The Swedish fintech company Dreams is now a partner in the Sustainable Finance Lab, a collaboration between Swedish research institutes. The goal is to develop new measures for the UN's 17 global goals for sustainable development.
“Partnering with the Sustainable Finance Lab gives us a great opportunity to develop our work with financial wellbeing. Being able to broaden our network is even more valuable right now because it allows us to take advantage of the major trend in economic sustainability in the financial labor market,” says Elin Helander, cognitive scientist and head of research at Dreams.
Sustainable Finance Lab is a consortium consisting of six Swedish universities and partners from industry. The innovation authority Vinnova will invest SEK 47 million over the next five-year period to research the renewal of the financial labor market from a sustainability perspective. The global UN goals include eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving equality, modern and efficient care for all, and sustainable consumption and production.
“The financial markets have the opportunity to change the world for the better. We’re researching this positive force to transform society towards increased sustainability. For our research to have real impact, it’s crucial that we have partners like Dreams, because they develop services that people actually use. Dreams is especially interesting to us because they’re so research-intensive. By collaborating with them on research, we also want Dreams to continue developing financial services that lead to increased sustainability,” says Kent Eriksson, who is Professor and Director of Sustainable Finance Lab at KTH.
The collaboration is also about financial sustainability at a more local level. Last year, the bailiff contacted 426,000 people with demands for repayment, an increase of 1.3% compared with the previous year. Indebtedness is also growing, with the total debt amount rising to SEK 21.7 billion in 2020. This is an increase of 18% compared to 2019, and the highest annual figure ever. The Enforcement Officers are most concerned about young people who don’t pay bills on time. They believe there’s an urgent need to make people aware of the impacts of overconsumption, easy credit and debt.
For Dreams, financial wellbeing is strongly linked to our physical health and general wellbeing. “This area is unexplored,” says Elin Helander. “That’s why the investment by Sustainable Finance Lab is so important, to help us discover how sustainable finances affect our health. In future, I believe we’ll see more and more analysis linking our physical health with our financial wellbeing. We can already see how money stress is a common cause of worry and anxiety. For example, having financial problems affects your entire social life, creating anxiety that you’re excluded from a group because you can’t afford to be part of activities.”
Dreams was created to improve the financial wellbeing of an entire generation. While major banks continue to offer complex, impersonal savings and investments, the arrival of a new wave of easy, one-click credit has left a generation living from paycheck to paycheck. Dreams is a unique platform, designed to give millennials a simple way to achieve their goals and ambitions, and improve their financial wellbeing. Rooted in cognitive science and behavioural economics, Dreams is as much a science company as a tech company. With a pipeline directly from academia to app, the company has already helped over 460,000 users save over 440M EUR. Dreams was set up in 2014, and currently employs a diverse team of 80 employees from 15 different countries, in its Stockholm HQ and offices in Oslo and Berlin. In 2020, Dreams was recognised by CB Insights as one of the best fintech startups in the world. For more information about Dreams, please visit: https://getdreams.com/en/b2b/