I am a proud Ryerson University graduate. Class of 2001, I earned a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Human Resources Management, with a double-minor in Communications and Finance.
Today, I’m a blogger. But I’m much more than that.
I am an entrepreneur. I am a marketing professional and I dabble in public relations, too. I am a media spokesperson and a contract negotiator. I employ subcontractors, manage day-to-day finances and write, edit and publish an online journal.
I am a woman empowered by financial literacy, which has allowed me to make sound, timely decisions for my business and my brand. In fact, when asked about the “secret to my success”, it’s simple: I have a basic knowledge of money and finances. And it’s my wish that every entrepreneur has access to the same knowledge – especially in developing countries, where the need is greatest.
Introducing Enactus. Enactus stands for “ENtrepreneurial ACTion for others creates a better world for US all”. It is an international non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action.
I’m particularly pleased to share the work of Enactus Ryerson: Project Dago. The program was initiated in August 2011 in Dago, a rural village in Western Kenya which is home to over 3,000 households. Enactus Ryerson members are empowering villagers to reach their full potential by developing multiple initiatives with an entrepreneurial approach, focused on people, profit, and planet. By doing so, they are breaking the cycle of poverty that many of these families encounter, and enabling them to feed their children and afford their children’s education.
I loved learning about Project Dago, particularly because I have a strong interest in female entrepreneurs. In Kenya, many of the women are in business by necessity and are selling what little goods they have to support their families. However, they lacked money management education and the entrepreneurial skills.
To address these needs, Enactus Ryerson members taught financial literacy and entrepreneurship workshops. Topics covered included the importance of long term financial planning, S.M.A.R.T. goals, budgeting, savings and the use of spending journals, product differentiation and finally, learning your target market. Capital One Canada helped to create the education booklet used during sessions in Dago, which was then translated to the local language, Luo.
The result: Enactus Ryerson helped people in Dago, Kenya and surrounding villages lift themselves out of poverty by providing 119 community members with financial education. The team taught 62 female entrepreneurs, 12 male business owners, 40 children and five community leaders varying levels of financial literacy skills in business, entrepreneurship and bookkeeping.
Based on their work on Project Dago, Enactus Ryerson is one of two Enactus teams in central Canada that have been named 2016 Capital One Financial Education Challenge Regional Champions! From here, they will now move on to the national level of competition taking place May 2-4 at the 2016 Enactus Canada National Exposition in Toronto, Ontario.
The Capital One Financial Education Challenge is a national competition empowering post-secondary students to develop and deliver projects that teach relevant financial skills. Since 2006, the financial education challenge has engaged 7,125 students across the country, resulting in the delivery of 779 financial education outreach projects and directly impacting 115,950 community participants.
As a former business student, I applaud Enactus Ryerson for providing co-curricular opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience, and Capital One Canada for championing these students, assisting them with developing their financial literacy programs, and ultimately helping to create the leaders of tomorrow.
The team needs your feedback to help grow their program for Kenyan families, so tell me:
What is the most important financial lesson that you’ve learned as a parent? Leave a comment below for a chance to be featured in an upcoming post!
This post is sponsored by Capital One. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.