By Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO, Financial Health Network
Through our innovation work via the Financial Solutions Lab, we’ve reached more than 5 million low- to moderate-income consumers (and 10 million consumers in total) to date with solutions to improve their financial health. Innovation is at the heart of the Financial Health Network’s mission, fueling our excitement to announce a new leader for our Innovation practice, Hannah Calhoon. Hannah brings a passion for financial health and knowledge of startups, nonprofits, financial services, and the fintech ecosystem at large, and we look forward to accomplishing even more under her leadership.
A Record of Innovation and Leadership
Hannah has deep experience in fintech, collaboration, and community building. As the founder of Blue Ridge Labs, an initiative recently acquired by the Robin Hood Foundation, Hannah united communities and technologists to build new tech platforms that addressed economic inequity – a seamless fit for our FSL innovation work. In fact, Hannah has helped to launch and scale 25+ new mission-driven organizations, including FSL portfolio organizations Propel, Alice, Leap Fund, and fINEQUITY.
At the Financial Health Network, Hannah will be responsible for the strategic direction of our Innovation practice, including the Financial Solutions Lab. In her role, she will be tasked with finding new ways to support our innovators as they work to improve financial health and deliver quality services that treat communities with dignity.
“I’ve spent my career building innovation systems that deliver impact for communities, and I’m thrilled to be continuing this journey at the Financial Health Network. Given the events of the last 12 months, it’s more critical than ever that we find new ways to support the financial health of low- to moderate-income families and communities, and I believe the Financial Health Network is uniquely positioned to drive this work forward.”
– Hannah Calhoon, Vice President, Innovation, Financial Health Network
Hannah understands the important role fintech plays in supporting families through their financial health journeys – saving time and money, providing customized real-time information, navigating complex processes, and more.
Innovation as a Catalyst for Financial Health
Despite topline gains for some Americans during the last year, there are still millions of households across the country struggling with their financial health, according to our U.S. Financial Health Pulse: 2020 Trends Report. Hannah will focus on bringing together stakeholders, partners, and Financial Health Network Members to build on existing knowledge, explore scalability of existing programming, and create additional impact by:
- Determining where innovative models can help bring new products and services to market that are higher-quality, lower-cost, and more equitable
- Using insights and learnings from across the Financial Health Network to design and pilot new initiatives
- Continuing to execute and scale current programming that is driving impact
Hannah also believes in “lived” experience, engaging with people and communities closest to challenges to gather insights that can fuel innovations – including bank customers, domestic workers, renters, community college students, and frontline workers. While there are often concerns that low- to moderate-income consumers are too risky or too expensive a market to serve, Hannah aims to de-risk promising solutions that others can then step in to scale by:
- Leveraging the capital and credibility of the Financial Health Network
- Finding and supporting new collaborations that enable us to distribute high-quality support through trusted channels
- Collecting new data and insights to inform policy and systems change
Hannah will also support the Financial Health Network’s diversity, equity, and inclusion journey by more closely examining which solutions are funded, highlighted, and scaled. We aim to amplify founders from underrepresented communities as well as founders building solutions for underrepresented communities. We will also prioritize working with companies committed to DEI at all levels of their organizations, as we believe organizations guided by these principles will better support financially vulnerable and underserved populations.
Learn more about Hannah or contact her here.
Meet our full team.