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Guest blog: Experiences with MyBnk

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My name is Akera and I’m a student on the Prince’s Trust 12 week team programme. For part of my course I had to do a three week work placement but the twist was that as the student I had to arrange it all myself.

That is how I found myself at MyBnk.

By Akera Campbell, 20.

I’ll admit, I was nervous about my first day, would I fit in with the MyBnk structure? As soon as I entered the MyBnk HQ my fears were put to rest, each and every person is lovely and unique in their own way and they used that to make me feel more and more comfortable day after day which was really helpful. It helped me to escape my shell of being really shy and withdrawn which I have always used as my default when going into a new setting but I wasn’t in my shell for as long as I usually am purely because of the friendliness.

During my twenty years of life, I have never had any form of financial education or enterprise knowledge what so ever. It is truly a blessing to have MyBnk going to schools and informing young adults about this powerful tool. I could have done with knowing about this when I was growing up as it is a useful tool to now infuse into my daily life.

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I got to observe a Back My Business session which was fantastic! At first I didn’t think I was going to understand it. During secondary school I failed business studies but it was massively difficult because I didn’t understand the jargon. So I’d usually just bury my head in the sand, and not acknowledge it until it was too late to do anything about it, but funnily enough I learnt a lot from this session. Back My Business got the students to really think about what could entice their audience to want to buy their product. It really brought out their entrepreneurial side. It was exciting seeing this session in action and seeing the enterprise side of MyBnk. Understanding the finance side of it all was important to and I got to see a Money Twist KS4 and Uni Dosh session as well.

I have really enjoyed being a part of the MyBnk team, going out and observing sessions and getting to know everyone here. It has been a wonderful experience and I’m glad I received the chance to better myself because of it. It has changed me for the better. I’ve more than strived I have thrived in this environment (even though I may have gained a little bit of weight due to cake and chocolate surrounding me!). I hope I am welcome to come back and help out in the future.

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After work placement I will be going on to my last leg of my Prince’s Trust 12 week team program. This will be to fundraise in order for my team to teach children in Mitcham how to do fencing. We will be doing a cake sale and a sponsored walk to fundraise. Following after that my team and I will be doing our final presentation and performing it in front of friends and family. I may be singing during this time but may not. (If I do I hope I don’t mess up and get stage fright *fingers crossed*)

After the program I will hopefully go on to work on an administrative apprenticeship, get a job in the business administration field and  continue volunteering at MyBnk and get involvded with their Youth Advisory Panel!

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British Council & Thai delegates social enterprise visit

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MyBnk’s co CEO, Guy Rigden, and Head of Training and Quality, Steve Korris, were pleased to host a delegation from Thailand organised by the British Council this month.

Delegates included experts from finance, education and social innovation. We had a wide ranging discussion on how social enterprise works in England and MyBnk’s specific model and activities and how we work with international partners.

We hope to stay in contact in the future and bring MyBnk to Thailand one day!

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

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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.

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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.

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“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!

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“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

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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.

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“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

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“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

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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!

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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!

 

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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.

 

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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. 

 

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“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.

 

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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.


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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!

 

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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.

 

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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”.

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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):

 

 

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