

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