Louise Hill is co-founder and COO of gohenry – the prepaid pocket money card and app that empowers young people to take part in the digital economy.
Louise co-founded gohenry in 2012 when she realised that her children needed to learn how to manage money in an increasingly digital world. Fast forward eight years and gohenry now has a community of over one million customers in the US & UK who fiercely believe that good money management is a vital life skill.
Louise has over 20 years experience in commerce and operations. Prior to gohenry, Louise was at the forefront of the retail industry’s transition to digital, launching the first wave of ecommerce websites for some of the UK’s biggest household names, including Next Directory, John Lewis, The Innovations Group, Past Times and Debenhams.
Louise is an authority on financial education and the youth economy and has made regular appearances on BBC radio and TV, including BBC Breakfast.
Louise is a big advocate for the power of learning by doing and dedicates time talking to MBA groups at universities around the country.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given
If you believe in something, give it a go. My parents always used to say to me: “What’s the worst that can happen? You fail, you pick yourself up, and you start again.” That gives you great strength.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given
A potential investor once told me that nobody would give children a prepaid debit card – they just didn’t need them. Needless to say, I didn’t listen to that piece of advice and over one million customers later, here we are!
3. What would you tell your younger self?
Don’t assume a rainy day will never come; make sure you build a financial buffer or nest-egg for the day that it does. This includes saving into a pension early. When you are 20, retirement seems so far away that it’s easy to think you’ll deal with that later. But even very small amounts invested when you are young build up into a healthy pension pot by the time you start to think about retirement – which, by the way, I am not. Far too much to do first!
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
The fact that financial literacy is now being taken seriously and talked about in more and more places. Our mission remains the same as it was when we launched in 2012 and created a whole new category in finance: to make every kid good with money. To see new offerings and investment in this space as well as global news outlets like the FT with its financial literacy campaign putting financial education well and truly in the spotlight is music to my ears.
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I’ve been asked this in the past and have always responded with my ex-husband’s cousin, Blondelle Barnes, rather than a celebrity or well-known name. Blondelle grew up in Antigua where she was labelled the ‘school dunce’ until a visiting Aunt realised she was almost blind. She went on to become a Professor at the University of California in Berkley and has travelled all over the world supporting partially sighted students to gain access to education. She has some amazing stories.