In a moment when six out of ten Americans will experience financial insecurity, families find themselves struggling to pay rent, afford healthcare, and cover their bills at the end of each month. Financial struggles leave entire communities without the opportunity and agency to plan for their futures and reach their goals. Times of joy—going to college, buying a home, raising children—have become sources of anxiety for too many.

While saving money can be a challenge for a variety of reasons, the inability to build a strong financial foundation is often a symptom of a greater, systemic problem. Now, BNY Mellon and Ashoka are launching a collaborative effort aimed at addressing the root causes of financial inequality through innovation—the Unlocking ₵hange Challenge.

We need a shift towards a future where communities are empowered to drive their own financial security, resilience and freedom. How? With the promise and power of social innovation and transformative ideas. Meet then four Champions of Financial Wellbeing.

Across America, there’s a promising groundswell of social entrepreneurs with bold ideas to increase financial wellbeing, ensuring communities can set financial goals, grow their personal savings, and access capital, credit, financial services, and products needed to thrive. With this financial security comes an increased sense of agency and the ability to scale social good.

  • We are energized by the work of Marlon Parker, whose mobile currency unlocks youth employment in underserved communities.
  • We’re looking for changemakers like Jeroo Billimoria, who works to empower children and youth through financial inclusion and economic citizenship.

The Unlocking ₵hange Challenge, a collaboration of BNY Mellon and Ashoka, supports the most promising changemakers—social entrepreneurs with big ideas to transform society for good— with funding, a collaborative digital platform to connect with peers, and feedback from the BNY Mellon and Ashoka team of thought leaders. Learn more about the full suite of awards here.

Meet the four Unlocking ₵hange Champions, our pioneers of financial wellbeing whose innovations and ideas stood out for their impact. 

Below, read the Innovations in Financial Wellbeing, Resilience, and Freedom Trends Report, a celebration of the Challenge's foremost social entrepreneurs, holding up their ideas as best-in-class examples for others to consider and incorporate into their work, and invite collaborations that advance the field of financial wellbeing.

Ashoka, BNY Mellon Announce Champions of Financial Wellbeing

Four powerful ideas building financial wellbeing across the United States
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Meet our Unlocking ₵hange Judges

These five leaders will be evaluating the finalists and selecting the four Champions of Financial Wellbeing.
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BNY Mellon, Ashoka Name Finalists of the Unlocking ₵hange Challenge

As part of the nationwide Unlocking ₵hange Challenge, Ashoka and BNY Mellon have been searching the United States for innovations.
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BNY Mellon, Ashoka Reveal 37 Social Innovators Driving Financial Wellbeing

As part of the nationwide Unlocking ₵hange Challenge, Ashoka and BNY Mellon have been searching the United States for innovations that actively increase financial wellbeing for the communities and individuals who need it most. The goal of the competition is to uncover and identify ideas, programs...
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The Unlocking ₵hange Challenge: Shifting Society Towards Financial Wellbeing

BNY Mellon and Ashoka launch challenge to find the most promising social entrepreneurs in the U.S.
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Return on Equality: Investment Opportunities that Help Close the Global Gender Gap

The potential economic and development gains from gender equality are vast and well-documented — and yet they are currently being bypassed.
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Powering Potential: Increasing Women’s Access to Financial Products and Services

A spotlight on the opportunity to realize gains — in both gender equality and market returns — by increasing women’s financial inclusion around the world.
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Our company is driven by innovation and our approach to philanthropy is no different. To catalyze social innovation, BNY Mellon lends its resources to accelerate solutions that address some of our society's greatest needs.

Daisey Holmes
Managing Director, Global Philanthropy, BNY Mellon
A headshot of Daisey Holmes