As a Certified B company, it’s essential for 24Slides to constantly ask ourselves what being a sustainable and socially responsible organization means. It goes beyond giving back to the community and volunteering programs. It also means worrying about the quality of life for our colleagues. 24Slides is proud to consider itself a family, and as such, we value listening to each one of our own, their hopes and dreams, and challenges for the future.
That’s why in 2019, when one of our colleagues first approached us because of personal financial issues, 24Slides as a company decided to provide backup for their emergency. Their individual case was carefully evaluated, and a realistic payment plan was designed. This way, our colleague was able to get the monetary support needed for their emergency without having to resort to debts or huge bank interests.
If there’s something the last year has taught us, it is that difficult situations can arise from where we least expect them, and all we have left is to face them as best as possible. We know that life doesn’t always go as smoothly as planned, and sometimes there are detours, breaks, and interludes. There are always emergencies and unpredictable situations that are difficult to foresee. We understand that against life’s uncertainties, sometimes usual wages and savings are not enough to cover those unexpected expenses. Things like medical emergencies or urgent house repairs can be impossible to foresee, and can also be more costly than expected.
This year, when two other colleagues approached us for a similar arrangement, we realized how common this situation could truly be. We asked ourselves: How are 24Slides employees truly able to make their best effort and improve their career when they are worried about paying loans or considering taking emergency loans beyond their means?
As Tobias Schelle, our CEO, says, “24Slides exist to empower people in emerging markets, so when one of our own faces an emergency, we believe it is our duty to help. We want to embody our values and support our employees in these cases that can sometimes have a huge negative impact on their life. We are convinced that we are also rewarded with happier and more loyal employees.”
That’s why we decided to open a transparent opportunity for all 24Slides employees in Indonesia who may require something similar. The Emergency Loan Program will be focused on giving any of our colleagues who may need a loan for out-of-the-ordinary situations they might have. Our intention is to make sure that 24Slides employees can uphold decent living standards and be supported in urgent financial emergencies.
It’s important to note that the Emergency Loan Program is not a banking initiative. The goal is not to loan money or get any sort of interest from it, but rather, make a positive impact on our colleagues’ lives. These loans will be given for emergency or out-of-the-ordinary situations, and not for everyday expenses. This program is oriented towards helping 24Slides employees by acting both as some kind of security and saving them money from extremely expensive bank interests.
Each case will be individually assessed, and according to each person’s possibilities, a realistic payment plan will be designed. This way, every person that chooses to apply to the Emergency Loan Program will be able to have the payment deducted from their salary without it affecting their life quality.
We know that financial matters can be a touchy subject, and that’s why applying to this program will be completely confidential. “Knowing that this is a delicate subject for many of our colleagues, we also handle the program with complete confidentiality – I don’t even know who gets approved for a loan,” assures Tobias. Only the people directly responsible for the program and with whom the documentation, requirements, and payment plan will be coordinated will have access to this information.
Along with the loan, a Personal Finance course will be set up via 24Academy, our educational platform with customized training courses for employees. The goal is not only to fix urgent issues but help our colleagues plan ahead and improve their ability to face future challenges. By implementing personal finance courses, we also strive to make a long-term impact rather than just a one-time emergency support.
We are happy to be able to provide such opportunities for 24Slides employees, as it also aligns with two of the Sustainable Development Goals which we are supporting, Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG8) and No Poverty (SDG1). We hope that formalizing a program like this will help our colleagues feel safer and increase their quality of life.