Financial Literacy For Rural Women The Focus As Australia Celebrates International Women’s Day
Sunday 8 March is International Women’s Day and not for profit organisation 10thousandgirl will mark the occasion by launching a national Women’s Financial Wellbeing program, focussed on increasing financial literacy for women in regional and rural communities.
The two year program will offer regional women access to some of Australia’s leading financial advisors and experts, free of charge and without having to travel to major metropolitan centres.
The program will consist of a series of regional workshop events throughout Australia, bi-monthly webinars and a suite of financial tools and educational programs.
You can read more about opportunities to partner with us or as a passionate believer in women’s financial wellbeing, nominate your town to host a free workshop.
According to 10thousandgirl CEO and Founder Zoe Lamont, the program complements the United Nations’ theme for this year’s International Women’s Day of ‘Make it Happen’.
“Women in regional towns are very active in their local community. They are natural investors when it comes to their families, schools, community groups and local businesses, however we’re finding this investment is not always extending to their own financial education and long term financial security,” said Zoe.
“The program has been designed to extend beyond basic money management and look at the importance of investing to ensure future financial stability. Women are good savers for immediate to short term purchases such as saving for a trip overseas, a wedding or a home but we need to create forums where women can put time aside out of their busy lives to consider their broader financial life plan. For instance, at which age would they like to retire, what kind of lifestyle would they like to maintain and what financial steps need to be put in place to enable their plans to happen.
“Our new workshop series builds investment confidence and equips women with the tools to take charge of their investments and finances to position themselves for a strong financial future,” said Zoe.
ASIC’s recently released Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker research found that investment concepts such as diversification and risk/return trade off were not commonly heard of by Australians (41%) and of those that had heard of the term, 28% didn’t understand it and a further 9% of those who said they understood it, couldn’t accurately describe the concept.
“This is concerning to us and doesn’t have to be the case. We are working to break down the gender and geographical barriers and ensure it is as easy as possible to access independent financial education, irrespective of whether you are male, female or live in a major city or country town,” said Zoe.
According to a white paper published by Infinitas Asset Management, women naturally make better investors than men.
“Women tend to be more focussed, considered and conservative about their investment decisions. They bring a different mindset, life experiences and sense of family and community responsibility when it comes to making investment decisions,” said Zoe.
The 10thousandgirl program is designed to provide women with the confidence and support to take control of their financial future and help them to ‘make it happen’.
10thousandgirl is calling for women throughout Australia to nominate their town to host a free half day women investing workshop. Interested partners can visit www.10thousandgirl.com/working-in-partnerships and complete the online form.
The half day workshop event will help participants to complete a personal financial review, discuss key investing principals, step through creating a personal investing plan and include a Q&A session with a panel of local financial service professionals. The panel will discuss topics such as property investing, starting in shares, super and tax tips, insurance basics, estate and succession planning and solutions and support mechanisms to work together as women to dissolve financial barriers.
The 12 part 60 minute webinar series will interview experts on in-depth topic areas including ethical investing, insurance, farm succession planning, seeking trusted advice, superannuation and wealth creation. Women throughout Australia are encouraged to sign-up for these free webinar events.
The webinar sessions commence this month, with the regional roadshow half day workshops commencing in June 2015, giving women a couple of months to register their town as a possible venue.
The two year regional women’s financial wellbeing project was made possible by a grant from Financial Literacy Australia and funding from leading financial service industry educators including Rabobank and HESTA.
10thousandgirl is a not for profit organisation started by a group of women in a Sydney pub in 2009. The girls quickly realised the importance and long term benefit of having a plan and understanding finance basics so they could make their plans happen.
More and more women started to come. In March 2011 the campaign formally established a board of directors, laid governance in place and has grown to educate thousands of women across Australia every year with the initiative attracting national and more recently global recognition in their bid to contribute to increasing the wellbeing and economic health of women.
