Date: Dubai, UAE; January 23, 2024
The Financial Freedom for All – a campaign launched by Century Financial in collaboration with the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Middle East and the Anti-Poverty Working Group, has garnered the backing of leading corporates, pledging to enroll 10,000 blue-collar workers within the very first month of its launch.
This significant milestone underscores the campaign's broad appeal and its profound impact. Furthermore, the initiative has successfully galvanised the support of over 50 prominent corporates and more than 30 esteemed educational institutions, solidifying its crucial role in cultivating a future rich in financial literacy.
This initiative marks a transformative journey towards instilling comprehensive financial literacy and empowerment, resonating with the UAE's visionary agenda for sustainable development.
The average estimated amount of money that lacking knowledge about personal finances cost people was $1,819. Extrapolating the results to represent the 254 million adults who live in the U.S., lack of financial literacy cost Americans a total of more than $436 billion in 2022.
Every 1 in three persons lack financial literacy, costing the global economy huge losses in income. Globally, 69 percent of adults – 3.8 billion people – now have an account at a bank or mobile money provider, a crucial step in escaping poverty. This is up from 62 percent in 2014 and just 51 percent in 2011. From 2014 to 2017, 515 million adults obtained an account, and 1.2 billion have done so since 2011, according to the Global Findex database.
Esteemed organisations such as Al Ghurair, Transworld, EHS, Al Futtaim, Imdad, Tristar, Al Shirawi, Betam, Canpack ME and Labotel have also expressed their interest, showcasing the widespread recognition and endorsement of the campaign's objectives. This collective endorsement from such reputable entities further emphasizes the campaign's pivotal position in shaping a financially empowered and literate society.
Bal Krishen, Chairman, and Sameera Fernandes, Director of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability at Century Financial, reflected on the campaign's progress, stating, 'The 'Financial Freedom for All' campaign has evolved from a vision into a transformative force, uniting individuals, corporates, and educational institutions in the pursuit of a financially empowered society. Our collaboration with the PRME and the Anti-Poverty group has been instrumental in driving this change.'
To further propel the campaign's momentum, Century Financial hosted a strategic roundtable bringing together key figures from industry and academia. These collaborative efforts have been crucial in aligning the campaign's objectives with industry insights and academic expertise, ensuring a cohesive and comprehensive approach to achieving financial literacy for all.
Dr. Eesa Al Bastaki, President of the University of Dubai, emphasized the transformative power of financial literacy, especially for blue-collar workers, stating, 'Financial literacy stands as a cornerstone of empowerment and progress, particularly for our blue-collar workforce who are integral to our economy's backbone. By equipping them with the knowledge and tools to manage their finances effectively, we are not just enhancing their individual lives but are also fortifying the economic fabric of our society. The education sector plays a pivotal role in this endeavor, acting as the catalyst for this essential knowledge transfer. It's our collective responsibility and privilege to drive this initiative forward, ensuring that financial literacy is not a privilege but a fundamental right accessible to all.
Dr. Jeremy Williams, Zayed University – Chair, PRME praised the initiative's progress, stating, 'The campaign is a testament to what can be achieved through strategic collaboration and shared commitment. Exercising responsible leadership like this fosters a culture of purpose, and there is no greater purpose than education that empowers people to help them escape poverty. This is a very effective vehicle for promoting social sustainability.'
Abhijeet Oak from the SmartLife Foundation also commented, 'Financial literacy is not just an asset but a necessity, especially for blue-collar workers who are important stakeholders of the economy, even in their home countries. Empowering them with financial knowledge equips them with the tools to make informed decisions, fostering a more resilient and economically inclusive society. We are delighted to see this initiative garnering the much-needed attention it deserves.”
The Financial Freedom for All campaign stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and shared vision. With ongoing support from corporates, educational institutions, and the community, the journey towards comprehensive financial literacy and empowerment is well underway, paving the way for a financially literate and empowered society, in line with the UAE's national vision.