Emirates Foundation's Financial Literacy Programme Will Help Develop SME Culture: Bank Governor

A generation of financially-aware, entrepreneurial young Emiratis is needed to drive the country's small and medium enterprise (SME) sector and contribute to the future development of the United Arab Emirates, UAE Central Bank Governor, Sultan Al Suwaidi said recently during a briefing for the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development's new financial literacy programme.

"We will likely see future economic growth in the UAE driven by the SME sector as we increasingly rely on the private sector to create jobs and engage young people," Al Suwaidi added, noting that the Foundation would need to work closely with the financial sector to really address the issue in depth.

Financial Literacy is part of a new portfolio of Emirates Foundation's programmes based around the Foundation's new business model of venture philanthropy.

"Venture Philanthropy is about taking a business based approach to creating social value," Emirates Foundation's CEO Clare Woodcraft told the briefing. "Instead of looking at short term grant making, we are now focused on long-term social investment programmes that can support youth in the UAE positively and permanently." Al Suwaidi was very supportive of the financial literacy concept noting the relevance of youth development to the UAE as a whole and pointing out in particular, that young people should be literate not only in finance but also in broader entrepreneurial areas.

"We are very pleased to see that Emirates Foundation is launching a nationwide financial literacy programme that can help young people with their personal finances but also help them in the future apply this knowledge to the work place" Al Suwaidi said, adding that Emirates Foundation's new found focus on youth development was both timely and important.

The Financial Literacy programme, overseen by the Foundation's Chief Program Officer, Maytha Al Habsi, and run by its Senior Executive Advisor to Education, Sabha Al Shamsi, is under incubation and due to be launched in June of this year.