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Teenpreneur Kashvi Jindal Is Teaching Financial Literacy To Underprivileged

Kashvi Jindal is a 17-year-old entrepreneur and founder of Invest the Change, a platform dedicated to teaching underprivileged with financial literacy.

Kashvi Jindal is a 17 year old student turned entrepreneur and the founder of ‘Invest the Change’, a platform dedicated to equipping underprivileged individuals with financial literacy.

Kashvi Jindal is empowering blue-collar job workers by bridging the gap between welfare programs and employment, driving India’s economic growth with compassion. In a world hungry for change.

This passionate teenapreneur and socialist lights the way, inspiring others to pursue their dreams while working towards a fairer, more just society. In this interview we take a deep dive into her journey.

Can you share the story of how your journey as an entrepreneur and social activist started at such a young age, and what inspired you to defy societal norms and pursue your passion for business and social change?

Thanks to my father, I developed a keen interest towards the financial world, where at the tender age of 10, I found myself asking my father about market trends, despite not fully comprehending the concept.

Along with this, I was also inclined towards the thought of bringing about a social impact. So, I kept discussing and brainstorming the idea of collaborating with my 2 sources of interest together.

Driven by my interest in money management, I began discussing financial matters with household staff, such as the housemaid and even the cleaning workers at my school.

Through these conversations, I discover, a fundamental issue plaguing society—the lack of information about finance and the economy.

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This realisation sparked a desire within me to make a difference, and at the age of 16, I launched Invest The Change, a platform aimed at helping people understand the basics of saving and investing.

How did your father’s mentorship and the regular dinner discussions about business shape your entrepreneurial mindset and drive your interest in the financial world?

Since childhood, my fascination with the financial world and markets has been deeply ingrained. I owe this passion to my father, who, as the founder of a hedge fund, regularly engaged in discussions about the financial markets and economic news in my presence.

Even as a child, I vividly remember eagerly asking him about market fluctuations, despite not fully comprehending the underlying concepts at the time.

As I grew older, our dinner table conversations increasingly revolved around the economy and how financial literacy could empower individuals to overcome poverty.

By the time I reached 10th grade, I had developed a strong conviction that I wanted to pursue a career in finance and utilize my financial acumen to make a positive impact on society.

Could you elaborate on the unique blend of social work and entrepreneurship that you envisioned, and how you believe it can create a meaningful impact on underprivileged individuals’ lives while embracing business strategies?

The integration of social work and entrepreneurship creates a powerful combination, combining the passion for social change with the strategic mindset which helps to drive sustainable solutions.

By embracing business strategies, social work initiatives can become more scalable, innovative, and financially sustainable, creating a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of underprivileged individuals

How did the incidents in your surroundings, particularly the loss of your househelp, influence your decision to focus on raising awareness and improving the lives of blue-collar employees? Could you share any specific experiences or realisations that shaped your path?

Invest the Change was founded with the goal of promoting financial literacy among the lower-income sections of society. The initial plan was to help people understand the basics of saving and investing, so they could make better financial decisions and build a corpus for the long term.

However, after conducting a few sessions with people at the Skill Development Center in New Delhi, I realised that the concept of saving and investment was not as relevant to lower-income groups, who often have limited resources and struggle to make ends meet. Instead, their financial distress usually stems from medical emergencies, accidents, or a death in the family.

This realisation hit me more when a housekeeping staff of my housing society passed away after an accident. Since he was the sole breadwinner for his family, they were left in a precarious financial situation. This spurred me to research and explore government schemes that could provide much-needed relief for such cases.

Consequently, the focus of the project shifted from financial literacy to creating awareness about government schemes that could offer a safety net during times of financial distress.

Over the past year, Invest the Change has conducted multiple sessions at various locations to educate people about the available government schemes. So far, the project has been successful in enrolling around 3000 people, helping them access the benefits of these schemes. The project aims to continue expanding its reach and impact to help more people in need.

