Why we do it?
Everyone needs to be able to manage their money, it is just common sense.
But for young people the inability to do so has serious consequences. For them, it is easier to fall into debt, be scammed, make uninformed decisions and establish bad money habits.
More than a third of young adults have debts of almost £3,000 and a growing number of under 30’s are struggling to pay household bills and are using credit to cover everyday spending.
Youth unemployment stalks Europe and the traditional routes to employment are changing. This generation will have to make smarter financial decisions and create their own opportunities.
Need for Financial Education
Young people engage with money from an ever earlier age but face a financially challenging future.
When MyBnk started in 2007, just 10% of UK adults had received any form of financial education. Today 41% of students do after MyBnk joined others in 2011 to successfully campaign and get money lessons on to England’s national curriculum, from Year 7 to GCSE.
Although there is wide advocacy for financial education, there remains substantial gaps in relevant, effective and evaluated provision, especially at scale.
However, given timetabling pressures, the absence of extra funding and limited specialist training, evidence and experience tells us schools are struggling to become experts and deliver impactful lessons. Moreover, 50% of students in academies, sixth forms, colleges and free and independent schools are not required to be taught money skills. This is against a backdrop where 39% of teachers feel financial education, as it is currently taught, will make no difference to how young people see monetary issues (Nationwide).
Need for Enterprise Education
Youth unemployment and long-term joblessness is still stubbornly high. Record numbers of young people are starting their own business, yet fewer than 4% go on to create a company that pays a wage or makes a profit (RBS).
Young people can now expect to have nine jobs over the course of a 48-year career (LV=Insurance). Yet, there is a chronic skills gap contributing to a stubbornly high unemployment rate of nearly a million 18-24 year olds – 188,000 of those long-term.
Government initiatives to support entrepreneurialism, like Start-up Loans and Enterprise Allowances, work best when skills are developed earlier. The ability to assess risk and learn from failure improves soft and employability skills such as leadership, communication and problem-solving. Everyone needs enterprise skills, even if you are not starting your own business
Enterprise also helps bring financial knowledge to life and can provide a successful route to long-term participation in the job market.
How We Do It
Budgeting, costing structures, taxes – they can be… well, boring! That is why our mission is to bring financial education and enterprise to life for young people.
Our motto is: “Every young person must be wowed!”
We are often a young person’s first exposure to these topics and we know first impressions last – this is why we build programmes with young people themselves, through our Youth Advisory Panel.
We take a holistic approach to education, catering for audio, visual and kinaesthetic learners with many extensions and ability variations.
Using real life case studies, colourful resources, games, videos and links to popular culture, we enable young people to gain practical skills like budgeting and explore and form their own opinions regarding their relationship with money and enterprise.
When working with vulnerable young people, we combine activities with discussions, personal experiences and story sharing. Some of these young people have low self-confidence around money management and lack the ‘soft skills’ needed for enterprise, so our programmes challenge negative attitudes, and build self-belief and aspirations that help them move forward financially.
Quality & Training
MyBnk strives to develop and deliver educational programmes that ‘wow’ and ‘delight’ young people – conveying appropriate learning in an exciting way, leaving them with a positive memorable experience and a desire to learn more about money beyond the ‘classroom’.
If you do something you might as well do it properly. This is more true than ever when looking at important topics such as finance, business and employability. That is why we employ full-time paid professionals with a background of working with young people.
Trainers are rigorously trained and tested in the core subject knowledge behind the programmes. Once certified, our Quality & Training Team monitor the quality of ongoing deliveries, provide additional CPD, updates for trainers and analyse data to feedback into our programme development and approach.
Out of mainstream education
Our out of school approach shifts, especially when working with vulnerable young people.
Some of these young people also have low self-confidence around money management, so our programmes contain a strong element of challenging negative attitudes, building self-belief and aspirations to move forward financially.
Tailored specifically to the target group and exploring personal money experiences, together we identify young people’s misconceptions and bad financial habits – ultimately breaking down the barriers to independent living and supporting those trapped in debt or struggling with the costs of living.
We combine activities, discussions, lots of examples, personal experiences and story sharing. The content of our programmes is flexible to respond to learners’ needs and circumstances.
From working in education in Zimbabwe and Brac in Bangladesh, inspired by Grameen Bank microfinance, and with help from fellow entrepreneurs – the story of MyBnk starts with our founder Lily Lapenna.
MyBnk’s founder, Lily Lapenna, has a background in international development in Africa and Asia. She saw how a small loan can unleash potential, give way to enterprise, better money skills and self-sufficiency.
Lily returned to London and set about creating a project that would allow young people in the UK to benefit from the same principles. The idea was to use financial services as a practical learning tool, encouraging young people to take the responsibility of helping themselves and the wider community. The central ethos was to get young people involved in all stages of project development and delivery.
Lily met Michael Norton OBE who was the catalyst to make her ideas a reality. Michael has started a wealth of youth led programmes, including the youth led grant scheme YouthBank. Together they created MyBnk.
In 2007 Lily and a group of young people in Tower Hamlets created the first MyBnk-in-a-Box branch. Since then we have reached 160,000 young people in over 750 schools and youth organisations, new programmes are being launched and developed, and franchises are going live in the UK and abroad.
In 2015/16, we had the privilege of working directly with 25,601 young people across the youth sector.
MyBnk also reached some important milestones this academic year including reaching our 160,000th young person, winning the Guardian’s Charity
Award, integrating digital skills into our youth intervention projects, and training organisations to deliver our programmes to young people in Wales.