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JA Europe holds panel debate on financial resilience

22 April 2016

In the context of the Netherlands EU Presidency 2016 as well as the OECD Global Symposium on Financial Resilience throughout Life, JA Europe board members and CEOs from across Europe gathered on 20-21 April to discuss financial education challenges for youth. 


The panel debate invited key stakeholders, JA Europe board members, major donors/partners and policy-makers to share insights and explore ways to spur young people and economic success. Speakers included: 

• Nicolas Huss, CEO | Visa Europe

• Dorothee van Vredenburch, CCO | NN Group

• Wim Mijs, CEO | European Banking Federation 

• Adele Atkinson, Policy analyst, Financial Education and Consumer Protection Unit | OECD

• Martine van Leeuwen, JA alumna from the Netherlands and founder of Smeer’m

It is a fact now that financial literacy has become a key life skill for individuals as well as businesses. Combined with entrepreneurial competence and practical work experience, it offers young people a strong background to succeed in our global economy. At JA Europe, we believe entrepreneurial competence helps equip young people with the proper skills and attitude to enter the workforce, but also to help young people to become financially secure and independent adults. 

Wim Mijs, CEO of the EBF conveyed a strong message on the importance of cooperation in the field: “we all need to work together, build and consolidate partnerships to improve financial resilience of young people in Europe” he said.

Adele Atkinson from the OECD recommended that “adopting an approach that is central to people’s needs and involving all stakeholders in the quest to financial resilience is vital”.  Exploring the individual relationship is as important as the one with the group of stakeholder willing to engage in financial education. 

Dorothee van Vredenburch from NN Group, thanks to her expertise and experience within the financial sector, advocated for young people’s involvement and responsibility in their personal development and financial resilience. She also expressed that "entrepreneurial thinking is not only a characteristics of entrepreneurs; intrapreneurs are nowadays are more & more needed”. 


Nicolas Huss, CEO of Visa Europe also explained how fast our world is moving, “faster than we realize”. In order to keep up, “we need to move from traditional financial education to digital tools & methods” he said.

Martine van Leeuwen, JA alumna shared her JA experience: “learning about entrepreneuship gives your financial and personal confidence in your life”.

Panelists agreed that despite the fact that financial education can easily be included in almost all topics taught at school, it was still challenging to convince all countries to include in the curriculum. While it is progressively happening, more needs to be done. 


See more pictures here

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