Blackbullion is the financial wellbeing platform and app equipping students with money skills and confidence for life.
The platform also houses the UK’s largest hub of support funds, scholarships and grants for students – to help them find and apply for additional funding they may be eligible for.
Our latest Student Money & Wellbeing Report found that 87% of UK students worry about money. On top of this, almost one in 10 (9%) of students have considered or have dropped out of university in the last 12 months. The cost-of-living crisis has accelerated the demand and need for Blackbullion, as we help students navigate the impact of this, into a new normal.
We partner with over 60 universities and colleges across the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa to proactively support student financial wellbeing, optimise funds management processes and save staff time. To date, over £20 million has been awarded to students through our multi award-winning platform.
Today, Blackbullion supports well over 200,000 students, with 89% of students feeling confident with their money after using Blackbullion.
We’re proudly the only player offering an all-in-one student money management space where students can go to learn about money, find more money and manage their money. To simplify the world of finance and improve access to funds for students, globally.
Financial inclusion starts with financial education
Financial education underpins everything we do. Our financial education learning content covers over 80 financial topics, from budgeting, debt and student finance to more advanced subjects like risk management, sustainable investing, cryptocurrency, tax and pensions. Our learning videos, articles and resources aim to equip students with essential money skills and confidence, so they can thrive during their studies and beyond.
Our financial wellbeing platform is also home to the Blackbullion Funding Hub – the place for students to go to search and apply for tens of millions of pounds worth of supplementary funds.
We’re working with external businesses, encouraging them to offer scholarships, grants and bursaries to put more money in students’ pockets. Each one is added to our Funding Hub and will often come with employment opportunities as well.
If a student’s university or college is using the Blackbullion Funds Management System (FMS), they can also search and apply for support funds from their place of study through the Funding Hub – using a guided and intuitive application process. Designed to power financial inclusion and revolutionise access to funding, the customisable fintech solution simplifies and accelerates how students discover and apply for eligible funds.
Embedded into student support departments, the FMS provides easier, faster, and stress-free funds distribution. This means university staff have more capacity to support students proactively, focus on retention and alleviate uncertainty about where students can go to access financial support. Last year, over 500,000 automated emails were sent to students by Blackbullion – saving staff from sending these manually. This meant the equivalent of 1,119 working days were collectively saved for the staff that use the FMS!
The FMS is a major disruptor by bringing together the heart of edtech with the mind of fintech. It is the only solution of its kind in the higher education sector revolutionising the way that staff manage and distribute support funding for students. All the while empowering students to develop the financial capability they need and simply put more money in their pockets, which could be the difference between them being able to continue their studies or not.
Universities and colleges integrate Blackbullion into their retention strategies with a focus on widening participation of students, focusing on first-in-family, care leavers, single parents, and students with disabilities.
Building a people-first team
Blackbullion is a fast-growing team of 26, led by a 75% female leadership team. Our people-first culture means we have an incredible retention rate: our current CMO was Blackbullion’s second ever hire. The team works from our Runway East Shoreditch office and remotely.
Blackbullion was founded by fintech innovator and CEO, Vivi Friedgut. A former wealth manager, Vivi is deeply committed to shaping the future of financial wellbeing by redefining fintech and financial learning, to foster conversations and connection for Blackbullion’s customers, community, and partners. A regular public speaker, author, and passionate advocate of fintech for good, she was recently named in FinTech Magazine’s Top100 Women.
Expanding the Blackbullion ecosystem
In 2023 we launched the beta version of the Blackbullion app, putting financial tools in students’ pockets. It’s the first app made specifically for students – to help them manage their money and make it last until the end of the term by:
– Supporting students to build healthy financial habits and track their spending over time
– Projecting students’ future finances based on their current spending trajectory, giving them real-time insights and suggesting areas they can make savings
– Rewarding students for becoming financially confident
Our new scholarships proposition is set to expand in 2024. Launched this year to close the gap on student funding and open future talent pipelines, we’ve reimagined scholarships to build on our existing Funding Hub and work with businesses to design, resource, and disburse bespoke scholarships programmes.
The programme is set to transform the UK scholarship space, encourage businesses to positively impact students’ futures, while diversifying talent pipelines and helping businesses create social value. We want to create a culture shift. So that scholarships are seen as aspirational and an achievement to be proud of, like, for example, in the US college system.
We’re on a mission to simplify the world of finance and access to funding for students around the world. Our goal is to create a future-proof, truly digital end-to-end solution to support students with one place to learn about money, find more money and manage their money..
More efficiently distributed funding – with embedded financial education and support in managing money – is a solution that has applications far beyond education. Everything from small emergency funds at university all the way to universal credit is where this could go.