I recently had the pleasure of meeting Lily Lapenna the founder of MyBnk.
MyBnk is a social enterprise whose aim is toincrease financial literacy and to develop young people’s enterpriseskills by giving them a hands-on experience of organizing, running andusing a real bank with real money.
How does it work: MyBnk will set up ‘MyBnk Branches’ also known as‘MyBnk-in-a-Box’ in secondary schools and in youth organisations thatwill provide a convenient place for young people and clubs to save andtake out loans. Cooperative and individual savings will be encouraged.Young people can put their good ideas into practise by taking out small(interest free) loans that can be used towards the development of newenterprises.
I love Lily’s passion. MyBnk is an amazing set of programmes thathave been put in place, and I am looking forward to see how thisproject develops organically. I look forward to working in partnershipwith her and introducing others in my network to this very talented andwonderful woman and social entrepreneur.作者: Jasmine 时间: 2010-5-8 03:10
i-genius talks to Lily Lapenna, founder and Managing Director, MyBnk Ltd
Editor: Did you cry when you heard your name announced as the winner of the New Statesman young social entrepreneur of the year for 2008?
Lily: Hehehe, no but I felt quite nervous and then when I heard my name I just went blank. I was never the award winning type at school so it was like, now I know what it felt like for such and such who got awards! I now tell this story to the young people we work with in schools and they like to hear it, it makes them think they may get an award too one day. I think there should be more awards one for everyone at least once in a lifetime.
Editor: Why do you think you won?
Lily: Hmmm, I don't know.
Editor: Tell us about Mybnk? Is it a real bank?
Lily: MyBnk is as real a bank as need be. It is an innovative youth led banking scheme that offers a savings service and a loans service. Loans are only to be used for setting up enterprising activities. It is a tool that gives young people the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their money effectively and to make enterprising choices in their lives.
Editor: What are your future plans?
Lily: I want MyBnk to generate a global movement of youth banking. For young people to make financial services work for them rather than against them. For them to be the first generation of informed consumers of banks who consider ethical banking when shopping for a bank that suits their needs.
Editor: You are an Italian woman living in London. Have you ever thought of setting up MyBank in Rome?
Lily: Of course, I would love to, even though getting young people running their own banks in a gerontocracy will be quite a challenge. MyBnk is exactly what Italian society needs to empower young people who are so disillusioned with unemployment and lack of opportunities.
I am saddened by the lack of youth motivation, activism and involvement, which seems to get worst every time I go home. They are becoming voiceless.
Editor: Do you think Italy will produce many more social entrepreneurs in the future?
Lily: Sure against all odds, the social entrepreneurs will emerge, always. I hope the government and civil society start creating stronger foundations to support social entrepreneurs.
Editor: Thank you Lily!作者: Jasmine 时间: 2010-5-8 03:20
Lily Lapenna is the founder and Managing Director of MyBnk. Lily started her career in international development, focusing on empowerment of young people through non-formal education.
In Bangladesh, she became aware of the positive impact of micro-finance and saving services. Enthused by what she had seen, Lily created the first ever FSA friendly youth led banking scheme called run by young people for young people, allowing them to save regularly and take out interest free loans to set up enterprising activities. Through this banking scheme and accompanying workshops, young people build the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their money effectively and to make enterprising choices throughout their lives. Lily has taken MyBnk from a single pilot project to an organisation reaching 10,000 young people in the space of 2 years. Lily was recently awarded the young social entrepreneur of the year by Ed Balls the UK Secretary of State for Children, schools and families. In January 2010 she was awarded the Ashoka fellowship.
Lily Lapenna’s Education
School of Oriental and African Studies, U. of London
African and Development studies ,
Won the Erasmus scholarship to study at The Istituto Orientale in Naples for my second year at university.
Activities and Societies:
Drama, Friends of Africa, Latin American Bureau
Lily Lapenna’s Websites:
* My Company
* My Company
Lily Lapenna’s Interests:
social change, poverty alleviation, peer education, financial & enterprise education, public speaking, dancing, the sea....the sea again
Lily Lapenna’s Groups:
Director of FoodCycle, Trustee of CIVA (Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action), weekly volunteer for HIV charity Body and Soul, Advisor to The Oliver branch for Children in Tanzania.
Lily Lapenna’s Honors:
Young social entrepreneur of the year
Top 100 ethical entrepreneurs
UnLtd level 1 and 2
My niece Mimi says I am her number 1 aunty! 作者: Jasmine 时间: 2010-5-8 03:22
Lily Lapenna, founder of MyBnk, shares her experiences of setting up a social enterprise.
MyBnk logoThe idea for MyBnk started when I was at school. I was disillusioned with the overly theoretical nature of learning and frustrated at having so many ideas and so little I could do with them.
As I grew up, I started to study and work in international development in amazing places like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. I realised that microfinance is a ladder to self-sufficiency for the poor. In essence, microfinance is about unleashing enterprising ideas. During this time, my idea for myBnk was budding.
Coming back to the UK, I found that many people my age were facing spiralling debt; the majority of adults were financially illiterate (myself included of course); more people in the country were getting a divorce than changing banks; and a staggering 150,000 young people were growing up believing that an ISA is an iPod accessory! At this point it all started to make sense to me. The need for MyBnk was evident and my ideas were increasingly untameable. That's when I met the dazzling Michael Norton, author of 365 Ways to Change the World.
A few inspiring conversations later, MyBnk began. The seed I planted almost two years ago has grown into an exciting award-winning social enterprise. MyBnk has created the first ever FSA-friendly, youth-led banking scheme run by young people for young people. It allows young people to save and take out interest-free loans to set up enterprising activities. This is accompanied by high-powered assemblies, workshops and projects on ethical banking, money management and ideas generation.
Our innovative educational services are designed to increase young people's financial and enterprise capabilities, as defined by the Department for Children Schools and Families. MyBnk works in secondary schools, colleges and youth groups.
In the first year of running MyBnk I did a lot of work in my sleep. MyBnk would find its way into every one of my dreams. Don't get me wrong, there was nothing esoteric or unworldly about these dreams! On the contrary – they were ridden with detail, process-led and rather bureaucratic, so it was business as usual! I do however remember having two wholly creative dreams that led to vast innovation.
Two years later
I am now approaching year two of running MyBnk. The team has grown to seven people and we have worked with more than 2100 young people. Whilst it is now a rare treat to dream of MyBnk (thank goodness!), on my tube journey to work I know that together with the team and the young people involved in our projects, everyday I will learn something new and more importantly do something with it. It's a joy!
This article was originally published as part of a CASS CCE newsletter.作者: Stephanie 时间: 2010-5-9 21:08