Audrey Tan, 29, Co-founder of Angels of Impact and PlayMoolah
“Our big idea came in 2009, just after the global financial crisis. As a young finance student, I saw many of my peers struggling with money. It made me realise that while I was taught basic finance literacy, young people such as myself back then could really do with more education in that area. That’s why I started PlayMoolah, a finance literacy app that teaches children as young as six on how to manage money based on real life scenarios. Good money habits for children and young people would do them well in the future.
Together with my co-founder Min Xuan Lee, we worked on the initial wireframes and brought a developer on board. We ended up working very closely with OCBC Bank and schools, which helped the app to gain traction amongst users. We also began running school programmes for junior college and secondary school students.
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Had the privilege of sharing @playmoolah and @whymoolah story of how we began and where we are going at the Tech for Good panel, moderated by @lainagreene. Some of th deepest learnings included that the millennial generation and the young at heart are beginning to balance purpose and profit in the pursuit of a better world through entrepreneurship. @stephaniehermawan this insight is much needed in our world today as we conduct ourselves for the new world. Sheer profit maximisation is insufficient for growth for the future. Our young at heart are beginning to look for lives that have meaning, service, purpose, more than just money. On a lighter note, @geraldtock is playing peekaboo ☺️ @elimchew77thstreet thank u for capturing the moment
Because of my work with PlayMoolah, I got to visit some impoverished areas of Indonesia. It was in the slum communities of garbage dwellers, and families were burning trash just 50 metres from where they lived. It was a very humbling sight. I had initially gone to the nearby slum school to teach children about money, but I realised that the children in those areas need more than just finance literacy to break out of poverty. It was a more of a systematic challenge of the root causes of poverty – where people do not have enough access to opportunities and a dignified livelihood. That’s how the idea for Angels of Impact came about. It’s a network that connects female social entrepreneurs to companies across ASEAN, moving beyond micro-funding to provide women-led businesses with access to funding and markets, thereby impacting the local community of farmers, producers, and artisans. The social enterprises we work with are all women-led – they’re started by women, and they work mostly with women from the local communities.
Why are we focusing on females? Because women are the key to change here. There’s been studies showing that women are more likely to spend their income on their families’ wellbeing – like sending their children to school, for example – which will enable these poverty-stricken families to create a better future for themselves.
I am an entrepreneur with two businesses under my belt, but I don’t see myself as a girlboss. I just want to enable the new generation to become more conscious consumers and investors. I want people to support social enterprises and even things like slow fashion, or to fund women-led social enterprises because that could really help create a world without poverty.”
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The CLEO Change Makers 2017 is presented by SK-II.