‘Consumerism, perpetual debt; what greeted me on moving from Uganda to Scotland’

Did you know: one in five of us experience financial stress which negatively affects how we perform at work and strains all our relationships?

I am Tynah Matembe (pictured, second right), co-founder of MoneyMatiX. I am a Saltire fellow, chartered banker and lawyer. I’ve worked in the UK financial service space and internationally for the United Nations. I love traveling and I have a scratch map which I intend to have fully scratched off by the time my hair turns grey. I am driven by my passion for community and family.

Helene Rodger, my co-founder is also a Saltire fellow whose background is in Project Management and Mental Health. Her passion to see young people succeed keeps her committed and inspired to make a difference.

Through the course of our work, we identified a gap in financial capability and enterprise education within communities that had migrated to Scotland. We were especially concerned by the lack of good financial role models in these communities and how their young people’s views about money were distorted. We created MoneyMatiX with to empower communities to become financially independent.

We’ve carried out extensive research which proves that financial illiteracy is a universal problem whose vicious cycle starts with adults that have poor money management skills passing these on to young people in their lives. Our vision is that our intervention will positively transform the manner in which people interact with money and nurture generations of financially independent communities.

Both Helene and I were raised within an entrepreneurial and cash-driven environment in Uganda; however, migrating to Scotland presented us with a different reality of cashless transactions, consumerism and perpetual debt.

My children believed that we had these magic cards that could simply be swiped to get anything and everything. When my daughter turned seven, I determined to do something about correcting her mindset after seeing Money Advice Service reports stating that most financial habits are formed round about that age.

Helene was experiencing challenges teaching her own children a balanced view of money. Combined with the first line financial responsibilities that some of our young clients were taking on, we were motivated to create a healthy financial environment for our children and subsequent generations.

So what is MoneyMatiX?

MoneyMatiX is an integrated set of financial capability tools designed to help adults achieve financial well being and empower them to pass this on to young people.

We use an innovative finance management platform delivered via employee benefits to provide solutions that help adults budget and manage their money whilst giving their children financial guidance and make learning about money a fun family activity. Our platform improves staff productivity and loyalty at work as well as overall financial well being.

In addition, we deliver financial challenge competitions called Kidpreners which give young people an opportunity to work collaboratively in small teams to find solutions to current social problems. The Kidpreneur events draw on latest research from the University of Edinburgh and bring together industry experts, academia, mentors and young people from different communities. The events are designed to provide a practical application for financial literacy and business skills as well as give young people an opportunity to interact with role models they can aspire to emulate.

This weekend, the Kidpreneur is being hosted at Edinburgh University Business School in partnership with Deloitte, Young Enterprise and UK Youth. We believe that every child has a right to a secure financial future and our mission is to make that a reality.

Register here.

Pictured: Tynah Matembe, second right, part of the winning team at Deloitte’s Datathon earlier this year.