Corporate Partnerships where Financial Literacy meets Digital Inclusion
Financial literacy meets digital inclusion – The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in CSR resulted in a slew of unintended consequences. Apart from projects focused on digital learning, another intersection where corporate social responsibility is taking a keen interest is that of financial literacy and digital inclusion. The internet and financial services are no longer considered luxuries; they are now considered basic human rights. Naturally, a plethora of CSR programmes and corporate partnerships exist to meet this demand. Here are three recent examples of this type of teamwork.
American Tower Corporation (ATC)
As part of its Digital Communities Program, ATC CSR Foundation India, the CSR arm of American Tower Corporation (ATC) India, has attained a key milestone by launching 200 Digital Communities across India. Digital Communities are places where people of all ages gain access to the internet. They are typically located at or near the base of an American Tower site. Digital Communities provide educational, healthcare, financial, and career development services based on local requirements, with the goal of improving quality of life through connectivity.
With the opening of 15 ATC STEM Labs in Bihar’s government schools, ATC CSRFI has taken another step toward its goal of developing Digital Communities, which will enable more access to information and communication technology (ICT) in locations where access to the internet is still limited. ATC CSRFI has expanded its e-education reach by opening ATC STEM Labs in more than 50 schools throughout UP and Bihar, following the successful rollout of Digital Learning Centres with Self Learning Kiosks and Career Development Centres across the country. ATC CSRFI is looking for partners to aid with not just this initiative of fostering digital literacy, but also other important services like healthcare and financial inclusion.
Fintso and FinX
Fintso, a B2B2C fintech platform, has partnered with FinX, an ed-tech company that focuses on employability and training in the BFSI space, to create 10,000 new entrepreneurial Independent Financial Product Providers (IFPPs) by 2025, addressing the growing need for financial literacy and supporting India’s vision of becoming a $5 trillion economy.
With the appropriate support and help from business leaders, the students will embark on a journey to become financially independent. A total of 500 kids will be enrolled in the pilot programme, which will span the length and breadth of the country. The programme includes full training sponsorship, regulatory NISM V-A certification expenses, AMFI registration fees, and a three-month internship stipend. It will provide students with one year of online access to the curriculum via a Learning Management System, lectures from industry leaders via industry interactions, and access to the cutting-edge Fintso platform to help them grow their financial consulting practice.
With only one financial product provider for every 17,000 Indian inhabitants, the programme will help bridge the gap and improve IFPPs in order to bring retail investors into the mainstream economy while also producing micro-entrepreneurs. The programme will enable them to launch a firm in a high-growth sector with few resources and active support from the start.
“India has one of the greatest pools of employment searchers,” stated Himanshu Vyapak, Founder of FinX. We need a mindset shift among young Indians to become job producers rather than job seekers if India is to become a $5 trillion economy. Financial entrepreneurship is a fantastic career choice because it is knowledge-based and does not require any initial funding. More importantly, IFPPs’ financial success is closely connected to their clients’ wealth generation.”
After coming to the United States to earn her Masters in Computer Science less than a decade ago, entrepreneur Suruchi Gupta got her start by winning hackathons. She wanted to use her enthusiasm for technology to build something that would have a global impact, so she created the GIANT (Global Internet Access Network Token) Protocol, a web3 protocol that would decentralise and democratise internet and financial services access. Suruchi co-founded the company with Jinesh Doshi, a college classmate with whom he has worked for over a decade.
The tokenized bandwidth platform will collaborate with telecommunications companies and connectivity providers around the world to launch a new distributed connectivity economy that tokenizes bandwidth, allowing anyone with a smartphone to access the internet and become an owner simply by going online. GIANT Protocol was created with the goal of establishing a decentralised connectivity economy that can address a variety of telecom industry issues. It aims to turn internet access into a digital asset and create a new web3 layer that aligns all parties’ incentives, allowing for the creation of a new economic platform that is open to all, seamless and safe by design, and regulated by the community.
“There are over 5 billion mobile phone users who spend over $2 trillion on broadband and mobile internet every year,” says Gupta, Founder and CEO. GIANT gives an on-ramp to web3 by just going online and converting this bandwidth into a virtual currency. It’s a straightforward, user-friendly, and practical approach that turns our phone numbers into wallets and mobile minutes and data into real-world currency.”
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