Economic fortune of many countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region is dwindling. Inflation is rising, cost of living is sky-rocketing and many women and young people remain unemployed. Developing financial knowledge, skills, and habits are important at a critical time like this. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, financial literacy is essential for economic stability and growth, especially among youth in developing economies.
As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), e-commerce based direct selling company QNET is proud to kick off FinGreen, its signature financial literacy programme aiming to develop healthy financial habits through education and training in the most vulnerable communities, especially among young adults.
Financial literacy is one of the main drivers of the developmental goals in modern society. Under the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), financial literacy and education are interlinked with multiple objectives, such as Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG8) and Reduced Inequalities (SDG10). It also plays a vital role in supporting overall economic growth and encouraging governments, corporations, and communities to achieve broader development goals, such as establishing solid social security and providing equal opportunity for all, regardless of demographic.
Conceived in 2021, FinGreen aligns with the United Nations SDGs and the Addis Ababa Agenda to provide adequate skills and proper developmental training for all, particularly for youth, women, and those aspiring to be entrepreneurs. The programme will play a pivotal role in supporting marginalised communities in emerging economies reduce poverty through capacity building and equipping participants with basic financial knowledge for better decision-making in their daily life.
FinGreen aims to address the challenges of young adults’ financial know-how by equipping them with the proper knowledge and confidence to make conscious decisions on effectively managing financial services based on these three pillars:
- Assess – FinGreen’s first approach to educating communities on financial know-how is planted from the ground up. FinGreen collaborates with local experts and partners to assess who, where, and how best to implement training sessions. FinGreen will also run surveys throughout the programme to evaluate the effectiveness and efficacy of the training, alongside addressing any issues along the way.
- Train – Training is divided into short sessions that are conducted face-to-face or online, where peer-to-peer conversations are highly encouraged. This is especially important for young adults, especially those from economically underprivileged backgrounds, who may lack the resources to complete longer courses. FinGreen trainers are carefully vetted based on their qualifications and teaching methods.
- Advocate – A unique facet of FinGreen is its commitment to building a sustainable programme, serving as a foundation for developing curiosity, self-esteem, and relational skills through education. Participants are encouraged to become points of reference for their peers and community on financial literacy topics, creating a ripple effect that makes financial knowledge more accessible and has a long-lasting influence on the community.
In sub-Saharan Africa, QNET is rolling out the pilot for FinGreen in Nigeria, with plans for expansion into more markets within the West African sub-region in the next phase.
Advocating for Financial Inclusivity
Additionally, FinGreen addresses common financial barriers faced by young entrepreneurs and women looking to participate in the global e-commerce boom. FinGreen aims to educate these communities about financial risk awareness in an increasingly knowledge-based and digital world. This is especially pertinent now as global online transactions increased by 10% last year as the pandemic accelerated demand for digital purchases.
“Financial literacy is a key skill for individuals, especially the youth,” QNET CEO, Malou Caluza comments. “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.” She adds, “As a business that is focused on developing micro-entrepreneurs, we understand that financial independence starts with education and inclusion. Through our FinGreen programme, we strive to help young people and women learn the skills, habits, and attitude to make informed financial decisions, online and offline.”