Emirates Foundation CEO participated at Hope Global Forum 2015 about financial literacy and women’s empowerment
Conference Keynote by US President Bill Clinton
As part of its work related to promoting financial literacy in the UAE among youth, Emirates Foundation’s CEO Clare Woodcraft-Scott participated at Hope Global Forum 2015. Woodcraft-Scott is a member of the international advisory board of Operation Hope, the host organization, a US based entity that works to empower communities through financial literacy. Emirates Foundation has pioneered a nationwide program in the UAE to help young people become more financially literate and be better able to manage their personal finances and avoid excessive indebtedness.
The Forum, which took place from 15-17 January in Atlanta, USA, unites leaders from the community, government and the private sector from over 25 countries to discuss responsible capitalism and look at how individuals and communities can be empowered through enterprise and financial literacy. The keynote speaker at the event is 42nd President of the United States and Founder of the Clinton Foundation, President Bill Clinton.
Woodcraft-Scott participated in a panel discussion on the topic “Expanding the Gains of Women and Girls: How to Prosper in the Global Economy” alongside Lisa Borders, the Chair of The Coca Cola Foundation and VP of Global Community Affairs, Monica Mehta, Managing Principal at Seventh Capital, Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon Inc., and Laura Roberts, Co-founder and CEO at Pantheon Enterprises.
“Emirates Foundation is very proud to partner with such a leading organization on such a critical issue – ensuring that each and every citizen of the world and especially women, has the skills and the understanding to manage their personal and professional finances effectively. Operation HOPE was instrumental in helping us to establish our own financial literacy program Esref Sah (or Spend Right in English). It is a great honor to speak at such an influential event which can help us further develop our own programs while also contribute to the global debate on this topic.”
Woodcraft-Scott also noted that “Emirates Foundation is increasingly known for its venture philanthropy approach whereby we seek to solve social issues systemically and at scale. Our programs aim to help create long-term change for young people. We believe that a new approach to philanthropy is needed where foundations can really focus on key issues and create measureable and sustainable solutions. We are also firm believers in collaboration and sharing lessons learned. This is what makes this event so relevant.”
The Foundation’s Chairman His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, has long championed the importance of equipping young people with the knowledge and skills that they need to be productive and engaged members of society and is very active both in the Foundation’s programs but also in engaging young people in general.
Operation HOPE provides financial dignity and economic empowerment to at least over 2.2 million individuals worldwide and is a respected leader in this field working across the globe. “The value espoused through this summit – around financial and economic inclusion and the importance of all people having access to skills in this area – are those that we also champion at Emirates Foundation. Meeting with like-minded organizations to share best practice and glean new ideas is very important,” concluded Woodcraft-Scott.
Financial literacy in the UAE is extremely important given the growing levels of debt particularly amongst young people. Some 70 percent of the local Emirati population under the age of 30 is in debt and UAE households have an average debt/income ratio of 200 percent.
Esref Sah is one of the Emirates Foundation pioneering programs that was developed to address the core financial issues that the UAE faces. The program aims to increase financial literacy among youth, contribute to reduced indebtedness, create partnership with financial sector, and create partnerships with academia.
For more information on the Hope Global Forum, 2015 please visit www.emiratesfoundation.ae