Economic empowerment refers to the ability to provide for yourself and the people who depend on you, and to decide how best to do so.
The goal of economic empowerment is to enable people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to access and enjoy social and economic opportunities, so that in turn, they can contribute fully to their community's development and to their own personal development.
Economic empowerment creates a domino effect with many benefits, not just for individuals but also for families, communities and entire countries. It reduces the financial vulnerability of women and men, and increases their ability to grow, take action, care for their loved ones and cope with unexpected events.
How do we strengthen economic empowerment?
The 3 key building blocks for economic empowerment are access to financial services, financial literacy and the power to act. These are the 3 areas that Desjardins International Development (DID) focuses on.
Adequate access to financial services
Financial inclusion is about providing secure and affordable access to the financial products and services people need and use every day: bank accounts, adapted payment methods, credit and savings products, insurance to protect wealth, and so on.
Sufficient financial knowledge
Financial literacy is about helping people develop the knowledge and skills they need to make informed financial decisions. It helps overcome the challenges of using financial products and services and encourages safe financial behaviours.
The ability to manage finances independently
Economic empowerment means having control over your finances and the ability to decide for yourself how to allocate your financial resources. When they're empowered, people can show leadership and improve their social and economic standing.