February 12

RoseEllen D’Angelo

Wall St. Journal Financial Inclusion Challenge Seeks Innovative Enterprises – Application Deadline Feb. 23

Financial stability eludes millions of Americans: Nearly one-fourth of adults can’t pay their monthly bills, and roughly the same number have little or no access to a bank. Many have no retirement savings or aren’t sure how to manage them.

In January, the Wall Street Journal launched a series of video reports examining difficulties many face in managing spending, borrowing, saving, investing and financial planning. The most recent video presents a powerful portrait of the vicious cycle of job insecurity, payday lenders and poverty in Tchula, Miss., which has the lowest median income in the country, and where nearly 43 percent of residents live below the poverty line.

At the same time, the Journal began its Financial Inclusion Challenge, a competition that seeks to highlight innovative, sustainable, scalable and socially impactful solutions to address these issues.

The challenge, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, is open to for-profit and nonprofit enterprises whose services and products improve the financial health and security of low- and moderate-income people in the U.S. The deadline for entries is Feb. 23.

In early March, the top 10 submissions, as selected by Wall Street Journal journalists, will be assessed by a panel of independent judges to determine three finalists. During the week of May 7, the judges, who include Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal; Camille Busette, director of the Brookings Institution’s race, prosperity and inclusion initiative; and Kristen Berman, co-founder of Irrational Labs and Common Cents Labs, will select a winner onstage during a live Journal event in New York City.



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RoseEllen D’Angelo is the senior editor for the Wall Street Journal Financial Inclusion Challenge.

Image courtesy of the Wall Street Journal




Finance, Investing
financial inclusion, poverty alleviation