IMPACT 0256: FINANCIAL INVESTING FOR MILLENNIALS AND GEN Z
Matthew Koh, 19, is the founder of The BAUM Movement, a social movement aimed at educating youths in Singapore about sustainable investing and how their financial decisions can advance positive change. He hopes to empower young people to be able to make wise financial decisions. Today, he answers some questions about the work that he does.
Tell us more about what you do at BAUM!
The BAUM Movement is a non-profit sustainable investing initiative that aims to rally Gen Zs around global issues, sustainability and business. Currently, we operate on a platform to educate youths about sustainable investing.
Our flagship product, The BAUM Matrix, offers a thematic database of sustainable companies that are advancing the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), helping users identify potential investments in different sustainable causes.
What motivated you to start BAUM?
My co-founders and I realised that there has been an increasing interest in investing amongst young people. This is partly due to social media and the rise of digital retail investment platforms such as Robinhood, which have made investing more accessible. At the same time, we noticed that our generation is also concerned about sustainability. Young people care deeply about the future of our planet and are actively engaged in global issues ranging from climate change to income inequality.
Hence, we created The BAUM Movement to bridge this intersection between finance and sustainability for Gen Zs. The BAUM Movement seeks to empower Gen Zs to invest sustainably, showing them that their financial decisions have the potential to benefit both their wallet and the long-term progress of our planet.
As Singapore strives to establish itself as a green financial hub in Asia, it is important that our next generation is well-versed and savvy in sustainable finance.
What were some obstacles that you faced? How did you overcome them?
The BAUM Movement was launched in the middle of the pandemic. This meant that conventional methods of educational outreach, such as workshops and physical events, were not feasible. The entire operations of our movement have been online thus far, which forced us to be creative in how we connect with the Gen Zs.
For example, we have started delivering educational content in digestible amounts on social media platforms and are planning several virtual outreach campaigns. Moving forward, we are thinking about how we can build creative digital tools on our community platform to provide Gen Zs with more immersive virtual experiences.
What motivates you even when the audience engagement is not as high as you would like it to be?
We have a great team of six working for The BAUM Movement. As climate change accelerates and the world emerges from the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, our generation has a big part to play in being stewards of the future.
Shaping the way in which other young people think about finance and sustainability while empowering them to make a positive impact, is a cause that we feel is worth fighting for.
What other sectors are you passionate about and looking to go into?
We seek to provide Gen Zs with broader and more macro insight on sustainability, so that these perspectives can shape their individual actions and possibly, career paths in the future.
Beyond investing, we are looking to create content across topics such as environmental policy, green economies and sustainable innovation. The long-term goal is to build an ecosystem of opportunities for fellow Gen Zs to engage with sustainable business ideas and frameworks.
What are your plans for the future?
The BAUM Movement is a young initiative that recently launched in September 2021. We’re just getting started. Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates on upcoming community events and projects!