With pervasive global issues like the climate crisis and worsening economic disparity, young people may feel like there’s very little they can do to create a positive social impact. On the contrary, our article ‘Why the World Needs Young Changemakers’ proves that anyone can make a difference. Take Mari Copeny, who actively helped provide clean water to impoverished communities, and Shubham Banerjee, who founded a company that produces low-cost Braille printers for the visually impaired. With hard work and a stroke of luck, they were able to give back to society.
If you’re a young changemaker with a vision you believe can make the world a better place, you deserve the resources to make that happen. Of course, that includes financial resources to expand your reach and sustain your long-term goals. Fortunately, there are abundant resources available to make that happen. Since you will need banks for processes like debt financing, assistance for raising equity, and expert advice, you may want to start by updating yourself on the latest banking trends.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest in European banking.
Greater measures against financial risk
Businesses rely heavily on banks, but not all banks are managed the same. Some may even put clients like yourself at great financial risk if they do not handle their systems well. This is why the Basel framework was implemented. It’s a set of guidelines that builds collaboration among banking institutions worldwide. Basel challenges banks to meet international standards for financial stability and risk calculation so they can continuously offer trustworthy services to clients. To ensure compliance, European financial institutions use automated Basel reporting solutions to streamline tasks like data calculations, prudential risk reporting, and adhering to exact regulatory measures. This ensures that they’re meeting regulatory requirements. By using banks that take these measures, you can finance your startups with world-class financial services that are proven to guard against financial risk.
Beneficial financing programs
Putting up a business is costly, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it without support. In 2020, the European Commission established financing programs to revitalize small and medium-sized enterprises. They support access to funding — such as loans, microfinance and guarantees, and equity funding — through financial institutions in EU countries. Programs like the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation and the Cultural and Creative Sector Guarantee Facility seek financing to uplift businesses from diverse backgrounds. These financing instruments generally come with reduced interest rates, larger financing volumes, and small collateral requirements. For young changemakers, this can relieve a lot of monetary burdens — so be sure to research what programs you’re eligible for when founding your startup.
The move towards sustainable banking
With greater attention to environmental awareness and social justice, partnering with financial institutions whose values align with yours is crucial. Fortunately, the European Banking Authority published a roadmap for sustainability to guide banks toward social and environmental responsibility. Once implemented, it will guide banks towards better environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. Of course, institutions like Triodos Bank in the Netherlands and Nordea in Sweden are already known to support causes that focus on making positive social impacts. Once banks across Europe finally implement the above roadmap, you’ll have even more opportunities to find forward-thinking financial institutions to support your vision.
Changemakers deserve to be empowered to make a difference. With these banking trends, young leaders like you can pursue their beliefs confidently with startups that target a good cause.