Our engagement with the
The key aim of our Group community investment policy is to balance the needs of the community with strategic business concerns, the issues our customers and agents find important and the aspirations of our employees.
Our community investment programmes deliver benefits to the community as well as benefits to our business through employee engagement and reputational advantage.
- We are committed to investing in our local communities and have invested over £8.7 million in a combination of financial literacy, local development and enterprise initiatives
- We are also focussed on engaging employees through community development and have donated over 137,000 employee hours in volunteer initiatives
Our products are financially inclusive and often appeal to consumers who may be underserved by mainstream banking.
Our personal experience with these consumers has shown us that although they may be very skilled at household budgeting they have typically received no formal financial education which limits their ability to engage with the financial sector.
IPF implements financial education initiatives as part of its community investment programme as a complement to financial consumer protection and regulatory reforms, as well as policies aimed at reinforcing financial access and treating our customers fairly.
Framing the issue
There are varying levels of financial literacy across the markets where our home credit business exists. However, as a majority of our home credit customers are underserved by banks and generally have little to no credit history, financial education is an important issue for them. Knowing this, IPF has developed financial education programmes over the past 11 years across all the markets in which our home credit business operates. These programmes aim to help our customers and the wider communities we operate in be more financially literate and to use this knowledge to their advantage. They provide the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary for making responsible, informed decisions about long-term financial well-being.
By ensuring our customers and the general public are equipped with the skills needed to manage their own finances, we not only enable them to engage with the financial sector, we also secure our business as a responsible provider of consumer credit. Developing a consumer base that is informed and knowledgeable allows us to further engage with our customers and provide products that suit their needs.
Our community investment programmes aim to promote social inclusion by addressing the challenges that disadvantaged groups face in accessing opportunities.
stARTs Scholarships – Romania
The stART Scholarship programme supports 50 young people each year – talented young Romanian artists who would otherwise not have the opportunity to develop their talent. During the first four editions of the programme, 200 young artists have been able to focus on progressing their vocational careers thanks to this programme which is run in partnership with the NGO Scoala de Valori. With the help of these scholarships these talented high school students can purchase materials, equipment and anything else needed to prepare themselves as musicians or artists. They also benefit from counselling for their professional and personal development.
Helping with Provident – Czech Republic
Helping with Provident programme is our flagship community engagement programme in the Czech Republic. Every summer, our Helping with Provident website is open for applications from organisations providing health, social or education services across the country who wish to be selected to receive a donation. Each year, fifteen to twenty projects are selected by public and employee votes.
Across the year, we support many other charitable institutions through the same programme. One of them is the House of Three Wishes –a not for profit organisation that helps children aged 3 to 18 who are in danger due to poor education, family relationship problems, absent parents, child abuse, harassment or negligence. For more than five years our Czech business has financially supported the House of Three Wishes so that they can continue to prevent these children being sent to orphanages by offering temporary residence and day-care, psychological and social support and by working with their parents to ensure that children return to a safe and healthy living environment.
Football Tournament for social causes– Mexico
Our Annual Football Tournament brings together our Mexican agents and employees to raise funds to support the work of 22 not for profit organisations. These organisations help individuals and communities facing health, social and economic strain by providing a variety of services such as medical and psychological treatment for children affected by cancer and their families, educational programmes for children with Down syndrome, nutrition programmes and language therapy.
Code your future – Poland
Code your future is an initiative that Provident Polska implemented in 2017 in cooperation with CodersTrust to address the need for professional development opportunities in some rural and urban regions of Poland. With this grant programme, people from different age groups can complete a four-month course in basic coding which prepares them for freelance jobs in the global IT market, whilst enabling them to earn a living in their hometown.
Partnership with Swallow Hill academy – UK
As part of our partnership with local Swallow Hill Community College, 16 Year 9 students took part in a mock business development challenge that put their entrepreneurial, business planning and presentation skills to the test. IPF volunteers delivered presentations on business development, marketing and finance after which, they helped the students to prepare their pitch for funding. A panel of volunteers selected the best business proposition and awarded the winning group with a £250 donation to a charity of their choice. Activities like this, contribute to the students’ progress by developing their soft skills and confidence and broadening their career aspirations.
Volunteering is an important way for our employees to engage with local communities. Every year our employees join our volunteering campaigns and spend thousands of hours helping the causes they care about.
In May 2018, we inaugurated our global Volunteering Month which brought together colleagues across eight markets to support the local communities in which we operate. More than 2,000 IPF employees and agents volunteered on a range of projects: from renovating child-care facilities for disadvantaged families, to fitting new furniture and equipment in under-resourced schools, to organising recreational activities for disabled children, and fundraising.
Our volunteering activities are organised at a local level in cooperation with our charity partners so that our voluntary work responds to the needs of the communities where we work and live while reflecting the interests of our people. In 2018 our colleagues volunteered 5,611 hours in company time and a further 8,732 hours in their own time.