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My Bnk - Money Choices for Youth

My Bnk is an educational charity founded in July 2006 by Lily Lapenna - read all about how it was set up and why it works.

1) Project Title

2) What is it?
MyBnk is an educational charity founded in July 2006 by Lily Lapenna, winner of the New Statesman Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2008. MyBnk develops innovative youth led educational tools for young people to build the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their money effectively, and to make enterprising choices throughout their lives.


3) What was the need?
UK personal debt increases by £1 million every 4 minutes...

With an alarming 91% of adults never having received basic financial management guidance, it is hardly surprising that the current generation of parents and teachers struggle to equip our young people with the financial skills they need. In addition, an ever changing and increasingly competitive job market creates further uncertainty for young peoples' futures.

In response, the government has placed both financial and enterprise capability high on its agenda. Economic wellbeing is one of the five major outcomes on the Every Child Matters agenda. New enterprise budgets are now available to schools, and enterprising thinking underpins the whole new secondary curriculum.

The MyBnk programme addresses both these needs in a practical and participatory way, and additionally develops young people's confidence in taking responsibility for their future.


4) How does it work?
MyBnk gets young people running their own banks...

MyBnk has created the first ever independent FSA friendly youth led banking scheme run by young people for young people, allowing them to save regularly and take out interest free loans for the setting up of enterprising activities. This is accompanied by high-energy assemblies, workshops and projects on topics such as social enterprise, Islamic banking and creative idea generation.

MyBnk creates opportunities for students to make informed decisions about financial services and to engage with the banking system so it works for rather than against them. We also invite young people to question what banks do with their money, and to consider ethical policies when shopping for a bank.

Our innovative educational programmes are designed to increase young peoples' financial and enterprise capability, as defined by the Department for Children Schools and Families.


5) What's currently happening?

  • MyBnk currently works in 10 institutions, ranging from specialist business academies, to inner city schools and further education colleges.
    80% of previous years participating institutions and pilots have signed up and paid for a full MyBnk service from September 08.
  • Through a partnership with BRAC UK, MyBnk have a specific hub of activity with post-16s in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
  • The MyBnk programme has also been run with academically disengaged Prince's Trust XL club students and NEET (not in education, employment or training) young people in youth groups.
  • Having undertaken a social research project on how to combat financial exclusion amongst formerly homeless young people, MyBnk has developed personal money management training for Foyer residents to be delivered in Summer 2008.


6) What makes it great? 

  • An award-winning Founding Director (New Statesman Young Social Entrepreneur 2008)
  • A young and enthusiastic team of staff and volunteers 
  • A strong advisory panel
  • A cool name, brand & website
  • Extensive research and evaluation
  • Innovative learning resources and service
  • Friends with the FSA and Pfeg
  • Including the most excluded
  • Young People focused with regular consultations with our beneficiaries


7) Lessons learnt?

  • Importance of piloting your service and monitoring closely to refine and perfect it
  • Never to assume to know what young people want/like or need, no matter how young you feel!
  • The Education Sector is very hard to navigate and market to!
  • The importance of building relationships with key stakeholders such as local government, education networks and boards,
  • You need to map the territory of what's already out there and those doing similar things for shared knowledge, collaboration and to avoid duplication, or sometimes to know your competition


8) What next?
July 2008- July 2009

  • To expand into 30 London based schools/colleges/youth groups.
  • To put in place a 3 tier expansion plan: London wide/Nation wide/International
  • To pursue a marketing campaign that brings on board 30 more institutions school for September 2009.
  • To have 9,000 young people using the MyBnk website as a tool to increase their financial and enterprise capability.
  • To strengthen partnerships with NGOs, private and public sector organisations.
  • To expand MyBnk's work into 4 Foyers across London.
  • To expand MyBnk's work into Primary schools.
  • To develop, pilot and deliver a financial capability series of workshops for young people.


9) contact:

Lily Lapenna - 0207 702 0377 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Download the  My Bnk case study pdf


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Monday, 16 February 2009
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