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Empowering SA’s youth with Financial Literacy

UWC & Metropolitan’s FINLIT Challenge Empowers SA’s Young Entrepreneurs with Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is an important skill - and one that isn’t as easily taught to the youth as it should be in South Africa. That’s why the University of the Western Cape’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) is empowering students to empower others with the relevant knowledge with the UWC/Metropolitan FINLIT Challenge.

The Challenge, which kicked off on 6 April 2018 and runs through to 11 May 2018, will see 30 students from UWC work in teams to tackle financial literacy challenge in youth - by designing an innovative financial literacy programme for Metropolitan, a division of MMI Holdings, to be rolled out countrywide.

“This innovative competition will bring the voice of the youth to address South Africa’s financial literacy gap in the country by designing an innovative FINLIT programme,” explains Charleen Duncan, Director of UWC’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The experience, including a compulsory internship (initiated by CEI), will grant participants practical knowledge about design and entrepreneurship from concept to prototype, marketing and implementation. And for the winning team, there’s the opportunity to work with a professional design team to implement their financial literacy programme.

“The winning students will be recognized by one of the country’s top financial institutions,” Duncan notes, “and will also be able to help youth across South Africa become financially literate. That will help develop entrepreneurial spirit and ability - and the next generation of successful job creators, innovators and world changers.”

“Empowering young people is our new strategy - and specifically empowering them so that they can find employment,” says Metropolitan’s Elsie Govender. “This project allows us to do this, as well as help us address the critical need for financial education among young people.”  

Youth helping youth: Designing an empowered future

The internship opportunity for the winning team will allow them to have exposure to the corporate world, and also to be part of a team that will bring to life the very programme that they designed.

“This gives them multiple layers of exposure in not only coming up with the idea but also implementing it, developing it and making it fit for market,” she says.

It’s an innovative approach: youth helping youth learn the ins and outs of managing money. But it’s also one that can make a real difference.

“We believe that the students are best placed to provide an innovative solution to teaching financial literacy because they experience the challenges of handling money on a daily basis,” Govender notes.

“They know what the issues are that they face - and with a bit of help, they can find solutions nobody else has thought of.”