Addressing Poverty Through Digital And Financial Literacy (Capital One)

Thursday, January 7, 2016
Addressing Poverty Through Digital And Financial Literacy (Capital One)
The Great Recession delivered a body blow to our country’s financial equilibrium, and only after years of painfully slow recovery have housing prices begun to stabilize and the unemployment rate steadily fallen. But while the economic crisis has abated, it remains a devastating morass for many, especially young adults, ethnic and racial minorities, and lower income families.
Many experts concur that two of the challenges keeping people underserved, underbanked and underemployed are a lack of digital skills and financial literacy. Seventy-five percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and 25% have no savings at all; nearly half of all Millennials have too much debt, and many borrow from predatory lenders.
Understanding how to make financially responsible decisions and managing one’s credit and debt are skills that are essential to our daily lives, without which people are vulnerable to the kinds of financial predators and poor decisions that helped cause the housing crisis. Financial literacy is critical to avoiding high levels of debt, excess fees for financial products, accessing credit and saving for retirement. . .

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator, the first national accelerator program and investment fund in the country focused on “civic ventures,” is committed to supporting innovative solutions around these two skills in order to help more people succeed in the digital economy. For the challenge of increasing technology adoption and financial inclusion, the Accelerator, along with founding supporters PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation, and program sponsors Capital One, Dentons, Hilton Worldwide and Singing for Change will build what they call a “cohort” around 12 to 15 innovative, scalable ventures that focus on creating greater access to financial and digital tools, technologies and services, thereby broadly impacting the civic health of our vital communities. . .

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