For further information or interview requests please contact:
Ph: 0452 637 446
 Australian Securities and Investments Commission Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker, Wave 1 March – August 2014
 Infinitas Asset Management Limited Investing Like a Woman, Steve Macdonald, 2012
THE FINANCIAL BARRIERS WOMEN FACE
Women earn less than men, are more likely to have interrupted careers because of child raising and caring responsibilities and statistically live longer so need to save more for retirement. Women in Australia can expect to earn $1m less than men in their working lives. The financial impact of this is that women in Australia are 2.5 times more likely than men to live in poverty in their old age. There was an interesting feature on the ABC on 9th January, 2015 on older Australian women becoming homeless at increasing rates – and what young women and families can do right now in their lives to avoid this. Check out the video.
ADD TO THE MIX AN AGEING POPULATION
Current policy settings, including the projected increase in the Superannuation Guarantee contribution to 12%, will not of themselves deliver the level of lifestyle to the majority of those retiring over the next 20 years that we, as a nation, are aiming to achieve. The population is ageing. The number of Australians over the age of 65 will increase by 75% over the next 20 years (from 3.3 million in 2012 to 5.8 million in 2032), and at a much faster rate than the working population and with Australians are living longer, there will be proportionately fewer working Australians available to fund those in retirement.
A HARSH REALITY: WOMEN & THE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR
In the BCG study Women Want More the financial services sector was identified by those 12,000 respondents as the sector they feel most dissatisfied with, of all those sectors that affect their daily lives. The BCG survey results revealed that 73% of respondents were unhappy with the service level received and 71% were dissatisfied with their provider’s product offering. According to the BCG research, women are exasperated at how financial services firms serve them, offering up disrespect, condescension, poor advice, contradictory policies, endless red-tape and a one-sizefits-all approach based on the false assumption that men and women’s needs are the same.
Some said “I’m scared of money”, some said “I’ve never touched money, I don’t know what to do with it.” When they say that, I always think, this is not her voice. It is the voice of history. She is the product of this history. So we have to be very patient. We have to pull off the fears which are created around her, and after a while she says, “Maybe I will try”. If a woman tries and if she is successful, then her neighbours become very interested and they say, “If she can do it, then maybe I can do it too.” And if they are successful, that will open up the snowball effect.
An excerpt from March 2010 speech by Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Founder, Grameen Bank
THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE WORLD: WOMEN AS AN ECONOMIC POWER FORCE
The world has been undergoing a silent revolution over the last few decades. Women have been growing their status, capabilities and control of financial assets. So much so that in 2008 there were 1 billion working women, a figure targeted to grow to 1.2 billion by 2013, by 2005 women controlled 51.3% of the US’s personal wealth or US$14 trillion, a figure expected to grow to US$22 trillion within the decade. Globally, in 2008 women controlled consumer spending worth US$20 trillion, a figure expected to grow to US$28 trillion by 2013.
“When individuals and family units have clear long and short term goals and a solid understanding of the simple principles behind saving, debt management, insurance, superannuation and investing – there’s a new confidence, a peace of mind and a sense of independence, gratitude and generosity that floods over them, naturally influencing their family and those they touch in their communities.”
Zoe Lamont, Founder 10thousandgirl project
 Australian Financial Literacy Foundation, National Centre for Social and Economic Modeling (NATSEM), International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
 Julie Reilly’s 2013 publication Gender-Wise Philanthropy: Strengthening Society by Investing in Women & Girls 17 published by Women Donors Network
 Deloitte Dynamics of the Australian Superannuation System, The next 20 years: 2013 – 2033
 Boston Consulting Group, Women Want More, 2008
 Steve Macdonald, Investing Like A Woman, A White Paper, 2012
 Fara Warner, Power of the Purse: How Smart Businesses Are Adapting to the World’s Most Important Consumers – Women, 2005
 Boston Consulting Group, Women Want More, 2008
So join us to embrace women as an economic power force and provide the solutions to the barriers they face – Join A Money Makeover Program or Become A Supporting Partner. Alternatively contact us for more information.
Nice end of year Ripple Effect girls!! A big heartfelt thanks to our most recent 10thousandgirl 6 Step Money Makeover cohort who provided this microloan.
The small profit Christianally Moreno (25) earns selling charcoal augments her husband’s wages. She plans to expand and needs a loan to do so. By increasing inventory she can wholesale this essential cooking fuel to retailers in the market. More stock will also help her serve her existing customer base. Christianally hopes to double her daily sales to $25, and with a successful business sustain her family in the long run.
