In a moment when six out of ten Americans will experience financial insecurity, families find themselves struggling to pay rent, afford healthcare, and cover their bills at the end of each month. Financial struggles leave entire communities without the opportunity and agency to plan for their futures and reach their goals. Times of joy—going to college, buying a home, raising children—have become sources of anxiety for too many.

While saving money can be a challenge for a variety of reasons, the inability to build a strong financial foundation is often a symptom of a greater, systemic problem. Now, BNY Mellon and Ashoka are launching a collaborative effort aimed at addressing the root causes of financial inequality through innovation—the Unlocking ₵hange Challenge.

We need a shift towards a future where communities are empowered to drive their own financial security, resilience and freedom. How? With the promise and power of social innovation and transformative ideas. Meet the 37 Drivers of Financial Wellbeing.

Across America, there’s a promising groundswell of social entrepreneurs with bold ideas to increase financial wellbeing, ensuring communities can set financial goals, grow their personal savings, and access capital, credit, financial services, and products needed to thrive. With this financial security comes an increased sense of agency and the ability to scale social good.

  • We’re inspired by innovators like José Quiñonez, who creates pathways for the unbanked Latino community to access capital and financial services.
  • We are energized by the work of Marlon Parker, whose mobile currency unlocks youth employment in underserved communities.
  • We’re looking for changemakers like Jeroo Billimoria, who works to empower children and youth through financial inclusion and economic citizenship.

The Unlocking ₵hange Challenge, a collaboration of BNY Mellon and Ashoka, supports the most promising changemakers—social entrepreneurs with big ideas to transform society for good— with funding, a collaborative digital platform to connect with peers, and feedback from the BNY Mellon and Ashoka team of thought leaders. Learn more about the full suite of awards here.

Meet the 37 Unlocking ₵hange Challenge semi-finalists, our "Drivers" of financial wellbeing whose innovations and ideas stood out for their impact. 

A Partnership of

Our company is driven by innovation and our approach to philanthropy is no different. To catalyze social innovation, BNY Mellon lends its resources to accelerate solutions that address some of our society's greatest needs.

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Return on Equality