Hong Kong Citi Asia Pacific has piloted a corporate social responsibility program for Global Consumer Banking (GCB) Analysts and Associates in a first for the business globally. Giving early career colleagues who are part of Citi’s graduate programs the opportunity to mentor youth-led social enterprises in the region, a total of 74 GCB Analysts and Associates worked in cross-border teams to mentor 15 social enterprises.
From March to May this year, GCB Analysts and Associates worked with young social entrepreneurs who are part of Youth:Co Lab, a program co-created by the Citi Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2017. The program aims to tackle youth unemployment in the region by supporting young social entrepreneurs as they accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their businesses.
Citi colleagues partnered with participating social entrepreneurs to refine and articulate their mission, vision, impact and strategy as these social entrepreneurs seek investments to further grow and strengthen their operations. This included addressing various areas of focus, including expansion into new markets, refinement of marketing and growth strategies, development of pricing policies, as well as performance measurement.
For Advisory Singapore, a youth-led non-profit dedicated to empowering young Singaporeans from all walks of life to make informed career and further education choices, the corporate social responsibility program helped to identify key financial metrics to be shared when pitching for investment funding. Together with Citi colleagues, the team from Advisory Singapore also considered growth strategies for markets outside of Singapore.
Mock Yi Jun, Co-Founder and President of Advisory Singapore, said: “It was a delight to work with such a passionate, dedicated and enthusiastic team of GCB Analysts and Associates. The team was incredibly supportive and focused on addressing areas of need which we had raised. Since the end of the program, we've come away with a greater awareness on how to pitch Advisory's value proposition to external stakeholders. We are also glad to be able to continue to engage with Citi. Most recently, Citi Singapore joined Advisory Singapore as an official mentorship partner. As part of Citi’s Global Community Day in June, we also had close to 50 Citi Singapore employees join our Advisory Mentorship Program, which mentors students on a 1-to-1 basis. We’re proud to be working with a firm that cares so deeply about developing the next generation.”
Advisory Singapore’s Mentorship Program, which runs from June to September this year, mentors students aged 16 to 28 from a range of educational institutions and backgrounds.
Cambodian-based JUNLEN, which promotes the recycling of organic waste via vermicomposting, is launching a website as part of its new digital sales strategy, developed in partnership with Citi colleagues. The social enterprise is currently working with smaller farmers in Cambodia to create a network of earthworm farms across the country.
“The corporate social responsibility program with Citi was beneficial in multiple ways. We were asked very detailed questions that helped us to think through what we wanted to do with the business and the future we envisioned. The team’s ideas and suggestions were practical, with clear steps on how we could expand our marketing efforts and strategies to pursue our plans for growth. Through this experience, we have learned to better articulate our business and the goals we hope to achieve through our social enterprise. With the launch of our upcoming website, we hope to be able to scale impact quicker with wider reach to opportunities, potential partners and impact investors,” said Sothearath Sok, Founder of JUNLEN.
The corporate social responsibility program was piloted with GCB Analysts and Associates during their second job rotation as part of their respective two-year programs. Toward the end of the corporate social responsibility pilot, Citi colleagues together with their community partners created final deliverables which included a three-minute pitch presentation for each social enterprise.
Kartik Mani, Citi’s Asia Pacific Head of Global Consumer Banking, said: “At Citi, we want to nurture talent who appreciate the importance of social responsibility and corporate citizenship. Youth economic opportunities has been a core component of Citi’s citizenship focus and we want to be able to integrate this focus as part of our business and mindset. This program has immersed our candidates in pressing societal issues and put into practice how as a bank, we can create positive social impact. We are encouraged by the outcome of the pilot program and the significant value that it has generated for the participating social enterprises.”
As part of its commitment to being an employer of choice, Citi continues to introduce innovative recruitment programs and opportunities. In response to the impact of COVID-19 on youth unemployment in Asia Pacific, Citi last year committed to offering 6,000 jobs and 60,000 job skills training opportunities for young people through to 2023 as part of its global Pathways to Progress Initiative.
“Millennials and Gen-Z candidates increasingly value being part of companies that are actively leading the way in areas of sustainability and social responsibility. Programs like the one we have piloted provide direct experience in these areas and bring us closer to institutionalizing social impact programs as part of our training curriculum. Our graduate programs are widely regarded as industry-leading, with a legacy of candidates who have moved on to be senior leaders within the firm. Incorporating corporate citizenship initiatives within this program will help us to further develop our future leaders as they understand the impact of social challenges and how they can be part of the solution in progressing the SDGs,” said Stephen Cronin, Asia Pacific Human Resources Head, Citi.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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Harsha Jethnani, (852) 28687738, email@example.com