Borrower Name: Christianally Moreno
Location: Passi, Philippines
Loan Use: Buy and Sell Charcoal
Term: 6 Month
You too can easily donate a micro loan via Good Return so check it out.
Actually two women’s lives.
Last night a group of 30 inspiring women around Australia gave two micro loans. These 30 women came from all walks of life – a mum from a farm in north west NSW, an artist from Melbourne, a mining consultant from central Queensland…
Over the last 6 weeks this powerful group of women completed the 6 Step Challenge, 10thousandgirl’s new ‘Michelle Bridges’ style online personal finance program. And they blitzed it!!
They documented their life plans, tracked their spending, worked out their net worth, negotiated rates on home loans, high interest savers and utility bills. They reviewed their insurance, consolidated super. They discussed investment principles and the behaviour of cash, property and shares. They opened super letters for the first time and made calls to their super fund to change their investment mix to fit with their age and stage. In week 4 they documented their personal investing plans, asking themselves:
- What are my #1 financial goals?
- How much money do I need for each goal?
- When do I need it? What’s my timeframe?
- What investment options suit that goal and timeframe?
- What are my next steps?
And last night they wrapped up by mapping out their personal and professional support networks. They discussed the different professional support roles, how to find trusted advisors and learnt good questions to ask when approaching and engaging an adviser.
Then they wrapped up with an INSPIRATION FEST. Discussing what inspires them, who do they inspire? How do they stay inspired?
Well, wonderful women. You certainly inspired me. Thank you for your Ripple Effect. May it be felt across your life, among your family and friends lives, in your work and community life and as part of your program fee, you each donated $10 into a pool and were able to donate two micro loans, one to Merelita Marama and one to Linita Ponitini.
So thank you for your globally felt Ripple Effect…
Merelita Marama, Nasautoka Fiji
Loan Use: Sewing
Term: 26 Week
Some people are born with a natural talent. Merelita Marama (47) is one of them. She loves sewing for the people in her village and is a skilled seamstress. Merelita has built a steady client base among her friends, neighbours, office workers and church members. With her loan, she intends to buy more sewing equipment to help expand her business. Merelita is certain she will make greater profits, which will improve the lives of her four children.
Linita Ponitini, Tonga
Loan Use: Farm produce
Term: 52 Week
Linita Ponitini has three children under twelve. Her goal is to build a house for her family. She and her husband grow a range of crops, which Linita sells in the local market. But their profits are insufficient to cover both family and business expenses. So Linita is seeking a loan to buy seeds and seedlings to increase the farm’s production and yield.
Want to provide micro loans? Sign up http://www.goodreturn.org
Want to do the 10thousandgirl 6 Step Challenge? Sign up http://www.10thousandgirl.com
The fun bookclub-like GIG (Girl Investment Group) program supports you and girlfriends, workmates or new 10thousandgirl friends to complete the 10thousandgirl Personal Finance Program. The aim is to learn the principles behind personal finance and investing in an engaging, supportive and light-hearted environment.
GIGs are all about learning the life and finance skills we need to know but often didn’t learn at home or at school. Supported by interactive webinars, videos and beautiful workbook materials, 10thousandgirl supplies the Personal Finance Program with an agenda and learning materials for each meeting, and you let your group know what time and who’s bringing tea, treats or wine.
Financially empower yourself while 10% of your program fees go toward providing a microloan for a woman to start a new business and lift herself and her family out of poverty. Pretty inspiring!
Want to find out more?
Here’s an overview of GIGs (Girl Investment Groups) and the NEW 10thousandgirl Personal Finance Program.
Interested and want to find other like-minds in your area? Register your interest.
Already decided this is for you? Here’s the Steps to Getting Your GIG Started.
Currently a financial services professional looking for opportunities to financially empower women in your local area? Interested in a Mentor opportunity? Read on…
Happy New Year!
For some that sentence oozes expectation, for others it evokes a sense of anticipation and excitement.
Its mid-late Jan. Who do you resemble?
