Music power couple Beyonce and Jay Z are rocking the financial literacy industry as they shine a very public spotlight on the importance of financial education through their commitment to empowering individuals and families to make better informed decisions regarding their personal financial affairs.
Jay Z’s passion for financial literacy was initially brought forth back in 2011, when the blockbuster rapper, record producer and entrepreneur teamed up with legendary investor Warren Buffett to teach kids about important financial concepts and money management skills in an online animated series for kids dubbed the “Secret Millionaires Club.” The series was brought to television and rolled out in U.S. schools and in after-school curricula, while also being offered to youth ages 7 to 16 as part of a nationwide business competition.
Financial literacy proponents widely hailed Jay Z’s move to partner with Buffett as a way to spark interest in financial literacy among young people who might otherwise find the educational topics less than exciting. Knowing that his involvement would ignite curiosity and draw youth into financial education, Jay Z made a significant commitment to raising awareness of the importance of money management skills among young people and families so they can learn to handle their personal finances in the most prudent manner.
Beyonce also has embraced financial education throughout her rise to superstardom. She partnered with Goodwill Industries during the North American leg of her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour to encourage fans to support Goodwill’s financial literacy and job training services designed to enable individuals to care for themselves and their families. Goodwill collected 14 tons of donated clothes and goods through the Beyonce partnership, which equated to over 800 hours of free on-the-job training at Goodwill career centers. Among the support services offered to enable participants to have greater stability at home and at work were personal finance and overall financial literacy training.
In co-founding Chime for Change, Beyonce rolled out another channel to support financial education, as the organization focuses on using innovative approaches to raise funds and awareness for projects that enhance the lives of girls and women. Chime for Change already has funded over 300 projects in nearly 80 countries, with financial literacy comprising one of the key areas of positive change sparked by this initiative.
In another high profile alliance, Beyonce’s global charity campaign #BeyGood partnered with The Prince’s Trust, a charity in the United Kingdom founded in 1976 by Charles, Prince of Wales, to help young people, including in the area of financial literacy. Beyonce’s efforts helped raise key funding for the Trust, which offers several initiatives in which financial education is a core component.
With financial literacy moving into top positions on the economic, social and political agendas in both developed and developing countries, it is fitting that Beyonce and Jay Z, who rank among today’s leading global pop stars, are supporting financial literacy and very publicly promulgating the virtues of financial education. Their efforts to illuminate the value of financial literacy in the minds and hearts of individuals and families should bode very well for the success of financial education programs, services and overall awareness in the months and years ahead.