STANLIB CSI has invested over R30 million in the past 5 years to empower young people through education and financial literacy.

STANLIB is committed to improving lives by empowering young people through education, with an emphasis on financial literacy. Since 2012 over 60 000 learners from 300 schools in disadvantaged areas have benefited from STANLIB’S flagship corporate social investment (CSI) initiative;, STANLIB Smartbucks, which focuses on helping learners understand the importance of borrowing, saving and investing.

“As an investment company, STANLIB is passionate about ensuring that future generations are equipped with a good education and this includes financial literacy skills. An investment in education can fundamentally shift the course of an economy for generations to come,” says Seelan Gobalsamy, STANLIB CEO.

There is very strong empirical evidence suggesting that the country’s level of education is directly related to long-term growth of the economy, according to Kevin Lings, STANLIB Chief Economist. “This is largely because higher levels of education lead to an improvement in productivity. In addition, an increase in the level of education allows more easily for the development of new ideas and technologies, which boost competitiveness and economic growth,” Lings says.

This is reinforced by a World Bank report “South Africa economic update: jobs and South Africa’s changing demographics” in 2015 that found that “higher economic performance can be attained by creating a virtuous circle of job intensive growth, improved productivity, higher savings and better education attainment particularly for the youth who will drive the growth in the working age population in the coming decades”.

STANLIB has taken this a step further, by focusing not only on education, but more particularly on financial literacy.

“We believe in financial freedom for our customers, and financial freedom should be part of the future of our youth,” Gobalsamy adds. “One of the biggest investments we make generates returns that are impossible to measure, because how do you place a value on young people becoming financially free? This is why improving young people’s lives through education, and financial literacy, is at the heart STANLIB’s CSI Smartbucks.”

This year’s Smartbucks initiative highlights STANLIB’s passion for a financially free future by encouraging youth to find their inner millionaires. Learners around the country have been attending the screening of “Smartbucks, Mind Your Moolah” which is designed to teach high school learners the basics of managing money, while entertaining them at the same time.

STANLIB’s Head of Research, Henry Munzara says: “At STANLIB, everything we do counts. Financial literacy is one of the most important skills a young person needs to learn in this modern world and their ability to apply it is the difference between a life of working to survive and a life of working to thrive.”

“Smartbucks, Mind your Moolah” is STANLIB’s third financial literacy film. Produced by The Monarchy Group, it features well-known South African actors and tackles some of the biggest challenges facing our youth, including over indebtedness and wasteful spending. It uses real-life scenarios in a game-show setting while the financial learnings are reinforced by a qualified financial trainer.

The 60 minute movie has been showing at selected Ster-Kinekor cinemas country-wide from 14 May 2016 and will end on 11 June 2016. This year it will reach over 12 000 learners from the most disadvantaged schools selected by the Department of Basic Education. To ensure the film’s lessons last a lifetime, learners will be given interactive booklets to keep.

Over the past 5 years STANLIB has invested over R30 million in educating the youth through various CSI programmes, including Smartbucks, Mandela Day Initiative, Teach SA, Student Sponsorship Programmes and bursary programmes. These initiatives are aimed at providing key skills to the youth to start them on the journey of becoming financially literate and financially responsible.

The STANLIB Smartbucks campaign has been facilitated by Primestars Marketing, and sponsors include Putco, Tsogo Sun, Laser, Bidvest Steiner, kulula.com and Gearhouse Group.