News / Corporate Social Responsibility

Financial literacy – our first steps

As part of our commitment to weave social responsibility into the fabric of our operations, one of our key areas of focus is to help improve financial literacy amongst groups that are most in need. Caroline Underhill, our Global Marketing Director and Head of CSR, describes one of the first projects we’ve embarked upon.

Our purpose of helping people to achieve financial freedom extends beyond our clients, and our team, to how we positively impact our wider communities. One of the areas we’re focusing on is financial literacy; the link between a lack of financial education and the impact on life opportunities is clear and we aim to use our resources, expertise and networks to help people most in need to develop the skills and the confidence to help safeguard their own financial futures.

Our first project involves two well respected members of the Singapore business community. Michael Gilmore and Sazzad Hossain have both have been heavily involved in the area of financial literacy and education throughout their own careers, and we’re very pleased to be working with them on this important initiative.

Michael Gilmore is the author of  book ‘Happy Ever After: Financial Freedom Isn’t A Fairytale” and also ‘The Thousand Dollar Journal’; a simple-to-understand and easy-to-follow guide developed to help newly graduated students and migrant workers with key savings and investment information needed to develop healthy money habits.

Sazzad Hossain moved to Singapore from Bangladesh aged 11; a step which forced him to pick up his studies two years below his grade at school as a result of the language barrier. At age 18 he began volunteering to support other migrants by teaching them English and in 2013, he formed the SDI Academy, a social enterprise which empowers refugees and migrant workers by equipping them with the skills needed to make a difference to both their, and often their families, lives.

Our project has kicked off with the translation of Michael’s journal into Bengali so that it can be published and made available to the Bengal Migrant worker community in Singapore. Once completed, we will be working with both Michael, Sazzad and the SDI Academy to develop an advocate training programme to support distribution of the journal and provide training on the skills and tips covered.

We’re looking forward to developing this project in Singapore, and understanding its impact on a marginalised group. Our work in the next few months is also helping us identify other charities and social initiatives to work with, to improve financial literacy rates in some of the other communities in which we operate.

To find out more about this and our other CSR projects please get in touch.