Scholarships are being offered to attract more women, Māori and Pasifika to take up a career as a financial advisor in New Zealand.
The Advice Hub Limited is offering paid scholarships as a pathway to the financial services industry to broaden its talent pool and help uplift less affluent communities.
It wants to change the face of the financial industry by attracting people from Pacific backgrounds and minority groups to work as financial advisors.
The Advice Hub are giving 100 scholarships worth $3000 each to educate people through New Zealand's Open Polytechnic.
The Advice Hub Limited spokesperson Dylan Mann said the aim is to create more representation by bringing in more women of Pacific and Māori descent nationwide to join the cause.
"I am looking for people who have been marginalised or not given opportunities in the past who will be able to go on to help their community do better with what they've got regardless of their economic background or current education status," Mann said.
There are around 2,000 investment advisers in New Zealand, and the majority of them are pākehā baby boomers who are about to retire, he said.
Covid related job losses and career changes have caused an influx of people seeking personalised financial advice, he said, and New Zealand doesn't have enough people qualified to deal with this influx.
Pacific Financial Advisor Chantelle Scholfield agreed this needs to change and encouraged people to take up the offer.
She started off as Dylan's assistant and is now one of his leading advisors.
"It will make a big impact on not just smaller Pacific communities but Aotearoa. When you have someone with the same ethnicity or background as you, you feel as if you're comfortable, you know that this person has gone through it and you want to do the same too."
She said there are no limits to what Pasifika can do and looks forward to seeing people step into a brighter future and break cycles of poverty.
"Unfortunately a lot of problems with our Pasifika community is that we are very bad with money. We waste it. We don't know how to save and how to treat it properly for the future. They don't know how to make their money work. Our job is show them how so they can have the future they dream about instead of wasting it on the now."
So far only 21 percent of Pasifika own their own home compared to 57.9 percent of Pākehā.
Educating people and dishing out more financial awareness to people who need it most will be game-changing and empower generations to come, she said.
Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali'i Dr Karanina Sumeo said encouraging Pasifika into financial spaces will help to address inequality.
"We know financial literacy is one of those areas we really need to work on in our community. The more people we can get into the industry the better. This is a really fantastic initiative."
For anyone needing advice who can't afford it Mr Mann wants to provide free financial advise to give people a leg up when they need it most.
How to apply.