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Global Entrepreneurship Week Day 5 – Backing Businesses at St Gabriel’s College


While MyBnk’s Global Entrepreneurship week began with the opening session of our Back my Business programme at the Ark Academy in Wembley, Students at St Gabriel’s College were moving on to the second stage of the programme.

With the Year 10 students of St Gabriel’s College having already submitted their business proposals, part two of Back my Business saw twelve students from year 9 and 11 forming groups and judging which three programmes would be heading through to the next round.


The young people involved had volunteered to judge the entries in their free time, and were enthusiastic in selecting the winning applicants. Each group were given four business ideas to choose from, with the best of each being selected to earn an interest free loan from Mybnk.



“Some of the ideas are so great and original. It’s really cool to see students creating their own business ideas.” Sylvie, 15.

After much debate and deliberation, it was decided that the three business ideas going forward would be a pancake stall, a cookie stand, and an American dining experience. Selling food was clearly a popular choice among the young people and seen as a solid business option, dominating the three available places.

With three successful applications chosen, soon it will be time for the year 10 students of St Gabriel’s college to test their business ideas and attempt to make a profit!


“I wish we had done a Mybnk Back my Business session when I was in year 10. It’s really fun and gives you real business experience.” Siobhan, 16. 

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Global Entrepreneurship Week Day 4 – DfE Visits our Youth-Led Microfinance bank


The fourth day of Global Entrepreneurship Week started in our youth-led microfinance scheme at Walthamstow School for Girls.

MyBnk-in-a-Box  allows students to run their own saving and lending scheme.  The opening today was the fifth one of the school year so far and hundreds of students arrived to deposit their money, on average depositing between £1-£2 but some much more! There was energy all around as 400 young savers from across the school deposited their money and the MyBnkers swiftly aided them, £180 was banked in just one lunchtime leading to a total of £1,000 banked for the year so far and much more yet to come!

“I wanted to become a MyBnker because I never used to save, I spent all my money on wants and not needs, saving can help in the future. I’ve learnt new skills since starting this such as teamwork and confidence. I enjoy it, I like serving the customers and I think this is really important for people to do this so they can use these skills in the future.” Memoona, 14, Walthamstow School for Girls MyBnker

To make it even more exciting for the girls, they had some very special guests, MyBnk CEO Guy Rigden, Stephen Kingdom from the Department for Education and Joe Billington the Director of the National Careers Service! The MyBnkers efficiently showed them around the bank and explained the importance of managing your own business at such a young age and doing it for real.


“Understanding how to manage money is an important lifeskill, this is a practical way to experience it first hand and it’s a great way to bring it to life.” Stephen Kingdom, DfE

“I think this is fantastic, it’s a great setup and great for learning working skills. It encourages financial management and gives skills to everyone, it’s superb and very efficient.” Joe Billington, Director of the National Careers Service


“MyBnk is a great idea and will definitely help me in the future. I love it, it’s great and saving money is the best choice and something I can help other people do now. I know how much it matters and it’s important for the future, it really makes you think.” Remsha, 13, Walthamstow School for Girls MyBnker

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Global Entrepreneurship Week Day 3 – The Loan Challenge


Day three of Global Entrepreneurship Week kicked off  with a full day of Back my Business loan challenge for 200 pupils at St Martin-in-the-Fields High School for Girls.

Back My Business enables young people to create their own business ideas using real money and interest-free loans backed by MyBnk and all done in the school environment. The entirety of year 8 got involved in coming up with their own enterprise ideas to pitch to a group of year 10 business students, five winning teams will go through to the final round and see their products come to life at a special Christmas market during December in the school!


“Our group’s idea is to make Christmas themed cakes, one red velvet and one victoria sponge with berries on top, we’ve called ourselves Shake and Cake, we will be selling cakes but also playing music to shake to! I’ve enjoyed this, it’s nice to be creative and coming up with your own ideas, it’s taught me how to be responsible with money and work well with other people, we need to make sure we all got involved! It’s all very exciting.” Nicole, 12

The students set to work on coming up with their own enterprise ideas they wanted to bring to life, loads of ideas were thrown on the table, from personalised Christmas cards to gingerbread shaped in mistletoe. The winning teams that advance to the next round will also be donating a percentage of their profit to a charity of their choosing.


