Futuremakers Progress Report 2022
Young people across the world – women and girls in particular – continue to face barriers to economic inclusion.
<big><big>Making progress towards
Young people across the world – women and girls in particular – continue to face barriers to economic inclusion. Many fall short of their potential and become stuck in low-income poverty. Recent economic pressures following COVID-19 have also made things more challenging for young people from low-income communities.
The future of work also presents challenges – an estimated 50 per cent of employees worldwide will need reskilling by 20251, as adoption of technology increases. Accessing the relevant training will be vital for young people.
While the global unemployment rate is projected to remain above its pre-COVID-19 level until at least 2023, the pandemic has further shifted the informality and patterns of work2. We need to move faster so that marginalised young people have the skills and confidence to adapt to the new ways of working and succeed in the new economy.
Futuremakers by Standard Chartered is our global initiative in response to this need. Together with our charity partners, we’re striving to unleash the potential of young people from low-income backgrounds across our markets.
This report reviews the progress we’ve made through Futuremakers
since its launch in 2019. We have a long-term commitment to support young people in our markets and we’re proud to already be making a difference. From 2019 to mid-2022, we reached 849,596 young people, mostly women and girls, helping them through education, employability and entrepreneurship programmes.
In this report, we review performance against our targets, which I’m pleased to say are largely on track despite the challenges of COVID-19. We highlight some of our key results and share stories from young people whose lives we’ve helped to change. We also explore some of the ways we plan to deepen our impact, as we continue to demonstrate our brand promise to be ‘Here for good’.
Thank you for supporting Futuremakers and I hope you enjoy learning more about this important work.
<big>A snapshot of Futuremakers</big>
Established in 2019, Futuremakers is Standard Chartered's (the Group) response to the challenges encountered by economically-marginalised young people across our footprint. Through this global initiative, we champion sustained economic inclusion for young people from low-income communities.
Through Futuremakers, we work with non-government organisations (NGOs) and charity partners to run local community projects that help young people – with a greater focus on girls, young women and the visually impaired – to gain an equal opportunity to succeed in future economic opportunities in the labour market.
The journey to this inclusive future – as defined in our Futuremakers’ theory of change – comprises of three interlinked pathways: education, employability, and entrepreneurship.
By running projects that tackle different sources of inequality under these three pathways, we seek to empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow.
About this report
This document explains our strategy behind the Group's global community initiative - Futuremakers by Standard Chartered and provides an update on the progress of projects funded by the Group and the Standard Chartered Foundation.
Since we know economically-marginalised young people face different barriers to inclusion at different stages of their early lives, we look to tackle inequality from multiple angles across the three pathways. We set out to fundraise and donate USD75 million for Futuremakers between 2019 and 2023 to support projects that empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow.
Through our education pathway, we support projects that aim to provide young people with confidence, self-esteem, financial education, and awareness of their rights. With this, we believe they will be empowered to act as leaders and role models in their families and communities.
For young people lacking the skills or opportunities they need to gain employment, projects under the employability pathway focus on helping them grow their confidence, ultimately enter and remain in decent work.
For current and future entrepreneurs, projects under the entrepreneurship pathway provide everything from financial education to mentoring and funding, to nurture tomorrow’s business leaders.
About the education pathway
Many young men and women across the world find themselves economically excluded before they even reach working age. We therefore believe tackling the socio-cultural barriers to their economic participation at an early age is key to long-term economic inclusion.
Futuremakers’ education projects encourage young people to take charge of their economic and financial future. But, just as importantly, we also aim to address the social norms that undermine their confidence and autonomy.
In developing and emerging markets in particular, issues of limited education, cultural bias (for example, pressures to marry and have children at a young age), gender-based violence, and poverty typically weigh heavier on women. For this reason, we created the Goal programme.
First established in 2006 (later becoming Futuremakers’ flagship education programme upon its launch in 2019), Goal seeks to help young women and girls in our markets overcome the barriers that hold them back.
The programme uses sport, play and life skills education to help participants learn about health, communication, rights, and management of their personal finances.
Goal was also designed to empower girls with the confidence and self-esteem needed to become economic leaders and role models in their families and communities. With this, we expect to see ripple effects of knowledge sharing and the inspiring of others. In the long run, we hope to create a critical mass of young leaders who can influence change at a community level.
Our education reach is wide – making up the majority of the broader Futuremakers reach. In total, we reached 583,751 young people from Goal and other education projects in 25 markets between January 2019 and mid-2022.
Education case study 1
Overcoming gender bias with the power of football
Mwita grew up in a Nairobi slum, with a love of football from a young age. Yet her family discouraged her passion, and she fell into marriage aged just 18. After her marriage failed, she joined Goal as a coach – inspiring younger girls with her resilience. In conjunction, Mwtia trained as a beauty therapist and learned new business skills. She aims to run her own business one day.
Education case study 2
Inspiring leadership and community change
Before joining Goal, shy 12-year-old Pranjal preferred to watch the games quietly from the sidelines. As she began to participate, her confidence grew. She felt encouraged to stand up for change in her community – in particular, by spearheading an initiative that allowed the boys and girls in the neighbourhood to share the local playing fields more equally.
