Hot Bread Kitchen (U.S.)
During the initial phase of the pandemic, amid great uncertainty and mass layoffs in the food sector, MetLife Foundation supported Hot Bread Kitchen’s workforce program, which supports women in career coaching and develops training opportunities in industries that offer viable career pathways. In 2021, the organization served 200 women facing inequalities at work, on the streets, and in their homes. Hot Bread Kitchen focused on training the women it serves in facilities management, a field that is forecast to grow 10% through 2026.
Building financial independence with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (U.S.)
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) understands that healthy, sustainable communities are made up of people who have living-wage jobs and feel confident about their economic futures. MetLife Foundation understands this too. That’s why the Foundation supports LISC’s efforts to provide low- and moderate-income individuals with the skills they need to gain meaningful employment and manage their money through budgeting, building good credit, and saving for education and retirement. Since 2013, MetLife Foundation has contributed almost $8 million to LISC for its network of Financial Opportunity Centers, which provides employment services, one-on-one financial coaching, and low-cost financial products that help build credit, savings, and assets for thousands of clients nationwide.
Empowering Women with Trickle Up (LATAM)
Empowering women with the right skills, financial assistance, and social support can have a large-scale positive impact on societies. Trickle Up, a global nonprofit, works with some of the most financially vulnerable people in the world, particularly women, to help advance their economic and social well-being. With MetLife Foundation's support, Trickle Up delivers the Graduation Approach—a proven methodology to get people out of extreme poverty that provides participants with seed capital to start a microbusiness. Participants also learn financial and business management skills and come together in groups to help each other access government benefits and banking services such as savings and credit. On average, for each woman Trickle Up empowers, five people benefit. And when women succeed, so can their children and families.
Creating access and opportunity for women: Building financial health among garment factory workers in Bangladesh (Asia)
We live in a world today where financial health is a persistent challenge for low- to moderate-income communities—a world where 1.7 billion adults don’t have a bank account and where, even in the United States, many would have trouble meeting a large emergency expense. In Bangladesh, approximately 80% of garment workers are women, the majority of whom receive their salaries in cash, have low levels of financial literacy, and lack access to formal banking services. The combination can make it difficult for workers to protect their income and save for the future.
Since 2018, MetLife Foundation and Swisscontact have been supporting Sarathi, a financial inclusion program that works with commercial banks and garment factories to bring workers into the formal banking system. The program enables garment factory owners to pay their workers digitally, enabling workers to receive their pay more securely while reducing their transaction costs. Sarathi is also developing products in partnership with local banks that help workers receive their salaries straight into their bank accounts, save securely for their short- and long-term goals, earn credit to meet their cash flow, and meet other needs.
Through this initiative, several partnerships have been established, including commercial banks opening offices and ATM machines in and around garment factories so that workers can make transactions in a secure and convenient manner. With hands-on financial literacy sessions, Sarathi works to raise awareness of how banking services can help workers take control of their incomes and improve their financial health.