“We decided to be as creative as possible, we have to think practically. I’ve enjoyed coming up with the brand and working as a team. It’s very important to learn about this for entrepreneurial purposes; it will help prepare you for the future.” Taylor, 12

Who will advance to the next round? The teams are being judged on how they work together as a team and their creativity; the year 10 business panel will be looking for something out of the ordinary, something that you can’t buy anywhere else. Today was about the girls battling to show us who has what it takes to run their own business!

“I’ve never done this before, it’s important because if I go into business it’s a good opportunity for the future.” Aziza, 12

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Global Entrepreneurship Week Day 2 – A Bank run by Young People, for Young People

SAMSUNG CSCDay 2 of Global Entrepreneurship Week started off at Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls where a group of young MyBnkers opened up their youth-led bank to the other students today!

The MyBnk-in-a-Box programme trains up a group of young people called MyBnkers to run a bank within their school, helping fellow students to save their money and give out interest-free loans for enterprise ideas. Mount Carmel’s bank opens every Tuesday and hundreds of pupils come to deposit their money into the bank weekly, the biggest saver today banked £15!

The girls set to work helping their peers deposit their money, keeping track of how much each individual had saved and helping newer students open their own accounts up to start their saving journey.


“I wanted to become a MyBnker because I didn’t know much about money before, I didn’t know how to save so I thought this could help me learn more for my future. This is a really good opportunity to learn about money and I really enjoy it, I like looking after all of the accounts. I think it’s important for young people to have an experience with money because it will help them to budget when they are older, it’s important to use your money for good and not bad.” Kelsey, 13, Mount Carmel MyBnker.

Running their own bank teaches the students about enterprise and how to run their own businesses for when they are older, it teaches them the importance of customer service and doing it for real, learning how to take care of money and helping out people in the best way possible.


“I spend money a lot so if I use MyBnk it will help me save instead of spending it all, I save once a week and I think it’s a really great idea, it’ll help people to stop spending so much.” Jordan, 13, young saver.

“For the students to be involved in MyBnk it gives them a chance to apply maths skills to develop their financial awareness and allows them to develop money management skills. The savers look up to the MyBnkers and see them as role models, they want to become MyBnkers when they are older because of them.” Garfield, Mount Carmel Maths Teacher

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Global Entrepreneurship Week Day 1 – MEP helps young business brains pitch for enterprise loans!



London MEP Syed Kamall helped MyBnk kick off another action packed Global Entrepreneurship Week by helping 200 pupils at Ark Academy Wembley win enterprise loans.

This week our education experts are helping nearly 1,000 young people learn about business by doing it for real in over a dozen secondary schools and youth groups. From social enterprise projects and youth-led banks to Dragons Den style eliminators, get ready to meet the front line of enterprise education!

Back my Business gives young people a chance to create their own business using money and interest free loans granted by MyBnk. The best groups – as chosen by other pupils in the school – are then given the opportunity to sell these products at a market and attempt to make a profit.

There were plenty of interesting and exciting ideas being suggested by the groups, including a tennis ball tombola and a hot chocolate and cookie stand.


My Group’s idea is to sell homemade cupcakes and cookies. While a lot of other groups might have the same idea, we are going to make ours unique by giving them all a christmas theme and decorations, setting them apart from the others. Back my Business is great because it teaches us how to run a business and sell things.” Paris, 11. 



“This session has been so great because it has encouraged us to develope our imaginations and create exciting money making ideas. Our idea is to have a ‘Santa’s Grotto’, where people pay to meet santa and get a small present or sweet. We might also sell tree decorations depending on how much spare money we have.” Ana-Maria, 12.

The sessions were made all the more exciting by the visit of Guy Rigden, MyBnk Co-CEO  and Syed Kamall, one of London’s MEPs since 2005, who were both kind enough to talk to each of the groups about developing their ideas and how to create a unique and marketable product in order to maximise profit.






