Everyone longs to be financially free. And while that is certainly achievable, regrettably, the odds are stacked against more than half of the world’s working adults, which is why so many find themselves stuck in unrewarding jobs or, worse, consigned to lives of poverty.
FinGreen, QNET’s signature financial literacy programme, has, however, sought to alter the current state of affairs. And happily, since the initiative’s launch in 2021, we have seen scores of individuals develop healthy financial habits and be empowered to take control of their lives.
The Importance Of Financial Literacy
To be clear, financial literacy is not an end and doesn’t guarantee financial freedom. Nevertheless, it is crucial in supporting economic growth and reducing inequality. It can also provide a leg-up to individuals looking to start and expand businesses, invest in education, manage risks, and absorb financial shocks.
And importantly, it is vital to those traditionally excluded from financial services, particularly women and young persons.
Explains QNET Chief Impact Officer Malou Caluza: “Financial literacy is a key skill for individuals, especially the youth. Higher mobile phone penetration and earlier adoption of technological services mean that the younger generation is likely to be exposed to more financial products compared to their parents. They have access to banking facilities, payment platforms, and financial services at an earlier age.
“Developing their skills and equipping them with proper financial understanding will give youth the tools they need to make savvy and informed decisions regarding their finances, such as managing their savings or planning their budget responsibly.”
How QNET’s FinGreen Makes a Difference
And our hope is that by working with marginalised communities around the world, especially in emerging economies, the programme can help reduce poverty and equip budding entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and confidence to thrive.
Accordingly, FinGreen is built on the following three pillars:
Financial inclusion, we believe, begins with ground-up education. Hence, QNET’s approach to economic empowerment involves collaborations with local experts and partners to assess who, where and how best to implement training sessions. Surveys are also run throughout FinGreen programmes to determine their effectiveness and address potential issues.
FinGreen training sessions are concise and designed for maximum time efficiency. This is especially important for young persons, women and the economically underprivileged, who may not have the time or resources for longer courses. Relatedly, FinGreen trainers are carefully vetted and selected to meet the programme’s needs.
With empowerment as the goal, FinGreen’s focus is also on sustainability and transforming participants into financially savvy individuals who are able to, in turn, guide and uplift others, especially their families and communities. Essentially, the idea is for the programme to create broad, long-lasting impact that results in more financial inclusion.
Supporting the Betterment of Lives
The role of FinGreen, thus, is to help budding business owners, especially women and young persons, make informed financial decisions from the get-go.
FinGreen programmes have so far been run in Turkey and Nigeria. And our objective is to make the initiative bigger globally in the next phase.
Impact Story: Turkey
In Turkey, only 54% of women have bank accounts compared with 83% of men. Additionally, it’s been found that many women don’t understand the benefits of having access to banking services.
As such, QNET decided to run our inaugural FinGreen training session in the country and focus on closing the existing financial gap by clueing in 124 Turkish women from six cities on, among other things, budget management, basic investment skills and managing their personal finances.
The programme saw us partnering with the Foundation for The Support of Women’s Work (KEDV), and our sincere hope is that the initiative is able to address current and inherent financial inequalities.
“It is widely accepted that better and relevant financial inclusion initiatives can foster reduced gender inequalities,” explains QNET Chief Impact Officer Ms Malou.
“Women who have access to bank accounts, savings mechanisms, and other financial services may be better able to control their earnings and undertake personal and productive expenditures. In fact, numerous studies posit that improved access to financial services for women could also prove to be the key to unlock the potential for their micro and small enterprises to grow.”
Impact Story: Nigeria
With the aim of helping these youths lead stable, productive and fulfilling lives, the sessions focused especially on critical financial management and entrepreneurial skills, which are important to increasing employability.
Youth unemployment in Nigeria has been a major concern for some time now. Thus, QNET’s financial literacy initiative, which is in line with the government’s recent efforts to ensure decent and productive work for young people, is crucial for the country’s overall development.
The Values of RYTHM
Incidentally, despite being one of our latest initiatives, FinGreen’s emphasis on empowerment isn’t new. Indeed, it is in keeping with QNET’s philosophy of RYTHM, or “Raise Yourself To Help Mankind”, which is the lifeblood of the company and motivates everything we do.
It is our fervent hope, as such, that through FinGreen, we are able to contribute to making the world more equal and, thereby, ensure a better future for individuals as well as their families and communities.