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Wanted: the future of financial health

Fintechs with a focus on financial health can now apply to participate in a groundbreaking incubation programme announced today by the Finance Innovation Lab and Toynbee Hall. The Financial Health Fellowship, delivered over six months in 2017, will boost strategic know-how, transform leadership skills and prepare Fellows to scale their businesses.

Applications are invited from fintech entrepreneurs who are actively developing a financial product or service that can support financial health and has the potential to transform the wider financial system. Fellows are not required to be working on their idea full-time, but must have shown commitment to developing their idea.

This unique programme brings together the Lab’s expertise in incubating disruptive financial innovation and Toynbee Hall’s understanding of financial exclusion and exploitation. Unlike intensive location-based incubators, the Fellowship programme consists of six monthly sessions and two weekend-long residential leadership retreats, allowing participants to learn from real-life experience.

Anna Laycock, Executive Director of the Finance Innovation Lab, commented:

“Despite the UK having one of the biggest financial sectors in the world, many people continue to struggle with their personal finances. 1.7 million adults remain unbanked, only 41% of households are saving, and 12 million lack access to affordable credit. A shake-up of our approach to financial health is long overdue.

We’re looking for ideas that are rooted in the realities of financial exclusion and exploitation, with a focus on making the financial system work for everyone in society.

Our Fellows will experience an incubator like no other – one that recognises the realities of going against the grain in our complex financial system, and grounds innovation in the lived experiences of those struggling with financial ill-health.”

Carl Packman, Research and Good Practice Manager at Toynbee Hall, added:

“It’s so often the case that the highest profile innovations in financial services only cater for a small number of better-off consumers. We want to be in a position where we can champion creativity for those people who remain unserved or underserved in the market. That’s why this Fellowship is so important.”

The call for applications is open until 10 April and the Fellowship programme begins in May 2017. Full information about the programme, eligibility criteria and an online application form can be found at www.financeinnovationlab.org/fellowship.

By Anna Laycock, Finance Innovation Lab

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