After the morning sessions were finished, MEP Kamall spent some time interviewing some of the young people who had taken part discussing their ideas, followed by interviewing MyBnk’s Quality and Training officer Ben Sadler about the overall progress of the morning session and how well some of the young people had handled the programme.




MEP Kamall then gave a brief assembly where he discussed the importance of entrepreneurship, revealing a bit about his own experiences in business, before the sessions were resumed with a whole new group of students in the afternoon.

With so many great ideas already put forward, it will be really exciting to see which groups are selected to move forward on to the next stage!





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Activate Sport Gala for Physical Financial Education!



During the summer MyBnk teamed up with Activate Sport to develop and trial a new physical financial education project as part of our award-winning Money Twist programme. – the results have been amazing and exhausting!

The Annual Activate ‘Be Inspired’ Gala saw us pitching this exciting project to funders and supporters.


The plan:IMG_8701 Reversed

Using our joint expertise to build a new and exciting programme for Primary Schools that challenges, excites and informs young people. We will use the medium of sports, games and competitive challenges to carry key messages about spending, public finance and preparing for the future.

Hosts Amanda Davies, from CNN and Sky Sports Ed Chamberlin, Activate’s Director Luke Sutton and MyBnk’s Co-CEO Guy Ridgen showed our audience how such a project could work, make an impact on the lives of young people and why it was so needed.

Q&A’s with sports celebrities, an innovative Yellow or Red game (which MyBnk’s Co-CEO Lily Lapenna won!) and with an auction featuring items like Ronaldo and Messi’s signed jerseys – the pledges rolled in!

See our Flickr for more shots of the big night.

But, now we need your help….

Bringing things like tax, pensions and saving to life is MyBnk’s bread and butter and sport is a powerful educational tool, especially for hard to reach young people.

Just £12 will arm a young person with real life money skills that will enable them to take control of their finances and reduce the risk of debt and poverty.

Donating can make a direct and instant impact on the lives of young people across England. Find out how you can help build a financially literate and enterprise driven generation.

DonateFundraiseCorporate SupportTrusts & Foundations



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MyBnk scoops Evidence Award!

MyBnk Deputy CEO Guy Rigden (l) and Vice Chancellor of London Metropolitan University John Raftery (r)


Proving the power of money lessons for young Londoners

MyBnk have won a major award for proving the positive impact of our financial education programmes on the lives of young people.

The Mayor of London and Metropolitan University initiative is London’s first children and youth evidence hub. Project Oracle examined our training and quality methods as well as independent assessments, concluding we are:

“…an exceptional youth sector organisation that demonstrates a direct benefit for young people’s employment and life chances”.

We also picked up £4,000 to help us further refine our sector leading Impact Centre.

Simultaneously at the Westminster Hub ceremony, MyBnk were certified as Standard 3, meaning we:

“Demonstrate through rigorous evaluation, that we are having a measurable effect on our most important outcomes: Financial Literacy”.

Impact chart

Standard 3 is:

A project that has undertaken evaluation that draws a consistent link between the project and the change in outcomes, indicating that the project has caused the observed changes. The project also has procedures in place to increase the likelihood of it being implemented in the future in ways faithful to its design.

Workshops are led by teachers, youth workers and people who have worked in the financial sector. Last year the charity’s education officers were rated excellent by 99% of young people and 96% of teachers.

standard_3_2014_medium (1)Professor Georgie Parry Crooke, Director, Project Oracle said:

“Providing financial education to 11 to 25 year olds, MyBnk submitted a systematic evaluation using a mix of methods, with control groups that demonstrated direct benefit to young people’s employment and life chances”.

Lily Lapenna, CEO said:

“This award is a recognition that expert-led financial education is helping thousands of young people manage their money. It also confirms our methodology of putting young people at the heart of designing their own services, works.

It comes at a crutial time, after years of campaigning, financial education is in the national curriculum, but we want to ensure quality and high impact from the limited amount of time available. Only this way can we forge a financially literate and enterprise driven generation, free from debt and the Bank of Mum and Dad”.

Find out more on our Impact & Independent Assessment as well as our awards.

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Why would a young person want to be a banker?


Trust, suspicion and er, naffness! Studies have shown that young people just don’t like banks. Why then, would a 13-year-old ever want to be a banker or work in financial services?

