Over the last six months, Ashoka, BNY Mellon, social entrepreneurs, network partners have rallied around a vision of financial wellbeing for individuals, families, and communities across the country. This network’s transformative ideas have the power to shift society towards this vision of our future where communities are empowered to drive their own financial security, resilience and freedom.
As the Unlocking ₵hange Challenge comes to a close, we remain inspired by the more than 100 ideas for financial wellbeing submitted from innovators in 41 states across the U.S. We’re energized by the powerful conversations we’ve been a part of and look forward to continued collaboration within the network.
And today, we’re pleased to announce the four Champions of Financial Wellbeing. These ideas were selected for their unique approach to creating change, sustainability, and potential to make true impact on their community and scale their model to other markets. Meet our Champions:
Mission Asset Fund
The Mission Asset Fund helps hardworking families in San Francisco’s Mission District build and improve their financial security. Based on the time-honored practice of lending circles, Mission Asset Fund formalizes these social loans to allow participants to start or build credit histories and credit scores. Learn more
Fig Loans works to provide credit building products that bridge families from income volatility to financial stability. Fig provides emergency credit that is 70% cheaper than predatory, high-interest lenders. Their approach combines cash flow-based underwriting, machine learning enabled operations, and consumer-centric product design to set clients on a path to mainstream credit. Learn more
One in four women in the U.S. will experience severe domestic violence in their lifetime and many survivors return to abusive situations because they do not have the financial means to stay safe. Financial security is the pathway to safety for these women and FreeFrom provides a 6-month holistic financial capacity program for survivors. With one-on-one weekly meetings, clients learn about personal and professional finances; protecting assets; business planning; credit repair and credit building; and financial goal setting. Learn more
The Tuba City Project
The Tuba City Project is a co-working and business incubation space that combats the persistent poverty on the Navajo Nation where the unemployment rate has consistently increased in the past three decades. The Tuba City Project provides needed infrastructure, expertise, and work space for the Navajo entrepreneurs to overcome entrepreneurial barriers such as lack of internet, lack of physical mailing addresses, and complex leasing processes for space. Learn more
These Champions all receive a $50,000 cash award to support activities related to their programs and will join our cohort of Pioneers of Financial Wellbeing in San Francisco from October 23-26, 2018 SOCAP18 as a part of the Social Capital Markets Entrepreneur Scholarship Program. Learn more about the entire suite of awards here.
Congratulations to the entire Unlocking ₵hange community—our Pioneers and Drivers of Financial Wellbeing, Network Partners, Ashoka Fellows, BNY Mellon colleagues, and, of course, our Champions.