Companies wield a lot of power; particularly in their local communities. They have the means to financially influence people without spending a lot of money and can influence others to do the same.

July 25 2014 by John Hope Bryant 

Low-cost initiatives that won’t break the company bank include: creating a culture of financial consciousness and inclusion, providing mentor-based skills development programs and offering workers access to a variety of financial management tools and learning opportunities. Here are some real-life businesses that are doing this.

Creating a culture of financial inclusion. The finance and banking industries have come to recognize that low financial literacy is a problem confined not exclusively to the poor—that even employees of financial institutions need to increase their financial capabilities and awareness.

In the wake of the recent financial crisis, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) took action to focus on improving financial education and literacy. The NYSE developed the “Financial Fitness Tool Kit” to share with member companies, because many employees are often ill-equipped to make basic financial decisions. In fact, several companies have tied “financial fitness” to their company’s health and wellness programs. Increasingly, business leaders are recognizing that financial fitness is a strategic asset that will bolster their bottom lines because it’s good for the entire economy.

Establishing mentoring programs. Mentoring the youth and tapping into their natural entrepreneurial spirits is key to rebuilding America’s economy. Jim Clifton, CEO of the Gallup Organization, often talks about this link and how it can contribute to U.S. and global economies’ growth. Clifton explained that the great American dream today has shifted, particularly among the youth. He advised business leaders and employers that young people are looking for more from their jobs. They need to be inspired by an important mission or purpose, not simply a salary.

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