Well, we asked them and the response knocked our socks off. MyBnk-in-a-Box is our flagship financial education programme for schools where we train pupils to run their very own in-house online saving and lending scheme for their peers. Our Education Officers and teachers act as mentors and the ‘MyBnkers’ run savings and enterprise competitions with real money, real loans and real profits.

Last year these bankers were savers, and it’s interesting how often words like ‘legacy’ appear and that they ‘want to help people save, want to learn about banking and want to be better with money’.

Here is what a bunch of the forty-odd applicants from Walthamstow School for Girls had to say (click to enlarge):



Hannah MarthaEylsia malikaZainabNicolaBellaAmana


























































































































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Activate Sport Gala – Help bring physical financial education to young people


IMG_8701 Reversed

Can you tell what it is yet?

This summer MyBnk teamed up with Activate Sport to develop and trial a new physical financial education project as part of our award-winning Money Twist programme.

Bringing things like tax, pensions and saving to life is MyBnk’s bread and butter and sport is a powerful educational tool, especially for hard to reach young people. So, with help from our Youth Advisory Panel, we took things out of the classroom and into the fields as part of our National Citizens Service delivery – the results have been amazing and exhausting!

Now, we need your help. All monies from this year’s Activate Sport Gala Dinner will go to frontline pilots in Primary Schools. Fancy rubbing shoulders with celeb sports stars, have a slap up meal and make a difference?

Contact for more info:

Activate Sport Gala Dinner Invitation Larger-1 copyActivate Sport Gala Dinner Invitation Larger-2



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Freshers Week: Our Uni Regrets


IMG_5314At MyBnk we share our our money mistakes with young people to deliver authentic, better and impactful financial education programmes.

Freshers Week is always busy for our Education Officers and we are sharpening Sixth Formers minds in schools across the country. Now, for you, here are some of the lessons we learnt the hard way at university, how we got help and what we would never do again!

 MyBnk are also taking part in Student Bean’s Fresher Festival, see here for more. 


DSC_0031smallHannah, Education Officer

What did you learn the hard way?
That everything I borrowed had an APR attached! This was never explained to me and I didn’t really understand what it meant at the time. ‘Free’ money is never as free as you think!

Where did you get help?
I completely buried my head in the sand, I ignored the fact I was behind with bills or had an overdraft and didn’t see it as a massive issue at the time. I borrowed a lot from friends to go on Holiday or got store cards to buy clothes; Things that at the time I deemed ‘Essential’.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your first year self?
Prioritize and budget! Two simple things that I didn’t introduce into my life until it was almost too late. Question if you really do NEED something and if you do, can you get it cheaper? Buy and sell on eBay and take advantage of student discounts as much as you can. You don’t want debt and being broke to cloud the fun you can have in your uni years!


Graham, Money Advice Service StaffSONY DSC

What did you learn the hard way?
Went a bit bonkers in my first term and don’t think I had a night in for about a month! Not only did this hit my bank balance but it also impacted my waistline! Also signed up the gym and number of societies, but ended up going to the gym twice (to use the sauna!) and paid £40 to join the badminton club, which I never used!

Where did you get help?
Fortunate that I was able to go to the Bank of Mum and Dad, who bailed me out on a couple of occasions whilst I was waiting for my loan to be paid in!

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your first year self?
Setup a standing order from a separate account and pay yourself a weekly allowance. This will give you a clearer guide on how much you are spending on a daily basis.


DSC_0964Tope, Education Officer

What did you learn the hard way?
Banks are not as friendly as you think. They have their own agendas.

Where did you get help?
I didn’t get any help I just put my head in the sand and wished it away.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your first year self?
Don’t use money that you didn’t create or put there.


Ben, Education TrainerDSC_0086

What did you learn the hard way?
How to prioritise my needs and wants. Moving away from home where I had relied on my parents to pay for things like rent, bills and internet, I failed to realise that I was now responsible to pay them myself. Instead of reassessing my needs I continued to spend money on going out with friends, buying new clothes and heading out on a daily basis to cafes and restaurants, forgetting about the important costs like rent and bills. As a result I had to borrow a lot of money from different sources to pay off my new ‘needs’. Ten years later I am still paying off those debts.