A) Ah I’ve set goals before, they haven’t worked, this year I didn’t bother
B) I set goals this year but I’m battling already
C) I’m kicking goals big time
D) My opinion on goalsetting is… we’d love to hear from you, please share!
Of course, at 10thousandgirl we’re firm believers in goal setting. After all, if you don’t know what you’re looking for there’s not even a chance you’ll find it!
To help we’ve put together an easy-to-follow goal setting and financial refresher EBOOK.
Feel free to download as many times as you like and share with your friends, family and work colleagues.
This article was published in the Department of Primary Industry’s Rural Women’s Network Spring 2011 Newsletter
Increasingly, young women are acting on their desire to live their dreams whilst learning skills to be financially astute. The 10thousandgirl campaign helps young women gain confidence, clarify their plans and learn the basic financial principles to support their goals.
With the fast growing independence of young women, over the next three years the 10thousandgirl campaign aims to support 10,000 young country-based women to live their dreams whilst being financially astute. As part of programs being run in 100 communities across Australia, a special sponsored workshop series was run in Scone and Merriwa over April 2011 in conjunction with Albury based style and image consultant Sandra Martin. The workshops were organised by Caroline Long and supported by the Department of Primary Industries. Here’s what two of our workshop participants had to say …
Allissa, aged 28
Why did you attend?
I attended the workshop because I had been afraid of looking at how to manage my money for a long time. I believed that money controlled my life, that I would never understand how to manage money and therefore made poor life choices because I felt defeated around finances. I was tired of living scared, so it was time to get some education and learn some tools to make money flow for me, not let money hinder my life flow.
What did you hope to get from the day?
Tools for my tool box!
What did you learn/how did you benefit?
My money matters were de-mystified, the clouds began to clear and I began to see my dollars a little clearer.
What actions have you taken since the workshop?
I am currently charting my spending and am in observation mode as my needs change.
What are your ‘words of wisdom’ for other girls looking to get their plans and personal finances on track?
Just go for it! Start somewhere, get brave, find a financial advisor or a 10,000 girl! and ask just one question important to you around money, the answers will come and then they will just keep coming and before you know it you’ll be feeling more and more confident and be having loads more fun with your finances.
What are your next steps?
I would like to look at getting a 10thousandgirl GIG (Girl Investment Group) together in the Newcastle area. I am really interested in getting some of this amazing information and education out to women who are or have been in situations of domestic violence. A big question on my mind right now is how to get the same learning and confidence around finance to women before they get to their ‘final straw’ in abusive relationships.
Phoebe, aged 26
Why did you attend?
Although I am a fairly good saver, anything that involves maths/numbers is not my favourite thing so I procrastinate over these things and annoy myself that I’m not doing more to take charge of what I spend.
What did you hope to get from the day?
I wanted to find ways to make financial stuff not so daunting. I also wanted to learn about what financial advisors do and whether I should visit one.
What did you learn/how did you benefit?
I learnt the difference between accountants and financial advisors. I got some tips on how to manage my money. I got inspired by what other women are doing to take control of their finances.
What actions have you have taken since the workshop?
I got together all the information on my super accounts so that at the beginning of the new financial year I can consolidate them into the best performing fund. I have outlined payment schedules for all outstanding debts and worked out when they will be paid off. I have spent my savings on a trip to Africa!
What are your ‘words of wisdom’ for other girls looking to get their plans and personal finances on track?
Get your finances under control because you’ll be amazed at the great things you can do with all the money you save! Plus it’s the small purchases that really eat up your money, by putting together a budget you realise just how much you spend on the small impulse purchases like an extra drink, ice-cream, chocolate. I’m not saying you have to stop purchasing these, we still need treats but when you realise you’re spending a hundred dollars or more a month on these you might not be so peckish!
What are your next steps?
I’m off to use my savings to explore the world – Africa!
The aim of the 10thousandgirl Campaign is to ensure every young woman 15-40 years:
– Has a plan for her life (dreams and goals that are written down)
– Has minimum 3–6 months wages in accessible savings
– Has relevant insurance in place
– Is learning to plan, save and invest for a self-funded retirement
– Is doing what she loves each day
– Is contributing to our world’s broader economic prosperity and wellbeing
10thousandgirl creates economic improvement for women through providing light hearted and engaging educational resources and programs in safe accessible environments, including; a 12-month Personal Finance Program delivered via bookclub like GIGs (Girl Investment Groups), one-day Life Planning Workshops, one-hour School Talks, Workplace and Community Presentations and an online resource hub.
