The Girl Effect Offers a Lasting Return on Investment

SUSIE GHARIB: And finally, tonight’s “Money File” has a unique investment
with a conscious capital twist. Here’s Manisha Thakor, co-author of “On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance.”

frustrated by stock market volatility and paltry rates of return on cash
equivalents? Do you want your hard earned dollars to make a bigger impact
on the world at large? If you are looking to generate a lasting return on
investment, I’d like to suggest invest in the education of a girl.
According to the non-profit “The Girl Effect,” a unique collaboration
between the Nike (NYSE:NKE) Foundation, Novo Foundation, and others, when a
girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she
marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.

When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into
their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for men. Per the
coalition for adolescent girls, investing in girls starts a virtuous cycle
that reduces poverty, AIDS, hunger and perhaps even war. Yet of the world’s
130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls.

Organizations such as The Girl Effect and Kiva are seeking to change
history by giving girls in developing countries access to education or
loans to start small businesses. Studies show that when you improve a
girl’s life, you improve the health, hygiene and overall lives of her
brothers, sisters, parents, and beyond. Now that sounds like a great return
on investment to me. I’m Manisha Thakor.

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