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.
Half worry they will never be financially stable, a quarter of children live in poverty and a decade of austerity has seen theme face the growing gig economy, higher rents and increased personal responsibility with less security. The benefits of a meaningful financial education are evident but there remains significant gaps in relevant, effective and evaluated provision.
Today, having key money management skills and positive financial habits is essential to live independently.
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, 52% of students do. In 2011 we joined others and successfully campaigned for money lessons to become part of England’s national curriculum, from Year 7 to GCSE level.
Although there is wide advocacy for financial education, there remains substantial gaps in relevant, effective and evaluated provision, especially at scale.
With timetabling pressures, the absence of extra funding and limited specialist training, evidence and experience tells us schools are struggling to deliver impactful lessons. Moreover, students in primary schools, 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!”
MyBnk takes a holistic approach to education, using real life case studies, colourful resources, games, videos and links to popular culture to bring money to life. Sessions challenge negative financial attitudes and build self-belief. We cater for audio, visual and kinaesthetic learners with many extensions and ability variations.
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.
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 young people in vulnerable circumstances, 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.
We convey 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 young people in vulnerable circumstances.
Some of these young people 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 in the UK we have reached 220,000 young people in over 1,000 schools and youth organisations and new programmes are being launched and developed. We have also trained international organisations to deliver our workshops.
In 2017/18, we had the privilege of working directly with 33,458 young people across the youth sector.
In that time we have delivered 6,108 hours of face-to-face training through 287 hosts in 62 local authorities nationwide.
Major independent evaluations have proven MyBnk’s participants develop positive money behaviours, start to save, reduce debts and avoid eviction.
New partnerships saw us teach students how to cope with money at university and help primary school pupils connect energy efficiency with money management.