Low levels of financial literacy in the country could lead to poor credit management, increase debt burdens and high levels of fraud exposure. Given the importance of financial management, the JN Foundation will be launching the JN Financial Academy, which aims to empower JN members to achieve financial freedom by providing information, training, and mentorship to help them make better financial decisions.
Claudine Allen, general manager of the JN Foundation, said the establishment of the Academy is a demonstration of the ‘People First’ commitment of The Jamaica National Group.
“Our vision is to see all Jamaicans educated and financially free. While the achievement of its mandate will indeed enrich lives and build communities, our work will also call on the organisation to demonstrate the extent to which they accommodate the empowerment of all members, particularly those who are unbanked and under-banked,” she pointed out.
She underscored that The Jamaica National Group has always advocated for financial inclusion, and has been a champion of consumer and business empowerment, especially in relation to banking and finance.
The Academy will raise the level of money management and financial awareness and skills, as well as provide coaching support to manage debt to achieve financial freedom. In addition, it will also influence the public discourse about financial inclusion, savings, borrowing trends and consumer education, by undertaking research and engaging in public dialogue.
The JN Financial Academy will administer courses for virtual, on-demand and face-to-face training sessions. Members who enrol in the Academy may also be offered personal coaching based on their unique current financial position and future plans.
Ms Allen noted that teaching and learning will commence as early as September with the offer of services to support persons unable to access credit, or to enter the formal banking system.
“We will work with individuals and entrepreneurs. And, our offer will include modules focusing on building a bankable character; understanding loans, and credit remediation,” she said.
Other courses will include: Understanding Credit Reports; Wealth Building; Insurance as a tool for financial security, and Investing for youth.
The Academy is the latest education initiative being undertaken by The Jamaica National Group through the JN Foundation. Earlier initiatives include the JN BeWi$e Financial Empowerment programme, which teaches the core principles of money management and the tools necessary to improve one’s financial status, establish stability and independence.
“The Academy is the evolution of our BeWi$e programme. We are aiming to reach more Jamaicans and to help improve their behaviour and attitude to money and provide practical ways that help them access and use credit responsibly … and of course, build inter-generational wealth,” she said.