Our goal is to raise $1 million to support women in developing countries to launch their own business … this is the ripple effect.
With every two Australian girls who go through the 12 month ‘GIG’ program, a micro loan is provided to a woman in a developing country to start or support a business and lift herself out of extreme poverty. This element of the program is to raise awareness around the fact we live in a global economy, and show that as individuals, when we step up, we increase our capacity to assist others. It’s a ripple effect!
10thousandgirl is supported by the Australian Government’s Office for Women and Economic Security4 Women, providing bursaries for women living in marginalised positions in Australia to take part in the programs. See our website for information on how to apply: www.10thousandgirl.com/apply-for-a-bursary
As part of the tour around 100 regional centres across Australia, the campaign is looking for financial planners, accountants, mortgage brokers, property professionals and interested womens and community groups to assist in running programs in the following areas: Canberra, Bathurst, Orange, Young, Dubbo, Tamworth, Armidale, Singleton, Newcastle, Alice Springs, Barkly Tablelands, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Wodonga, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Melbourne.
To participate in or assist with an upcoming event in your area, visit the website: www.10thousandgirl.com or contact Zoe Lamont at firstname.lastname@example.org or
on 0419 622 968.
So what exactly is microfinance? 10thousandgirl’s microfinance partner, Opportunity International help us go back to basics and explain the concept before Jhunu and Minati share their story.
What is microfinance?
Microfinance includes basic financial services – including small loans, savings accounts, fund transfers and insurance. Alongside non-financial services such as business training, microfinance assists people living in poverty who wouldn’t usually qualify for regular banking services because they have no form of collateral or formal identification.
Loans as small as $100 help people in poverty start or grow their own small business. This enables them to earn an income so they can afford food, clean water, proper shelter and an education for their children.
Through local partners in the countries where we work, Opportunity is a provider of socially focused microfinance – existing to help people out of poverty above all else.
How does it work?
By helping a mother buy a sewing machine to start a tailoring business or a father buy seeds to plant a vegetable garden, small loans enable people in poverty to earn an income and provide for their families. As each business grows, loans are paid back and lent out again. With 97% of loans repaid, the cycle continues, year after year. Each successful business feeds a family, employs more people and eventually helps empower a whole community.
Are you part of a GIG (Girl Investment Group)? Take charge of your own finances and in the process provide microloans to help women around the world lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Read more to join the campaign and create your ripple effect. More stories here.
Click Play above to listen or here to download!
This is our first episode in our new podcast series where we will be discussing topics and issues relevant to us and featuring people around a range of themes to give us, the 10thousandgirl community, insight, inspiration and information to expand our learnings and the Ripple Effect.
10thousandgirl Workshops & Events
A reminder that our next series of workshops are starting in July with three new tours! We’ll be heading around central/north east NSW, then up to Alice Springs and around the Barkly Tablelands in the NT, then back down around southern NSW and through central Victoria to end up in Melbourne just before Christmas. Fancy joining us? Come to a workshop or join us on the road as a volunteer.
In the coming month…
Canberra – 30th July
Orange/Bathurst – 13/14th August 2011
Young – 20th August 2011
Dubbo – 21st August 2011
Tamworth/Armidale – 27/28th August
To find what other towns we’re visiting and to get your tickets head here.
Remember, if we’re not in your town this year, you can start a GIG (Girl Investment Group) at any time.
Featured 10thousandgirl Guest: Zoe Lamont
Zoe is the instigator of the 10thousandgirl Campaign and has produced the Life Planning Workshop with contributions from experts from all areas of life coaching and business planning. Zoe is a certified business coach formerly with ActionCOACH, a Practitioner in NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and an Avatar Master for spiritual development. She has a degree in public relations and organisational communication and has recently graduated from the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Australia. Zoe runs a creative agency for social business design, The Fuelthinking Group, which creates and develops projects such as an education program for children in Burma and the continual evolvement of the world’s first online political party Senator Online . She writes a blog exploring ways toward the fairer distribution of wealth, knowledge and power “A Natural Order”. She grew up on a farm near Wagga Wagga and now lives between Canberra and Sydney.