About the employability pathway
An estimated 200 million young people across the world are either out-of-work or living in low-income poverty3. For some, the problem is not a lack of education, but a lack of the skills and confidence needed to secure decent employment.
Through our employability projects, we aim to help young people overcome these challenges, and ultimately enter and remain in decent work. Specifically, we focus on providing young people from low-income communities with employment-related knowledge and skills.
By helping bridge skills gaps and enabling young people with the confidence to enter decent employment, we expect to see a ripple effect that benefits companies and economies across our markets. As a result, businesses facing talent shortages will access a wider pool of employment-ready candidates.
We also include technology-based upskilling in many of our employability projects, so that new hires will be better prepared for the future of work.
We reached 189,329 young people through employability projects in 33 markets between January 2019 and mid-2022.
Employability case study 1
Building confidence for a better future
Qiting lost her eyesight at age 14 – but wouldn’t let this define her. Initially stuck at home, she joined a Futuremakers employability project in China in 2020. The training helped her prepare her CV and learn interview tips and workplace etiquette. The additional career mentoring and encouragement from other participants with disabilities gave Qiting the confidence to take her next step. She now works as a swimming teacher for people with disabilities.
Employability case study 2
Developing new skills
Aisha’s family were struggling to make ends meet, and they couldn’t afford her education beyond secondary school. However, thanks to a Futuremakers’ employability programme, Aisha was funded through a technical and vocational skills training course at a local school. Six months after completion, Aisha secured a job as an assistant technician at an engineering firm.
About the entrepreneurship pathway
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be central to the creation of the 600 million jobs which are needed4 over the next 15 years to sustain the growing global workforce. While entrepreneurs’ access to financial services is improving, young people – particularly women – often lack the skills and confidence needed to grow their MSMEs.
Under the entrepreneurship pathway, we support various projects that aim to address these gaps to help fuel the sustained growth of youth- and women-led MSMEs.
Our entrepreneurship projects help young entrepreneurs establish and grow MSMEs via access to funding sources and business advisory. Through life skills training, we nurture the confidence these young people need to succeed as business leaders.
Our female-centric programme, Women in Tech, supports women-led or women-owned small businesses to leverage technology in building inclusive business practices.
Women in Tech provides business-development guidance and access to business networks, mentorships and funding opportunities. With a focus on MSMEs using technology to drive business growth, the programme also helps drive greater female participation in an industry where they have typically been neglected.
We reached 76,516 young people through entrepreneurship projects in 31 markets between January 2019 and mid-2022.
Entrepreneurship case study 1
Training future leaders
A gender gap persists in technology across the world. For teenager Elizabeth – who dreams of being a tech entrepreneur one day – a bootcamp delivered under Futuremakers was an important step in overcoming the associated gender bias. At the Bossgirls bootcamp, Elizabeth and her peers practiced preparing business plans and pitched their ideas to Standard Chartered volunteers – laying the foundations for them to become future leaders in tech.
Entrepreneurship case study 2
Business-skills training for community
Horticultural small-business owner Haron’s plans to expand were curtailed by COVID-19. However, things began to turnaround after he joined his local Futuremakers’ project. With new business skills and an expanded network of fellow entrepreneurs, Haron’s production is ramping up again. He has also recovered contracts and opened several online marketing platforms. The ripple effects are spreading – his wife has now established her own business, and he plans to mentor 100 other young entrepreneurs.
so far </big>
As we reflect on the Futuremakers journey so far, we also look at the challenges the initiative has overcome, and the ones we continue to face. Most importantly, we look at how we aim to resolve them.
Unsurprisingly, there were setbacks in project implementation as a result of pandemic-driven lockdowns and social distancing measures. In response, we helped our partners shift significantly to digital and online methods to continue to run projects.
While some partners struggled with technology issues, many were able to deliver their projects as planned, within expected timeframes. We have learnt here the importance of flexibility for maximum efficiency in the face of change.
Influence of surrounding environments
At a broader level, COVID-19 has had a negative effect on the global labour market, reducing the job pool for young people in our markets. In bringing different curriculums and interventions to multiple, very different markets, it often became clear that adaptations were needed.
For example, in some cases groundwork was needed before a project could be successfully implemented to meet local needs through pre-engagement with local authorities in markets.
Target outcomes in most cases require significant change in underlying social structures. The theory of change – and the subsequent way the programmes and projects have been constructed – requires shifts in the mindsets and actions of those beyond direct participants. While we believe our projects will support change to the external environment, this will only happen over a number of years.
Standard Chartered is taking a stand: we are committed to lifting the economic participation of young people, women and small businesses across our core markets. Aligning with this ambition, our plan is to scale innovative access to finance partnerships and collaborate with various parts of our business to promote more responsible financial inclusion.
Every young person has the right to reach their full potential. Financial products and services need to support and help young people achieve them. We hope to expand the reach and drive accessible banking at scale to improve the lives of millions of people and their communities.
Projections suggest an estimated GDP boost of USD12 trillion per year5 if the world can achieve gender parity. By investing in women in particular, we believe we can create ripple effects far beyond our ambition.
We’re only at the beginning of our journey. Together we can pave the way to empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow.
Learn more today at sc.com/futuremakers