Impact business InvestEd continues to reap global recognition — this time touching hearts in the Middle East with its noble mission of empowering under-resourced Filipino youth.
Carmina Bayombong, the CEO and co-founder of the globally acclaimed social enterprise, shared in an interview on Studio Expo in Dubai last December 14 how InvestEd helps Filipino students and young professionals attain college degrees and upskilling, respectively, through its loan programs.
“Being in the frontlines, especially in the pandemic, one of the things that was really heartbreaking to see were young people putting a discount on their dreams because it just became too hard to pursue it,” Bayombong shared.
In the Philippines, there are 30 million under-resourced youth who lack the resources to pursue higher education and upskilling. Due to risky situations and lack of collateral, many of these young dreamers are deemed unbankable by formal financial institutions. They are also at a disadvantage against their older, more experienced counterparts amid scarce job opportunities due to the pandemic. These make the future of young Filipinos a game of odds.
InvestEd, according to the highly acclaimed CEO, “essentially exists to change [this] inequality of opportunity.”
During the interview, Bayombong emphasized that a college education and opportunities for upskilling are needed for young Filipinos “to continuously compete and move up in life.”
To date, InvestEd has provided loans to thousands of students — covering tuition, living expenses, and gadgets for distance learning. In stark contrast to traditional loan providers, InvestEd does not require collateral from students, as “the only collateral we require is their potential.”
“We really wanna serve under-resourced youth. The main thing about our program is we don’t require collateral knowing that young people, especially those from low-income families, don’t have it,” Bayombong said.
And aside from capital for tuition and other school needs, InvestEd also provides its investees with life skills coaching that focuses on three skill sets: personal finance, self-management, and career development. On top of this, the program also undertakes community-building initiatives, so investees can gain socioemotional support from their co-investees.
“The special thing about our program is we provide a holistic program. So, yes, we do [provide financing] for education, but it comes packaged with life skills coaching, which we found [is] very important for young adults to succeed today apart from just having that degree and credentials,” Bayombong said.
Studio Expo is produced as part of World Expo 2020, giving viewers an inside look into the events during the convention. It is simultaneously aired on Dubai One and Expo TV and is produced by award-winning TV and movie production house Ti22 Films.