Powering Women via Financial Literacy

FEM FINESSE program launch a success in the Bahamas.

Empower Women Global Champion for Change Rochelle R. Dean Consultant and founder of Candid Concepts Development partnered with Marion Bethel-Sears Women’s Rights and United Nations committee on the elimination of discrimination against Women elected expert along with Director Gaynel Curry of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs to host FEM FINESSE a financial literacy module program aimed at promoting financial literacy among professional women in the Bahamas.

The pilot program targeted professional women but the overall program once fully implemented will engage all women broadly; specifically targeting women’s groups.

Rochelle R. Dean, a Doctor of Economics, developed the curricula design of the program, which is intended to educate women on the importance of financial literacy.

The program itself addresses the harsh realities of the role of financial literacy and further outlines financial empowerment as well as the importance of financial literacy in areas of the professional careers and business perspectives of women; while focusing on four key components that provide a clear, concise view of financial literacy and the role it plays in the lives of women.

Tackling the facts and misconceptions of financial literacy to behavioral finance are just a few of the topics covered that bring a clear outlook on the importance of financial literacy and the relevance of the program to the Bahamas, the Caribbean and women generally.

“This program highlights how economic principles guide financial decisions and highlights how to gain financial freedom. It is imperative that women become aware of this variable choice in an effort to promote a strong Bahamian economy and successful women.”

“The program was not meant to be a financial empowerment program,” said Dean; who differentiates between financial literacy and financial empowerment.

“This program highlights how economic principles guide financial decisions and highlights how to gain financial freedom. It is imperative that women become aware of this variable choice in an effort to promote a strong Bahamian economy and successful women.”

FEM FINESSE was sponsored by Candid Concepts Development and Caribbean Bottling Company (Coca Cola) who featured the company’s new product Dasani sparkling water.

Caribbean Bottling Company (Coca Cola) a subsidiary of The Coca Cola Company was selected mainly because of the success of its five by 20 program; committed to the global economic empowerment of five million female entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020.

“When I thought about corporate sponsorship I wanted to work with an organization that understands the importance of women’s economic empowerment as well as one that continues to be innovative with its products. I think Dasani sparkling water is as innovative as it gets; the experience of a soda without the calories,” stated Dean.

The program was offered free of charge to many women’s organizations in the country and was represented by Zonta Club of Nassau, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Bahamas Girl Guides Association and other female informal business owners in the community who were all pleased to support an iniative that fosters education and growth for women.

Mrs. Tara Johnson president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., stated that, “The information and tools given are great and will help me to begin to change my financial decisions.”

Business owner Alayna Ledard said that, “The program was very knowledgeable, clear and done with excellence and professionalism.”

Empower Women Global Champion for Change and founder of Candid Concepts Development Dr. Rochelle R. Dean along with Director of Gender and Social Development Ms. Gaynel Curry and support staff Elaine Hinsey.

Events photographer Dayna Pratt who offered her services to the program indicated that she was happy to have heard the information at such an early age and will use it to prepare for her photography business. She also expressed her understanding of the need for Bahamian’s to step up.

Other participants suggested targeting at-risk girls groups and high school seniors who could also benefit from the program.

The program was very successful and the data will be used by Empower Women and UN Women for developing other financial literacy resource modules in the future.

FEM FINESSE promises to be an exciting prospect for women once fully implemented into the community addressing the need for further financial literacy development.

Rochelle R. Dean further stated, “I’ve had a few women from other regions specifically, Asia and Africa who have expressed interest in the program. I am excited and more than willing to see further development of the program as the DACUM is specifically relevant to the culture, and economic bearing of women in the Bahamas.”

Rochelle specifically acknowledges her mentor Empower Women Global Champion for Economic Empowerment Yelena Maleyev who she indicated; kept her on track with the Empower Women Planning Guide, as well as Elaine Hinsey of the Department of Gender and Social Development who also made the launch a success.

Photo credit: Dayna Pratt

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