What were the main challenges you encountered while building ‘Invest the Change’ and empowering over 3000 domestic workers and drivers? How did you overcome these challenges, and what lessons did you learn from them?

One of the most significant challenges I faced as a school kid was the struggle to be taken seriously. It required tremendous effort to convince people that my interests and endeavours were not merely a pastime, but rather a genuine commitment to meaningful pursuits.

In the context of Invest the Change, building trust within the group has proven to be the most daunting obstacle. Many individuals have been hesitant to share their personal details due to fears of potential deception. The underlying concern is that linking government schemes to bank accounts might expose them to fraudulent activities.

Overcoming this hurdle has involved persistent efforts to demonstrate that my intentions are sincere and focused solely on providing access to government-backed schemes that can genuinely benefit them. Emphasising that these initiatives are designed to channel benefits directly to the participants has been crucial in assuaging their apprehensions.

In terms of India’s economic growth, how do you believe bridging the gap between welfare programs and employment can drive positive change? Are there any specific success stories or examples from your project that demonstrate this impact?

Bridging the gap between welfare programs and employment can indeed drive positive change in India’s economic growth.

By linking welfare programs with employment opportunities, individuals can gain access to skill development and training initiatives, thus making them more employable and increasing their chances of finding sustainable jobs. Investing in people’s skills and abilities contributes to their long-term economic well-being and can lead to higher productivity levels in the workforce.

By providing a safety net and essential support to those in need, welfare programs can help individuals and families meet their basic needs. Simultaneously, by connecting beneficiaries to employment opportunities, they can escape the cycle of poverty and achieve upward mobility.

This success was very evident in my interaction with people at the skill development centre run by Rotary Club in association with the Delhi government.

Students from marginalised sections are imparted vocational training in specific areas such as catering, tailoring, nursing, and others which help them get actual employment. It makes them self-sufficient and earns money to uplift them from poverty.

As a young entrepreneur and socialist, what are your long-term ambitions and goals for ‘Invest the Change’ and your efforts to create a fairer and more just society? How do you see your role evolving in the future?

The Invest The Change project is driven by the ambition to raise awareness and facilitate access to government schemes on a broad scale, ultimately benefiting as many individuals as possible. Over the next 2–3 years, the goal is to expand the project’s footprint nationwide, ensuring its imprint is felt across the country.

Though the current focus centres on select government insurance schemes, the long-term objective is to encompass a wider array of government initiatives, enabling individuals to avail the benefits rightfully due to them but often overlooked due to lack of awareness.

To achieve this, a midterm goal involves building a network of dedicated volunteers who can effectively disseminate information and extend the project’s reach within their respective communities.

Additionally, an app is being developed to provide detailed scheme information and eligibility checks, allowing the project to engage with economically disadvantaged populations on a larger scale.

As for my role within the project, I envision working at a more strategic level, establishing robust systems and processes that can accommodate the project’s growth.

By focusing on scalability, we can ensure that the impact of Invest The Change expands exponentially, helping individuals across the nation access and benefit from various government schemes.

Lastly, what message or advice do you have for fellow teenagers who are inspired to make a difference in their country and contribute to social causes? What steps can they take to pursue their dreams while working towards a better future?

I commend all my fellow teenagers who are contributing to social causes to make a difference in the lives of people around them. I would like to say that, don’t worry about the scale of impact.

Every step that empowers another fellow being is a great achievement. Recognize that your age does not limit your ability to make a positive impact. Have confidence in your ideas and abilities, and believe that you can make a difference.

Begin by tackling issues within your immediate surroundings. Engage with your local community and identify ways you can contribute. Whether it’s volunteering at a local charity, organising events, or raising awareness, every small action counts and can have a ripple effect.

To learn more about Kashvi’s mission, head to Invest The Change.

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Image source: Kashvi Jindal, edited on CanvaPro

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