Money Matters: This Entrepreneur Wants to Fill the Void Left by Schools

“At the beginning of my career, I worked at the Cancer Council with people who got into financial difficulties because of the diagnosis of cancer. There are so many unexpected events in life that can create a lot of financial pressure if one is not financially prepared.”

Paridhi Jain, founder SkilledSmart.

Paridhi and her family moved to Australia more than two decades ago. Her earliest childhood memories are when they had just moved to a new country and were trying to settle down.

“The early years were tough trying to find a job, build a career, survive and settle in. Those early days were characterized by simplicity, because we had to make do with what we had, and Mom and Dad worked hard to settle in a new country.”

“So in a way I saw at a young age how important financial security is and what a big impact it can have when you don’t feel financially secure. My parents went back to university to get local qualifications for professions they were already well established in their home countries.”

Paridhi spent a lot of time volunteering in non-profit organizations and learning about international development and social justice.

“At the beginning of my career, I worked at the Cancer Council with people who got into financial difficulties because of the diagnosis of cancer. There are so many unexpected events in life that can cause a lot of financial pressure if one is not financially prepared, and chronic illnesses like cancer can be one such event.

That role was a bit of a wake-up call for me. I saw firsthand how many people of all ages, occupations, and education levels struggle with understanding their finances. I saw the serious consequences of not having your financial life in order. Most people try their best, but they don’t know what they don’t know and haven’t learned how to manage their money properly.”

“The inspiration I had was to find a way to make money easily, to help solve the financial pain I had seen so many people in during my years of volunteering and social work. So I started to find out why the ‘financial illiteracy epidemic’ exists and how we can solve it.

“As a society, we place a lot of emphasis on making money. So people tend to focus on making more money, whether it’s getting a better paying job, starting a business, or making more sales.”

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She learned that hiring a financial advisor can cost thousands of dollars, making it out of reach for many. A significant portion of people have no idea what they are doing with their finances as only a handful receive financial education during their school years.

“So I saw the need for a more accessible and affordable solution to help people learn how to save, invest and manage their money the right way. Then I started SkilledSmart and created our Mastering Money program.

The beginning

SkilledSmart was founded in 2017 with the aim of developing an educational platform that would provide people with the practical skills and tools they need to live financially successful lives. Like any business owner, Paridhi’s journey was much more adventurous than expected.

“I think on a certain level; I have always been interested in entrepreneurship. In college I was passionate about social impact and making a difference in the world. Those explorations eventually led me to learn more about social entrepreneurship. I loved the idea of ​​using business as a vehicle for positive social change.

“So already in college I had explored various possibilities in that space. I remember starting a social enterprise with friends and going to the US to pitch an idea for a social enterprise. Driven by that same interest, I became after the university management consultant, feeling that it would give me a better understanding of how to solve business problems. I got to work on some great projects, but in the end I felt like I didn’t have the impact I wanted.”

“So I knew I wanted to start a business and try entrepreneurship, and I also knew I wanted to do something that would help people and make a positive difference in people’s lives.

“As a starting entrepreneur, I learned everything from scratch. I had studied business administration at university but still felt terribly ill-prepared. I don’t think anything can teach you a business except the experience of starting one yourself.”

Financial literacy and entrepreneurs

Regardless of the industry, most business owners prioritize acquiring and retaining customers and customers, especially in the early stages. While entrepreneurs don’t have to manage all the financial aspects of the business, gaining a degree of financial acumen means you can manage some of the business’s finances, giving you the best chance of building a thriving business. to build.

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According to Paridhi, entrepreneurs are often so focused on growing and running their business that they neglect the financial side. Financial education is probably even more important to entrepreneurs because they manage two financial entities: their personal lives and their business.

“We don’t focus on learning what to do with the money we earn. A big part of financial success is determined by what you do with your money, not just how much you make.

If you don’t know how to save, invest and manage the money that comes in, you will never be able to create sustainable financial success in the long run. You see this all the time when lottery winners lose all their winnings or celebrities and companies worth millions are filing for bankruptcy.

“So being financially secure and competent is absolutely essential if you want to run a successful business. Otherwise, you could spend years setting up, growing and running a business, but never experience the freedom and stability you hope to create for yourself through entrepreneurship.

“We often see entrepreneurs who are financially educated, who can translate skills into their business, so it’s kind of a double win.”

The grim picture

Timely new research into trade and investment trends has found that nearly one in five Australians (17%) have lost significant amounts of money as a result of poor investment or trading decisions.

The survey, commissioned by online trading provider Global Prime, also found that just 27% of Australians say they have generally never made a wrong financial decision when it comes to investing or trading.

In addition, the study examines the main reasons why people lose money when trading or are duped by fraudulent scams. Worryingly, nearly a third (29%) of those who had lost money trading said, “I was uneducated and didn’t realize I was up to my ears.”

Another quarter (23%) blame their failure on not cutting their losses fast enough, and almost a fifth (19%) blame bad advice. Nearly half (45 percent) of women who made a terrible trading or investment decision said it was due to inexperience and lack of knowledge.

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Paridhi believes that starting open conversations about money and modeling good behavior at an early age is a great way to move forward.

“Whether you realize it or not, young children are already learning money lessons from you by observing how you handle money and how you talk about money. So when kids are young, we don’t have to sit down and give them formal lessons on finance,” she says.

“It’s more about having open conversations about money as a normal part of life from a young age and modeling good behavior. This helps to create an environment where they can get curious and ask questions.

“The problem is that since money is such a taboo subject, most parents never really talk about it openly in front of their kids, other than saying things like ‘we can’t afford that’, ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’. or “It’s rude to talk about money.” This creates an environment where children feel that money is a sensitive subject that should not be discussed openly.

“I think we’ve seen some positive changes in the financial sector over the last ten years, increasing the accessibility of financial products and services across the board.

Technology has undoubtedly helped lower the cost of goods and services, lowering the barrier to entry for many people. Indeed, that has enabled us to reach so many people who otherwise would not have been able to source traditional financial advisory services.
“Finance has historically had a male-dominated culture that has not always been very receptive or easy for women to navigate. Having more women in the financial sector is definitely a positive thing to work towards and it’s a great untapped opportunity. After all, women make most of the purchasing decisions in households, so more women in the financial world can inspire other women to become more financially confident as well.”

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