<P> Fall 2014 19 product development and sales, Anderson helped with market- ing, Pickard took on finance and operations, and everyone made product pitches to bring in capital. Pickard, a manager and real estate investor since his teens, says theyve been successful by seeing the white space in the market and finding a central retail place to draw customers. In addition to using their business experience, Pickard says, they networked with experts who were more knowledgeable to fill in the gaps. It all comes down to hard work, overcoming adversity, and perseverance through the good and the bad, Benz says. Its a roller coaster ride through the entire process. Alumna teaches kids ?nancial skills Howard Stevenson, a Northern Illinois University junior, plans to open a taxi service in DeKalb in the fall after getting help through an innovative service called Youthful Savings. Somya Munjal, an NIU alumna and founder of Youthful Savings (YouthfulSavings.com), helped Stevenson design a busi- ness proposal and budget for the cab service. The best way to start out is to get a coach, says Stevenson, a business management major from Indianapolis, and thats what Somya has been to me. After meeting her during a social entrepreneurship class last fall, Stevenson was so impressed by her business that he decided to work for her. He has been working with after-school clubs in the DeKalb area to inspire students to create a business and save for their future. Like Munjal, he is passionate about teaching financial education. The type of education that Youthful Savings provides is not installed in the school system, Stevenson says, and thats what were here to do. In November 2012, Munjal started Youthful Savings after blogging about financial education, saving for college, and the growing problem of student debt. Her goal is to empower the next generation with financial education and entrepreneurship training to prepare for college. Munjal worked a variety of jobs and earned scholarships to afford college. She received bachelors and masters degrees in accountancy from NIU. She went on to get a masters degree with an emphasis in international business from John Brown University in Arkansas and completed the degree while working as a global format development analyst at Walmart. She especially wants to reach children from poor families. An estimated 22 percent of children live in poverty, according to 2012 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. We think that if we can teach children business skills and financial education skills, they can change not only their lifestyle, but also hopefully inspire change within their families, the 30-year-old says. Youthful Savings offers two main programs: My Own Business Challenge and financial planning for college through its Financial Freedom app. My Own Business Challenge is designed for schools, after- school groups, and community organizations to teach middle school and high school students about personal finance and entrepreneurship. The eight-week program includes a curriculum and web application so students can start a business, save money for college, and track their business and financial success. I think theyre surprised to learn that they can earn money so easily, Munjal says. For instance, at age 10, a young girl named Angela created a bracelet and wallet business through Youthful Savings. Her goal is to save $50 a week until age 18. If she reaches that goal, she will have saved about $20,000 for college. Youthful Savings also offers its Financial Freedom app so college students can manage their money, find options to attend school debt-free, and understand student loans and how to pay them back. Munjal is developing partnerships with universities to make students aware of the app. For every dollar it earns, Youthful Savings provides 10 percent toward scholarships. Of the four scholarships awarded so far, two went to NIU students. I wouldnt have gotten through my education had I not gotten scholarships, Munjal says. She also runs a new consulting and accounting business, CPA for the People (CPAforthePeople.com), which is located in New York City (where she resides), Chicago, Miami, and Washington, D.C. Through the service, businesses and families learn how to balance finances, what resources are available to raise capital, how to plan for taxes, and how to maximize profit and revenue and minimize expenses. Both businesses are teaching the public to be mindful of finances and live within a budget, says Munjal, a certified public accountant and certified financial educator. A lot of people are afraid to talk about money management, she adds, and her goal is to show them that money is a tool rather than a big, scary monster. N Somya Munjal (above), founder of Youthful Savings, and Howard Stevenson (right) speaking to junior high students</p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/1/1/">Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/2/2/">Inside-Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/3/3/">Page-1</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/4/4/">Page-2</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/5/5/">Page-3</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/6/6/">Page-4</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/7/7/">Page-5</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/8/8/">Page-6</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/9/9/">Page-7</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/10/10/">Page-8</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/11/11/">Page-9</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/12/12/">Page-10</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/13/13/">Page-11</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/14/14/">Page-12</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/15/15/">Page-13</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/16/16/">Page-14</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/17/17/">Page-15</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/18/18/">Page-16</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/19/19/">Page-17</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/20/20/">Page-18</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/21/21/">Page-19</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/22/22/">Page-20</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/23/23/">Page-21</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/24/24/">Page-22</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/25/25/">Page-23</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/26/26/">Page-24</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/27/27/">Page-25</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/28/28/">Page-26</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/29/29/">Page-27</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/30/30/">Page-28</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/31/31/">Page-29</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/32/32/">Page-30</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/33/33/">Page-31</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/34/34/">Page-32</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/35/35/">Page-33</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/699/ywgxbqogh/36/36/">Back-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publications/699/x/sitemap.xml" target="_blank">site map</a></LI> </UL>

 

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