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Launching a 'for purpose' start-up, Stephanie Pow

Stephanie Pow, the founder and CEO of Crayon, joins the Purposely to share her mission and her remarkable career and life journey.

At the heart of Crayon, a groundbreaking online platform, lies a commitment: empowering parents to seize financial success. Stephanie, an accomplished Harvard graduate and former stockbroker, embarked on this transformative journey fuelled by her own parental experiences.


Despite working in the finance industry, Stephanie was confronted unforeseen economic questions when she became a parent, ones she wasn’t prepared to answer. At the same time she realised that countless parents grappled with similar unanticipated financial challenges. This recognition, especially prevalent in her home base of New Zealand, exposed the pivotal role finances play in parents' pivotal decisions. Strikingly, a staggering 70% of mothers compromise their desired parental leave due to financial constraints. Fathers, sharing aspirations of extended parental leave, often curtail their plans due to economic pressures. This glaring reality underscored the urgency for a solution that could furnish parents with the tools to effectively navigate these intricacies.


Crayon's impact-driven mission takes concrete form through three pivotal pillars:


1. Parental Leave Policy Transparency: Crayon unveiled the New Zealand Parental Leave Register—a one-of-a-kind resource spotlighting the parental leave policies of over 220 employers. This innovative platform emboldens parents to make well-informed career and family decisions, erasing awkwardness during interviews or discussions with employers.


2. Financial Baby Prep Program: Acknowledging the dearth of financial readiness among new parents, Crayon unveiled a comprehensive financial baby prep program. This financial antenatal class empowers parents with insights and tools crucial to navigating the intricate financial landscapes accompanying parenthood.


3. Free Resources and Tools: Crayon's website is a treasure trove of complimentary resources and tools catering to various financial facets of parenting.


Stephanie's journey into entrepreneurship wasn't a linear trajectory. Initially she focused her efforts purely on investment solutions, she adroitly shifted her focus towards aiding parents in cultivating deliberate financial strategies during life's pivotal moments. Stephanie astutely identified that moments like parenthood prompt individuals to evaluate their financial standing with greater depth.


Stephanie's purpose-driven approach is influenced by her family. Her late mother's community-centric spirit and her father's unwavering ethics kindled a sense of responsibility and contribution. Her grandparents also, particularly her enterprising grandfather, who surmounted adversity, ignited Stephanie's willingness to be a risk-taking at the same time embrace integrity and purpose.

Looking into Crayon's future, Stephanie envisions a global reach for its influence. Expansion is on the horizon, and she underscores the importance of deploying localised, impactful solutions. Crayon's grand mission is to provide comprehensive financial guidance, ensuring accessibility for all, regardless of their financial background or status.


Stephanie Pow's narrative stands as a testament to the monumental potential achieved when personal purpose harmonises with community-focused entrepreneurship and innovation. As she navigates the complex terrain of parenting and finances, her journey provides inspiration for all those seeking to transform their purpose into real-world change.

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