Helping young people get control their money - and their lives
Experian worked with artist Lecrae to help young people become financially healthy, says Chief Sustainability Officer Abigail Lovell after winning America's Community Involvement Program of the Year at the Environmental Finance Sustainable Company Awards 2022
Environmental Finance: What does sustainability mean to Experian?
Abigail Lovell: Sustainability is built into our purpose and everything that we do. We help people thrive in every stage of their financial journey, and by doing so, Experian creates a sustainable future for consumers and businesses through our products, services, and innovations. With our laser focus on ESG, Experian is addressing important issues from financial literacy to social impact, to climate change. All of this work is helping create a more sustainable future.
EF: Why do you think good financial literacy is important for young people?
AL: We find that many people around the world don't understand their finances, including the importance of credit, budgeting, saving, and investing. In some communities, these topics are rarely discussed around the dinner table, and as a result, these vital issues just aren't part of people's lives. So, we have stepped into that space through this campaign to have a conversation with young people and help them on their journey towards successful financial sustainability.
EF: How can better financial literacy improve their lives?
AL: After the Covid-19 pandemic we saw a lot of people left without job prospects, especially young people who, for example, may work in the hospitality sector, which was particularly badly hit by lockdowns and restrictions. Often their jobs had vanished, and they had drained their savings, and so we were determined to help them with their financial recovery. We know financial literacy empowers people. Through this campaign, we gave consumers access to the right knowledge, tools and skills that can help them make smart financial decisions.
EF: What are the particular challenges associated with talking to young people about money and financial sustainability?
AL: You have to make it interesting. You have to make it really fun. And you really have think creatively about your message in order to make it compelling. Specifically, we know that young people spend a lot of time on social media. So, if Experian works with influencers we can reach people where they are. Experian's messages of financial health and hope are making real-world differences across communities and that is evidenced by the comments shared and engagement on social media.
EF: How did your partnership with Grammy Award-winning artist and community advocate Lecrae help tackle some of these issues?
AL: It's a winning combination. On social media, Lecrae reaches millions of young people from diverse communities and he is passionate about financial health. We worked together to make sure the content hit the right notes, meaning, it's relatable and provides guidance that one can take to improve their financial health.
EF: What do you think young people got out of Protect the Bag?
AL: I think it gave people the chance to see and hear other young people's stories, alongside a musician and artist who could bring it all together and make it fun and entertaining. He made financial sustainability relatable by talking to people on college campuses, and on the street. Because of this, Experian has connected 10 million people with our message, which is an amazing start.
EF: What is the next stage for Experian?
AL: This is only the beginning. We are already working across many communities in order to spread the word about financial empowerment. This includes influencers and artists in the LGBTQ+ community who work with young people. For example, we are working with musician Jake Wesley Rogers, who has a strong social media following and is opening for the Panic! at the Disco tour this Fall. We recently released some Financial 'glow-ups' with him where he talks about make up, thrifting, and how to save money.
There is much more work on the horizon and we are really excited to see how Experian and our partners can help make a fundamental difference in peoples lives.