MADISON, Wis. (10/26/15)--Filene Research Institute and its efforts to expand financial services landed it on Madison Magazine’s "M List"--a collection of the 35 top social innovators in Madison, Wis.
The nationally known credit union think tank is headquartered in Madison and rubs shoulders with local innovators in the arts, education and community development, among other areas.
“The problem we’re trying to solve is lack of access to safe, affordable and beneficial financial products for everyday consumers,” George Hofheimer, Filene’s chief knowledge officer, told Madison Magazine.
The magazine pointed to Filene’s incubator system that currently has five financial products being tested by 42 credit unions across the United States.
Hofheimer described a current project--an employer-sponsored, small-dollar loan, where an employee could take out a short-term, low-cost loan through an employer. Filene works with social service agencies, businesses and credit unions to create a connection for the loan program. “Our entire portfolio impacts nearly 10,000 consumers and counts $105 million in loans and savings,” Hofheimer said.