Mariana Garza Villalobos, Founder and CEO, Inverkids

Mariana is the founder and CEO of Inverkids, she has a degree in finance at Tecnológico de Monterrey and some certificates in ethics, business management and entrepreneurship. After graduating from university, she embarked on her mission of preparing new generations for their financial life through Inverkids. She is a mother, entrepreneur and financial speaker that has been recognized as a leader woman by Pro Network and Holon IQ. Also, she has led Inverkids in multiple national and international programs and awards such as Jump Chile, Mass Challenge, Startupbootcamp Fintech CDMX, MindCet & Bonbillo. Her mission is to impact the future public policies of the country & region by promoting financial education and inclusion for the new generations.

 

From a very young age, children create their own ideas about money and begin to shape their behavior around it. What they see at home, what their parents do, and what they tell them about money are the three main effective sources of learning. But what about teaching financial education in schools?

Inverkids was born with the objective of preparing today’s kids and teens from all Latin America in their first financial steps by:

  • Teaching financial knowledge in schools
  • Developing financial skills at home
  • Real life practice through the use of a debit card is our next step

When I was a little girl my dad taught me the importance of saving, investing, and spending wisely so I could gain financial independence and create the life I want to live. At age 5 I started saving 10 pesos coins because I thought they were made of gold and years later that small habit became my passion and my career.  I passion grew stronger 

when I was in university. It was then I realized not everyone had a good relationship with money and that most of my peers didn’t know what a healthy financial lifestyle looked like, it was then that the idea of Inverkids came to mind.   I wanted to help parents and schools start the conversation about money and provide financial education for the new generations at an early age. Just like my dad did it with me. 

At Inverkids we provide schools with an E-learning webapp to teach about finance and entrepreneurship through content, activities, games, projects, and competitions throughout the school year. 

We first started teaching grades 7-9th, which in Mexico is middle school. Then, our schools realized that their younger students and families could benefit from it too, so we developed our elementary school curriculum. 

The results are constantly reflecting in our kid’s daily life. They are talking more at home with their parents about money. They plan and achieve their financial goals. 

They use a budget to keep track of their expenses and compare prices before buying something. In addition, they increase savings to achieve their financial goals.

Our most amazing discovery has been how teaching kids about saving and achieving their financial goals has impacted teachers and parents alike. Inverkids is inspiring children to discuss money with their parents, instead of the other way around; these conversations have led teachers and parents to look at their own relationship with money and has motivated them not only to work towards financial wellbeing, but also to keep the line of communication open with their children when it comes to finances.

Also, at Inverkids we are encouraging parents to give money to their kids either as a reward for their effort, a gift or a prize; how do we plan to teach about money without it to actually practice and take real life action. 

Kids are always learning and absorbing information. Sometimes we think that they only learn what we teach them, but kids never stop learning and imitating what they see and hear from their family and friends. 

Just as children must be taught to walk, sleep, read, they must also be taught about money. They see what we do and say about money, and they replicate it as well. 

Now is the time for parents and schools to start teaching children about money management, because as we know, finance is much more than just learning to save for in a piggy bank. Topics such as alternative investments, FinTech industry, globalization, entrepreneurship, sharing and being conscious consumers are found through our curriculum. 

Furthermore, as parents and teachers, it’s very important to try to talk with our kids to ensure they are not developing misconceptions about finance; an early intervention could guide them to the right financial track. 

In Mexico and Latin America, the need to acquire financial knowledge is essential to be able to make better money decisions, benefiting not only their lives, but also their families, cities, and even the country as a whole. Much work is needed to start improving financial health in Latin America.

There has been an international debate for many years to try to determine if financial education should be a part of the school curriculum. Around the world more and more countries are taking action to start teaching finance at an early age, such as the UK, USA, Canada, Armenia, Australia, among others.

At Inverkids we encourage governments, financial institutions, and schools to prioritize financial literacy for the new generations. Kids and teenagers are in a vulnerable position because they have the least financial knowledge and financial wellness. The FinTech industry is creating an “easy access” to every financial instrument, not only will they not know money like we did, but now with a “click” they can access debit cards, investments, insurance or even credit. They have their big financial break or mistake just one click away. 

The OECD established financial literacy as a core life skill in modern society. Children are growing up in an increasingly complex world where they will eventually need to take charge of their own financial future. At Inverkids we are giving them the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. 

Inverkids is here to stay, we will not stop until kids from México to Argentina are prepared for their financial life. We celebrate our milestones, and we are excited for what’s to come. Let’s remember that no matter what our kids choose to become, either software developers, engineers, soccer players, musicians; financial decisions await them every day of their lives. There’s no such thing as a divorce from money, so let’s work for a good and prosperous relationship with it.

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