Maybank today signed an agreement with MoneyTree (M) Sdn Bhd to sponsor a year-long financial literacy programme to reach out to school children as well as the "Maybank-MoneyTree Young Entrepreneur Startup (Y.E.S.) Challenge" for youth and college students.
The programme is part of Maybank's corporate responsibility efforts to promote financial education and awareness among the young as well as to instill the spirit of entrepreneurship among tertiary students.
The agreement was sealed at a signing ceremony held at Menara Maybank. Signing on behalf of Maybank were its President and CEO, Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, and Head of Consumer Banking, Lim Hong Tat while MoneyTree signatories were Dato' Nik Kamaruddin Ismail, Chairman of MoneyTree (M) Sdn Bhd and Michael Reyes, CEO, MoneyTree Asia Pacific Ltd.
MoneyTree conducts courses to educate young people on financial literacy and skills to manage personal finance. The ages of students range from 6 to 20. The group prides itself in its task to fill the gap left by regular school education in teaching students financial management skills, awareness of financial products and also to train them how to make investment decisions.
"This partnership will enable each party to share its expertise in its respective areas, Maybank in aspects of banking and financial services, while MoneyTree will conduct its proven series of programmes in developing financial awareness and entrepreneurial creativity for children and youths," said Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid Omar in his address.
Dato' Sri also said that the programme provides an excellent avenue to teach the young about banking and good financial management as well as inculcate an entrepreneurial spirit and stimulate creativity in business ideas among youths in schools and institutions of higher education. "The programme will enable them to be savvier banking customers and avoid personal debts and business losses which reflect the pitfalls of indiscipline and poor financial management," he said.
Through the financial education programme conducted by MoneyTree, students will learn skills to manage personal finance, financial products and also about banking and financial systems. Delivered through MoneyTree's own proprietary gameplay teaching method, students will learn basic banking functions such as opening of bank accounts, use of delivery channels such as ATM and internet banking, various types of loan products to more sophisticated investment and financial products. The lessons will incorporate theory as well as practical sessions with participants being issued mock ATM and credit cards in the simulated banking experience.
Another key focus of the partnership is the "Maybank-MoneyTree Y.E.S. Challenge" which was launched in August 2009. This program now has a following of 14 universities and colleges and reaches out to budding entrepreneurs to help them bring the best business ideas to reality and ultimately turn them into profitable commercial ventures. The Challenge is team-based with three to four persons per team and is open to sixth formers and tertiary students. The teams will receive guidance from an Advisory Panel consisting of experienced industry experts and business professionals as well as a mentor to provide structured training. Prize money of RM15,000 will be awarded to the winning project with the runner-up receiving RM5,000.
Both the programmes will benefit about 25,000 participants and will be promoted via roadshows, advertisements in the media as well as over the air.
"The Maybank-MoneyTree YES Challenge strongly supports the government's initiatives to build a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators as a way forward to strengthen Malaysia's competitiveness and success in today's globalised environment," said Dato' Sri.
"It also provides our youth with early exposure in entrepreneurship and business as it encompasses a holistic approach in transforming theory to practice, concepts to reality and turning their dreams into successes. It inculcates the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, improving their business acumen, in short, sustainability and growth through proper planning of their resources including financial management of their business as well as their personal life," added Dato' Sri.
Dato' Nik added that MoneyTree's partnership with Maybank will help open the doors for more young people to gain greater awareness of the importance of financial literacy. "We cannot undermine the importance of teaching the young how to develop good money habits. And we make our programs fun, incorporating a high level of interactivity and a good dose of true-to-life situations, to give students a ‘full dress rehearsal' for life."
"To ensure that our programmes prepare children and youths for what they can expect to face in the near future, our content is constantly monitored and improved upon. Our collaboration with institutions of higher learning and industry experts allow us to coach students on more market relevant skills and knowledge" said Reyes.
The sponsorship of these programmes by Maybank is augmented by the Bank's sponsorship of two financial education series with TV3, namely ‘Bijak Wang', a personal financial programme aimed at increasing financial literacy and management of one's personal finances and savings, and ‘Stock Watch' to educate the public on financial planning and smart investing. These two weekly shows cover a range of pertinent current topics related to banking, investments, insurance and managing spending.
Maybank remains a strong supporter to entrepreneurship development through various other programmes including its active participation in SME development with various SME organisations. In 2008, Maybank sponsored the Maybank Chair of Entrepreneurship at Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, the first such Chair in a Malaysian institution of higher education to encourage the development of entrepreneurship among Malaysians.