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The Challenge:  
Even before COVID-19, nearly two out of every five Americans couldn’t come up with just $400 in savings in case of an emergency (Federal Reserve Board). With over half of the American workforce (79 million people) earning less than $20 per hour, workers facing financial stress are vulnerable to asking for pay advances or direct loans from their employers, or worse seeking out usurious payday loans. Financial shocks cause devastation for workers and cost employers in the form of absenteeism, retention, and productivity. 

Our Solution: 
Onward Financial is a not-for-profit employer-sponsored benefit program offered via mobile app. Onward allows employees to automatically save directly from their paychecks, receive easily understood and actionable financial tips, and gain access to personalized financial coaching. 

Onward’s mission is simple: to provide low-to-moderate income workers the tools to achieve a financial cushion and move toward financial confidence. Onward works through employer sponsorships, typically small- to medium-sized businesses, who, in turn, offer the mobile-first platform to their workers for free. Through a mobile app, Onward links workers’ paychecks directly to a personalized savings account (housed at an FDIC-insured, nationally chartered bank), provides financial education, and links to personalized, one-on-one financial coaching.  

Our Business Model: 
Typically, Onward charges a platform fee to the employer to offer Onward as a benefit to its workforce. However, in response to the challenges facing countless businesses wrought by COVID, Onward is offering the platform at no cost for a limited time. In addition to the previous benefits, Onward’s platform allows employers to provide incentives such as matched savings contributions. Our aim is to make every employer “The Hero of the Story” by providing them with the tools to execute a customized financial wellness campaign. Taken together, we seek to offer a holistic suite of services to support employees along their journey towards financial security. 

Onward is generously supported by the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Rockefeller Foundation, Google.org, MetLife, JP Morgan, the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, and more catalytic partners. We’d love for you to join us.