As the Director of Valley’s Women in Business Program, I can’t emphasize enough how important financial literacy is for everyone – especially aspiring women entrepreneurs. Women in business often face financial challenges and roadblocks that their male counterparts may not and expanding their financial education can help overcome many of these challenges.
Valley’s leading the way
Valley Bank and our Women in Business program has recognized the continued and growing need to support the financial literacy efforts within our community, and now, during Financial Literacy Month, we strive to spread the word.
Our Women in Business Ambassadors have partnered with various community organizations to participate in and run financial literacy sessions. Topics and presentations range from personal spending and budgeting, to accessing to capital, to other basic topics like building your personal brand, increasing your LinkedIn presence, and preventing financial fraud. We’re excited to share our knowledge and our resources with our communities.
You can help too!
There is so much that businesspeople can do to help raise the levels of financial literacy in our communities. Read the ways you can make an impact.
Focus on personal finance
To start, everyone needs to be able to understand and confidentially work on all aspects of their personal finance. Everyone should learn how to properly earn, spend your money, save, invest, borrow, and protect your assets. Business owners and aspiring business owners need to recognize that personal finance is a building block and a foundation for business finance and future success.
Increased financial literacy and education is necessary for all levels of the population – from students to those preparing for homeownership, those in the low-income communities, and to small or start-up businesses.
Volunteer your experience & expertise
No one is on their own. Those seeking assistance and training and those offering to teach can meet at the same place. Community organizations, large and small, national and local, are “go to” places for those in need of training. These organizations, in turn, are in constant need of support and of community volunteers to assist them.
While many community organizations have preset programs, most are willing to creatively work with their supporters to develop new, timely and relevant topics to present. Established businesspeople – business owners, employees, executives – almost anyone with any level of real business experience – are sorely needed to step up and volunteer. Not including prep time, the time commitment to work a financial literacy program can range from a one-time workshop lasting 30-60 minutes, to full-day seminars, to weekly classrooms sessions.
Support community organizations that promote financial literacy
Nearly every type of community organization has a financial literacy component to their mission – from those specifically focused on building business and financial acumen (Jumpstart, Rising Tide, The Centre, Salvation Army, and local chambers of commerce) to organizations whose primary focus is on other needs where assistance provides real tools for continued success (housing organizations, foodbanks, rehabilitation centers, and more).
At Valley, we see financial literacy as a win for everyone involved. We work directly with community partners who bring in participants, and Valley provides financial experts to present, coach, guide, and nurture. Benefits are found on both sides – the participants learn vital financial literacy and business building skills, while our advisors reap the rewards of assisting their communities, often resulting in strong bonds and business relationships for life.
Interested in sharing your expertise? Reach out to your Valley banker for a list of community organizations that can use your support to help others along the road to financial security and strength.