A webinar on financial health and technology

Consumer Action’s director of strategic partnerships, facilitated a webinar and served as a virtual mentor to educate the current First Founder’s Accelerator cohort about financial health, financial technology and privacy rights.
Published: Friday, May 01, 2020

During a 12-week “boot camp,” First Founder’s Accelerator of Wilmington, Delaware, trains entrepreneurs from underrepresented populations to develop FinTech solutions that help improve the financial health of diverse communities and build a more inclusive startup ecosystem. The program includes a combination of in-person and virtual education sessions at which innovators are mentored to gain expertise and grow as innovative problem solvers. Cohort members gain hands-on experience by designing solutions for real problems.

Last month Audrey Perrott, Consumer Action’s director of strategic partnerships, facilitated a webinar and served as a virtual mentor to educate the current First Founder’s Accelerator cohort about financial health, financial technology and privacy rights. Microbusiness owners from Delaware, California, Pennsylvania and Africa joined the virtual mentoring session to learn about how to measure financial health; the benefits and risks of using financial technology; best practices for integrating financial technology into existing financial counseling and coaching programs; barriers that prevent low- and moderate-income and underrepresented consumers from using technology; privacy laws in California and Delaware; and where to obtain additional information about compliance with disability access law, immigrant concerns and more.

Garry Johnson III, First Founder’s founder and director, thanked Perrott for participating. “Our cohort of entrepreneurs from around the country found immense value in the insights Audrey provided and now are even more motivated to push forward in developing FinTech solutions to help improve the financial health of their communities.” He noted that the presentation was especially helpful in providing guidance about how to create solutions that leverage technology for good while working in the best interests of needy consumers.

Perrott noted that it had been a great opportunity to educate underrepresented small business owners about financial health and technology and the unique needs of the consumers that Consumer Action serves. Typically, she said, companies build “products first, and the needs of underrepresented consumers only are considered when the product is either in pre-production or commercialized. I want to make sure we can help low- and moderate-income and other underrepresented consumers and innovators gain knowledge, skills and confidence to improve financial capability and consider needs of underrepresented consumers at the basic concept stage.”

Perrott credited a Wells Fargo Foundation grant for allowing Consumer Action to support the integration of FinTech tools into financial inclusion programs via financial training, webinars and mini-grants that assist community organizations in helping low-income and limited-English-proficient consumers improve their financial health.

 

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