Financial education. Helping girls build better futures.
Education drives economic empowerment and social mobility. Our Financial Education Initiative aims to increase both the financial capability of girls and their awareness of their social and economic rights.
Financial Education for Girls
Financial Education aims to provide relevant and timely financial education to girls and young women at key points in their lives, as part of a program to support girls with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to tackle decisions along their life's journey, whether this is personal, professional or in continuing education.
"Access to financial and social assets is essential to helping youth make their own economic decisions and escape poverty."
Responsible financial services include education and Financial education enables economic empowerment. As a global financial institution, we see first-hand how important financial skills are to enable people to actively participate in the economy and society. Many young people aged 14–25 in developing countries are already economically active but without any basic education in the key tenets of finance. They are therefore not only less likely to maximize the benefits from their economic activity, but also risk making decisions that may result in debt and further poverty over time and into adulthood.
Given that girls in developing countries still struggle to overcome many barriers to education compared to their male counterparts, focusing on financial education for girls in particular can mean transformed futures. Empowered girls can manage their own savings, spending, and make decisions about their future endeavours in life.
By increasing both the financial capability of girls as well as awareness of their social and economic rights, they can better fulfill their potential and take advantage of economic opportunities as they transition into adulthood. Furthermore, financial education for girls also mitigates their vulnerabilities such as sexual and domestic violence, school dropout, illiteracy, early marriage, and pregnancy.
Financial Education 2014–2019
Financial Education Initiative: Building on Success
In 2008 we launched the Global Education Initiative which targeted school-aged children in selected countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. Between 2008-2014, the Initiative developed strong partnerships whose programs reached over 100,000 students in over 400 schools in 38 countries. More than 15,000 teachers were trained in subjects ranging from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and IT to child-friendly teaching methodologies. Based on this success, in 2014 Credit Suisse launched a Signature Program focusing on Financial Education for Girls. The program aims to increase girls' awareness of their social and economic rights, and help girls build better futures for themselves through financial capabilities.
As a global financial institution, Credit Suisse sees first-hand how important financial skills are to enable people to actively participate in the economy and society. Financial education enables economic empowerment; many young people aged 14–25 in developing countries are already economically active but without a basic education in the key tenets of finance. They are, therefore, not only less likely to maximize the benefits from their economic activity, but also risk making decisions that may result in debt and further poverty over time and into adulthood. Girls in developing countries, in particular, face many more barriers to education compared with their male counterparts. Financial education can therefore be transformative for girls.
The Financial Education for Girls program is currently implemented by Plan International in China and Brazil, and Room to Read in Sri Lanka and Tanzania with the support of Aflatoun International as the technical expert. The program aims are:
- Over 100,000 girls receive Financial Education through Life Skills programs;
- Girls have increased self-confidence and agency over their future choices;
- The agenda for educating girls is supported more strongly by families, communities and authorities at the local and national level
Education equals empowerment
We are also continuing to support our long standing Global Education Initiative partner Teach For All, whose global network focuses on strengthening the provision of quality education. Credit Suisse supports Teach For All by enabling them to build organizational capacity of their network partners so that they can advocate for and promote leadership excellence in teaching.
To see the work accomplished with our six partners (2008-2014)
The Financial Education Initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
'Achieving Universal Primary Education' by 2015 was defined in 2000 as one of the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Since 2008, Credit Suisse has made a contribution to reaching this ambitious target through its Global Education Initiative (GEI). In 2015, the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which replace the MDGs and form a core element of the UN's ambitious and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SGDs consist of 17 sustainable development goals that range from ending all forms of poverty and hunger and promoting access to education to combating climate change and building peaceful and inclusive societies. SDG 4 aims to "ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all".
With the belief that education is a great equalizer and a powerful force for social and economic change, Credit Suisse's efforts have focused on providing education to those most in need. Launched in 2008, the GEI is proud of the achievements and the strong partnerships developed over the past years. These partnerships have focused on breaking down barriers to accessing education and improving the quality of educational opportunities.
Through our funding and multi-faceted support, our partner organizations have been able to pilot new programs and approaches while also strategically developing these in order to ensure their sustainability.
In 2015, Credit Suisse published a report in order to raise broader awareness of the SDGs and to promote a constructive dialogue about this topic. In the publication "Aiming for Impact: Credit Suisse and the Sustainable Development Goals", we illustrate how the SDGs provide tangible opportunities for companies to pursue business objectives while also contributing to sustainable development.
Signature Program Partners
Stories from Our Partners (2008-2014)