Ahead of the D&C Awards 2023 which will be held in the National Museum of Serbia on April 3, we spoke with our previous winners. ERSTE BANK was last year’s recipient of the special award for contribution to the development of society’s financial literacy for its project #ErsteZnali. Check out what Aleksandra Kosanović Strižak, Director of the Marketing and Communications Sector of Erste Bank had to say about their experience and their new plans.
How much did the award you received mean to you?
Just like when you praise a child when it gets a good grade, so it feels proud, it’s the same with companies. We are proud of all that we have done so far in the field of financial education of citizens, children, and young people, we are proud of all colleagues involved in this program, we are proud of our Bank, the progenitor in this field, which, recognizing the importance of financial literacy of all of us, was the first to launch a comprehensive #ErsteZnali financial education program. At the same time, we are grateful to the entire team of Diplomacy & Commerce magazine, who not only recognized and rewarded our efforts, which have been going on for many years, by awarding us a special award, but also recognized and raised the visibility of this very important topic when it comes to financing.
What has your company been doing in that field since then?
A lot of it. This space is too small to list everything. After the launch of the online game for children of preschool and early school age “Guardians of the Dragon’s Treasure”, we also produced a theater play of the same name that was performed outside of standard theater institutions – in trams, in parks, on squares, all over our country. We continuously improve and refresh our online platform #ErsteZnali with new content. In addition, we are currently in the second year of the pilot project ” Škola novca za osnovca “, which involves the introduction of financial literacy into the curriculum of elementary schools, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia. Together with the Association of Mathematicians of Serbia, we launched another pilot project of financial literacy aimed at high school students, and through our “Step by Step” program, within mentoring sessions, we intensively deal with financial education, focusing on women entrepreneurs.
What are your plans for the future?
It’s great that we are talking about plans right now because next week we are celebrating Global Money Week, a global event that promotes the importance of financial education and within which we organize various activities, so for this occasion I would like to single out the “Money Meetup” event where we will talk about different topics from the domain of finance. Also, we are equally focused on the financial health of both our clients and employees. Financial education is certainly one of the prerequisites for managing well in the world of finance, as well as smart management of the household budget. Our role as a Bank, as a banker, is primarily advisory, we strive to help citizens make the most informed decisions based on knowledge, expertise and experience. In this sense, we realized that we have to start from the very beginning, that is, from the earliest age, from the youngest, because we are not born with good financial habits, we have to acquire them. That is why we will continue to work intensively on the literacy of the youngest through various projects, communication channels, and forms of cooperation both with the state sector and with non-governmental organizations. We will definitely have a couple of surprises for you, take my word for it! And keep some more prizes in your pocket.