Where did you get help?
I spoke to my parents, family and friends and was very open about my financial challenges. I didn’t take everyone’s advice but took little bits from each person and worked out the best strategy for me. In the second year I set out a clear plan of my income and expenditure to ensure I stayed on top of things.

One piece of advice?
Assess your needs and wants and make a budget. It only takes a few minutes a week but it helped me save a lot of money for fun things like holidays and music festivals. I made sure I had enough to cover my needs and split the rest between saving and enjoying a few luxuries.


DSC_0034smallKirsty, Education Co-ordinator

What did you learn the hard way?
Student overdrafts are for life not just for that one time you needed £1,000 for a deposit on student accommodation. You won’t be able to pay off your student overdraft unless you actually have an income…unemployed students don’t have an income.

Where did you get help?
Money Savings expert website.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your first year self?
Overdrafts are the devil…not awesome magical free money (although don’t worry too much because your bank will make a clerical error in the future and you’ll get your free overdraft for an extra year before they realise they never charged you and will give you another 6 months free overdraft as an apology for not charging you…WIN!!!) Also don’t lose sleep over money now, it gets much worse in the future…then you’ll know what money problems really are.


Emma, VolunteerDSC_0750

What did you learn the hard way?
You can’t just put in more hours and get paid more student loan – if you don’t spend what you get wisely you end up stuck. Money worry is one of the worst kinds of worry and affects how you feel about everything else. Asking people to lend you money is horrible.

Where did you get help?
My aunt once loaned me money to last me the month. It’s too awful having to tell your parents that you’ve been frivolous with the allowance they give you.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your first year self?
If possible, don’t get an overdraft – you can kid yourself it’s just there for emergencies but it never seems to work out that way.


DSC_0788Jessie, Income

What did you learn the hard way?
How easy it is to spend money. Debit cards or cash, I just couldn’t keep track of what I was spending. Plus I suffer from severe F.O.M.O (fear of missing out) so I wanted to do everything that I could, whatever it cost.

Where did you get help?
I pretty much lived in denial for three years. It didn’t feel like my money so I didn’t worry too much. I ran out of money a few times and was lucky that my parents would bail me out tilt the end of term. But I had a holiday job and would always have to pay them back. That of course left me short for the next term – sort of like a first pay day loan cycle!

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your first year self?
Learn to socialise outside of the pub. Two or three nights a week, do something that doesn’t involve drinking or eating out!


Zarita, IncomeP1030139

What did you learn the hard way?
I got caught out by going into my overdraft. I had quit my student job a couple of months before to focus on my dissertation, but I hadn’t adjusted my spending habits (d’oh).

Where did you get help?
I had to ask my dad for the money (I paid him back when I got a job) and discussed the situation with my bank adviser immediately. He gave me a really good tip to keep an accountant’s spike and keep my receipts so I could figure out how much I was spending on day to day expenses – it all adds up. I still use this method.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your first year self?
What I’d tell myself (and this also applied when I started working/got a pay rise), just because you have money doesn’t mean you have to spend it all. If I’d reduced my spending and/or saved some of my money from my student job, I wouldn’t have got into my overdraft. Saving money helps you prepare for a rainy day, such as when your basement floods or you are made redundant (both of which I’ve experienced).

ALSO – My dad maintains that I owe him money from my uni days, but is refusing to take any. The lesson there: never borrow money from family for poor money management – you will never hear the end of it!


DSCF2032Hannah K, Education Trainer

What did you learn the hard way?
It’s ok to say that you can’t afford something- people won’t think any less of you. Lots of my uni friends came from wealthier backgrounds than me and I was initially embarrassed about telling them that I didn’t have as much money to go out. It turned out that no-one minded and everyone was happy to have cheap nights in every now and again.

Where did you get help?
An older student kindly helped me get a waitress job on campus. I got paid £7 an hour and got a free dinner.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to your first year self?
Don’t take your debit card out clubbing. Leave it at home and take cash.

If you would like MyBnk’s experts to come to your school or youth group, visit and request a session.

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