AFORTUNADA MENTE® Gamification. A scalable tool that develops financial and socio-emotional capabilities since childhood
Mexicans' financial capabilities are below the average of G-20 countries, worsening their quality of life: 68% say "money is for spending", consequently 65% live from hand to mouth (OCDE, 2017).
AFORTUNADA MENTE is a didactic board game for children, families and entrepreneurs to develop financial and socio-emotional capabilities. It's intuitive, agile and ludic, and promotes personal development and social impact through the game's challenges.
At present, there is virtually no Financial Education in Mexico. At the aggregate level, this impoverishes families and even makes their use subsidies inefficient. Only 8% of schools promote financial education in Mexico and 90% of the financial behaviour is learned at home (OCDE, 2017).
This didactic board game was therefore created to develop children's and adults' financial capabilities through fun. Its playful nature attracts people, disposes them with an open attitude to learn and engages them to continue using the tool in ways that reach an in-depth development. In addition, the game is inserted in a context of a sense of life and socio-emotional development. To play, one needs to say what talents she/he possesses, what they would like to achieve in life and who they would like to help. It also includes challenges in the 5 areas of the person (emotional, mind, body, spirit and will) that help the player to move faster across the board. The main goal is to help people improve their quality of life through the efficient use of their money and the financial system.
This innovation is helping children, young people, entrepreneurs and adults through the different public organisms that deploy the tool. This culminates in the consolidation of family finances, more profitable entrepreneurship, and more stable employees in companies.
In 2019, a pilot was started in a Local Education Secretariat. From its results, a federal law initiative has been presented to teach financial education in every Mexican school. In 2020, a synergy with the Federal Institute for the Protection of Bank Savings was started to reach the banked adults, and with entrepreneurs, SMEs, and business owners through the Secretariat of Sustainable Economic Development.
The board game was firstly created on a pizza box. From the results and families' feedback, some details were improved. It was then presented to the Education Secretariat who implemented a pilot of 100 schools. An evaluation was made with the school directors, and improvements in the matter adaptation were made. From these results the other public organisms, including The Senate, have been in contact to scale the scope of the tool.
As a board game, it doesn’t require investment in teacher training and ensures the genuine transmission of learning, this reduces costs and the risk that teachers (who often are themselves part of this financial ignorance) transmit knowledge poorly.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
It is innovative in content:
1. Personal finance management: economics, finance, investing orientation.
2. Knowledge, skills and attitudes for both children and adults.
3. Skills for the future (IDB): negotiation, creativity and personal relationships.
4. Personal development in 5 areas: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and behavioural, social impact, leadership.
5. Responsible financial Inclusion.
It is innovative in form by its methodology:
What is the current status of your innovation?
(1) Pilot completed among 100 schools (50,000) students. Qualitative evaluations available. Bank of America will deploy a formal evaluation. Pilot also implemented at massive events such as The National Financial Education Week.
(2) Feb 2020: a Federal Law has been presented to include financial education in all schools through this didactic tool which also develops socio-emotional skills.
(3) Project Evaluation by the Economic Development Secretariat. Implementation in business incubators.
(4) Design of didactic tools for the Federal Institute for the Protection of Bank Savings.
Collaborations & Partnerships
- Families: validated and spread from mouth to mouth the tool for schools, libraries, radio show programs, and events.
- The National Commission for the Defense of Users of Financial Services: sponsored a spot at the National Financial Education event (117,000 people), Mr. Gabriel Espinoza: 200.000 children. Mr. Froylan Salas: promoted at a 6M people event. Mrs. Alejandra Reynoso presented as a Law Initiative at the Senate (21M children), and Mr. Vicente (37M bank users)
-Bank of America, HEC, Babson, ABM
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
(1) students and families improved their quality of life, increasing their income by launching small businesses, finding a friendly tool to develop socio-emotional skills and reinforce family life. Sold nationally through Amazon and libraries.
(2) Mr. G. Espinoza, Mrs. Reynoso, Mr. F. Salas, and Mr. V. Vargas increased the range and depth of financial and socio-emotional formation for children, families, entrepreneurs and enterprises. School communities improved their coexistence and income level.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
Validations were run around the diverse areas of the business model, mainly the value proposition. The results have been:
- Organic marketing from mouth to mouth. Sales up to 60,000USD.
- Amazon’s Choice insignia.
- Worldwide People’s Choice Award at The international Business Learning Games Competition '19.
Experts’ evaluations Worldwide (Winners)
- Social Business Creation Competition, HEC Montreal, '18. (R1-Top1, R2-Top1, R3-Top 5)
- Startup Jumpstart Competition, Babson College '18.
- Lean Startups Mexico '18 Competition.
- Ludic, Pedagogical and Business Assessment by The Business Excellence Institute, '19.
Qualitative Evaluation of the strategy implemented in government:
- High school students and parents run a business spontaneously. Rural and disable students became familiar with the topic.
- ESD Secretary requested the tool to train SMEs.
- Law Initiative involving 21M children
- 37 bank users
Challenges and Failures
- Challenges (and responses): 1st investment and 1st entrepreneurship (training heavily); wrong partners at the beginning (set clear intentions and plans, and separate them from the project); no partners (look up for advice and be critic) and no funds (work on other economic activities, ask for some money to friends and family); unreliable mentor (training through other tools and looking up for reliable ones); share time with other economic activities to raise money (work on the system to sell the game, e.g. Amazon); not enough money to hire an efficient and professional team (learn to do it alone in low quality, and sometimes hire low quality suppliers).
- Failures (and responses): Inexperience in the cyclicity of the product for sales (learning the cyclicity for this new year and planning with this). First investment stayed on stock almost for 8 months without cash-flow (working and selling as much as possible).
Conditions for Success
1. Professional team to deliver the activity to families and children. Evaluators.
2. To train the teachers that will deliver the tool with children. To program the implementation of the tool with the children or families and measure the change of behaviour: social and financial, evaluate teachers, schools and other groups of application.
3. To rely on the existing and functioning structure of government in education for teacher training and implementation of the tool.
4. Interdisciplinary team to develop innovative tools. Financial resources: make more scalable sales or receive funds from organisations.
5. Values and motivations: Conviction of generating a social impact above the business interests only; integrity to give and receive training and implement and evaluate the activity; Urgency to reach a greater number of children and families; Insatiable thirst for constant innovation; Perseverance despite difficulties and failures; Authenticity to live what is taught.
MAPI is an Organisation that connects farmers and manufacturers with final consumers. They have applied the tool during a financial education workshop with them, bringing participants to change their economic activities and behaviour, and improving their well-being in just 2 months.
Mary Kay, the largest women's marketing network in Mexico has asked to adapt the tool to their business language and train their sellers to improve their financial behaviour.
Scotiabank has asked the project's creator to develop financial education content for them.
Enterprises have acquired the tool to train their employees.
Another Senator asked to develop a game to promote Peace for children and communities.
A Mexican board games factory has gotten in touch to produce to help them reduce production costs and add this game to their delivery channels.
1. Train yourself all day: personal, economical, professional and entrepreneurial.
2. Meet people, learn from them, ask questions, share with them, but take care or the information you reveal. Always be critical, listen to advice and be responsible of your own decisions.
3. Work on your passions. Always think about final users. Share with them as much as possible. Work hard but take care of yourself.
4. Set limits, when necessary.
5. Be authentic.
6. Money (and power) is necessary. Join the people who manage it to deploy a social impact.
7. Working for Social impact fulfils life but it's better if you're sustainable.
8. Do it.