Jeroo Billimoria

Organization: 
Child and Youth Finance International
Year founded: 
2011
Country: 
Netherlands

The mission of ChildFinance International is to provide financial inclusion and education to 100 million children and youth in 100 countries by 2015.

Focus: Children and Youth, Education, Financial Inclusion
Geographic Area of Impact: Global
Model: Leveraged Non-Profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: N/A
Annual Budget: US$ 675,000
Recognition: Schwab Fellow of the World Economic Forum

Background
Jeroo Billimoria began working with street children in India, many of whom had run away from home and were dependent upon themselves. Answering their calls through the helplines she established, she realized many of these children demonstrated attributes of good entrepreneurs: they were brave, smart, innovative and creative. However, they were not integrated into the normal financial system, and therefore exposed to a high level of financial vulnerability. Billimoria decided to tackle the root of this issue through her vision of children having and managing their own savings accounts.

Innovation and Activities
In 2011, Billimoria founded Child and Youth Finance International, which spearheads a global ChildFinance Movement uniting policy-makers and experts from private, public and civil society sectors. The movement is dedicated to facilitating the creation of a safe and inclusive financial environment for children, while giving the financial rights of children a higher priority on national and international agendas.

Activities within the ChildFinance Movement promote the provision and certification of ChildFriendly banking products for children and youth. These activities include ChildFinance Education within the national curricula and the recognition and creation of an international ChildFinance Day.

The Entrepreneur
Jeroo Billimoria was born in 1965 in Mumbai, India, to a family of professionals, and has dedicated much of her life in support of the economic rights of children. Her mother instilled strong social values in her at a young age, and as a passionate advocate of children’s rights and empowerment she founded a number of successful organizations relevant to these issues. She is the Founder and current Head of Child and Youth Finance International, and Founder and the board Chair of the organizations Aflatoun and Child Helpline International. In India, she founded the Childline India Foundation, and the Indian non-profit organization MelJol, which she formerly directed; she now serves on its board. In 2006, Billimoria received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.