Thank you and we look forward to bringing you another magical podcast episode next month!
UNLIKE their Generation Y predecessors, today’s Aussie teenagers appear to be a thrifty lot with a sensible grasp of the power of money.
This could have something to do with growing up amid the global financial crisis, which began in late 2007 and is still affecting financial markets and households today.
But they are not all as money-wise as they could be, having also grown up in a credit-happy world that has given them a strong appetite for debt.
One of the biggest financial concerns for young Australians is ensuring they get to adulthood without a bad credit rating, Veda Advantage spokesman Chris Gration says.
The latest survey by Veda found that 18 to 19-year-olds are less likely to pay off credit cards in full than the general population.
They are also more likely to miss a credit card or mobile phone payment.
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“One of the key things they need to have is an understanding of their credit file, but only 12 per cent have either a partial or full understanding of what a credit file is,” Gration says.
“When you combine that with their missing payments, they don’t realise that these end up as defaults on their credit file which can last well into the future.
“Many don’t understand the consequences of not paying their bills, which means a good proportion are setting themselves up for problems.”
A groundbreaking survey by research organisation Habbo in 2009 found that Aussie teenagers were among some of the most knowledgeable at managing their money.
Habbo regional director Jeff Brookes says the typical 12 to 18-year-old had strong convictions about paying bills on time and did not like owing money to anyone – including their parents.
The survey found that about 54 per cent of teenagers used their bank accounts for saving money, not just for spending. Of those, 35 per cent were saving for a tech gadget, 32 per cent for a car, and 21 per cent for clothes and education.
Teenage sisters Hannah and Elizabeth appear to be examples of the growing financial knowledge of young people. Both have just completed a financial workshop designed for young women to help boost their understanding about money and personal finances.But the girls already had a good grounding from their parents, who for the past two years have included them in discussions about household budgeting and family finances.
Mum Tania Sanders has also been increasing her own knowledge about wealth creation and she has passed this on to the children, including through a board game called Cash Flow that the family plays.
“There are a lot of assumptions made about our society,” Sanders says. “Sometimes it seems a bit of a rat race.”Our financial system seems to be set up so the majority of people have it ingrained in them that they have to get a job, pay off a house over 40 years and that’s it. There’s not a lot of literacy about becoming independently wealthy.”
After attending the 10thousandgirl workshops, both sisters, who are still at high school, want to get part-time jobs.
“The workshop was really inspiring,” says Hannah, 15. “It makes you really understand how money works.
Publication: The Daily Telegraph
Published: Monday, 13 June 2011
Journalist: Karina Barrymore
What to do when you don’t know what to do. Stuck in a life rut? Climb out in just five steps.
Ever asked yourself ‘what am I doing with my life?’ Ever heard that voice saying ‘I don’t know what to do with my life…’ Good news is most of us have – and there’s a way out of it. Lizza Gebilagin from Cleo breaks down the big question of what to do when you don’t know what to do with Zoe Lamont from 10thousandgirl sharing her experience of feeling lost and what she did to turn things around.
Zoe’s advice? “Your mind can see opportunities if you let it…” Easier said than done? Here are Cleo’s five steps.
STEP 1: Acknowledge the issue
STEP 2: Change your focus
STEP 3: Find your motivation
STEP 4: Do what you love
STEP 5: Trust that it’ll all work out
Publication: Cleo Magazine
Published: June 2011
Journalist: Lizza Gebilagin
BEHIND THE DESK: Investing time, skills and resources in the energy of young Australian women has created a new and efficient model for high impact, long-lasting community owned social and economic progression, as entrepreneur Zoe Lamont has shown.
Bernard Kellerman shares the ins and outs of the 10thousandgirl campaign, speaks to 10thousandgirl Jessica Blake about her experience of the program to date and encourages industry support of the movement.
Publication: Australian Banking + Finance
Published: Vol 03, No 03, April 2011
Journalist: Bernard Kellerman
Link to full story