As part of the nationwide Unlocking ₵hange Challenge, Ashoka and BNY Mellon have been searching the United States for innovations that actively increase financial wellbeing for the communities and individuals who need it most. The goal of the competition is to uncover and identify ideas, programs and organizations founded by visionary entrepreneurs based on the needs of communities across the country.  

This collaboration of BNY Mellon and Ashoka will support the most promising changemakers—social entrepreneurs with big ideas to transform society for good—with funding, a collaborative digital platform to connect with peers, mentorship from a BNY Mellon and Ashoka team of thought leaders, and admission to the exclusive Social Capital Markets Conference. Learn more about the full suite of awards here.

Out of more than 100 innovators who submitted their ideas to the Challenge, 37 semifinalists from nearly 40 states across the U.S. were selected as Drivers of Financial Wellbeing. Their bold ideas are creating a strong financial future for individuals and families. A screening panel selected these ideas and many more for their high-quality, community roots, impact potential, sustainability and innovation.

These innovators are reimagining financial freedom in their own unique ways. For example, the Drivers:

  • Weave storytelling and financial literacy together through a mobile application;
  • Connect gender-based violence and financial freedom to ensure survivors can thrive;
  • Build programs that support and educate Americans who have filed for bankruptcy in navigating the complex process;
  • Close the racial wealth gap in communities of color by teaching black and Latino college students how to invest in entrepreneurship;
  • Work to make resident ownership of Mobile Home Communities viable and successful;
  • Support small-business owners to generate household wealth and community opportunities; and,
  • Transform the private student loan space with a new pay-for-success model of lending.

These Drivers went through a robust Community Review process, benefiting from feedback, ideas, and edits to strengthen their submissions. On August 27, BNY Mellon will announce the group of 10 Pioneers who will be named the Unlocking ₵hange Challenge Finalists.

Meet the Drivers and learn more about their innovations here.

BNY Mellon and Ashoka are partnering to shape the future of financial wellbeing through social innovation and entrepreneurship. With a responsibility to its clients, its people, and the world, BNY Mellon contributes to the resiliency of global markets and solutions for some of the world’s most pressing issues, building healthy economies and sustainable communities over time. Ashoka is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs—individuals with new ideas to systematically address the world’s biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. Together, with social entrepreneurs, BNY Mellon and Ashoka are well positioned to lay a foundation of financial wellbeing for every person in the United States—and around the world.

Congratulations to everyone who has shared their ideas and collaborated as a part of the Unlocking ₵hange Challenge.

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