Photo credit: MAYA IBRAHIM


Youth Action Challenge (YAC) is a platform for youth to provide solutions that tackle the issues we are concerned about. Since October 2021, over 80 teams and more than 310 youths have undertaken the YAC Season 3 journey.

Maya Ibrahim, 26, is one of the Co-Founders of Money&Me. She used to work in Management Consulting, and also spent some time working in a charity in Singapore. She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Berlin, Germany, while working remotely on the startup.

At Money&Me, the goal is to make conversations about money easy, and to build confidence and skills in youth to empower them to make financial decisions for their future. Today she shares more about the project and their involvement in the recent Season 3 of the Youth Action Challenge!

What was your role within your YAC project?

As the Co-Founder, I’m a part of charting the direction of the project and deciding whether to be a social enterprise vs a non-profit. These were some of the first big decisions we had to make during our initial stages of being in YAC. I focus on building partnerships with organisations who are looking to run programmes related to financial literacy for their youth. This involves a lot of cold emailing and outreach, but it’s worth it when we eventually do land meetings with potential organisations. Additionally, I also look over the main operations of how we run our team.

What motivated you to join YAC?

I learnt about YAC through a friend who runs the SG Together Movement. We wanted to build off the momentum we had gained over two runs of our programme, and given the feedback and engagement we were having with our youth, we felt we were really impacting lives and wanted to increase the scale. Yet, we needed to do it at a pace that worked for all of us as we each had full-time jobs and were working on separate things.

Can you share with us your experience with your YAC project?

We are tremendously thankful to have taken part, and have benefited most from the mentors that we’ve met along the way. It was also a great experience seeing other youths passionate about making society a better place and coming up with ideas to do so. YAC was a very good opportunity to set aside the time and energy to go through hands-on activities with exceptional leaders in the startup or social innovation space, from identifying a suitable business model, to target customers and personas, as well as pricing.

What are some challenges you faced while working on your YAC project?

One of our challenges was that halfway through the programme, I had to be based in Berlin for a while. Despite time zone issues, we still managed to pull through and we are really glad to have been part of YAC, as we saw a lot of growth during this period, which we honestly did not expect. We didn’t realise that it would consume so much time, but were ultimately glad for the mentors, and friends we made.

Could you share more on how your project has a positive impact?

We involved the youths who took part in our project in the process of their learning, and got them to discuss the challenges they face when it comes to money. This created a safe space for them to share and also learn from other youths who have had similar or different experiences. At the end of our programme, we ran a qualitative focus group to understand more about our project’s impact and the experience of the youths who went through it.

Apart from the safe space for creating conversations about money, which we hoped would build confidence in the youth, we also ran pre-programme and post-programme surveys to measure the difference in knowledge about money, which we are happy to say increased after going through the programme.

Were there any key takeaways or learning points from your time with YAC?

One of our biggest takeaways is that we need to learn how to function as a business. In that, we need to identify our target customers and how we can recapture the value we create as part of the programmes we build. A mentor taught us that “recapturing the value” means putting a price to our work, which was something we struggled with as we had initially started as a project that provided the programme for free.

This article was published on Apr 28, 2022

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