Smart Savings is an award winning Community Interest Company and Social Enterprise that provides an integrated range of social, economic and financial inclusion services within which we seek to transform lives, raise aspirations, remove barriers, and offer choice. We have a set of strong values that guide our work and provide services in five main themes:
- Debt advice & money coaching
- Money management training
- Employment skills training
- Business finance training
- Training for the retail and hospitality sector
Smart Savings policies and values are straightforward: everything we do must be ethical, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound. Any profit generated is reinvested back into the business.
Smart Savings was founded by Jane Jiwa in 2009. One of Jane’s previous roles was as a senior project manager with a claims management firm. Yet she grew increasingly uncomfortable with the profit generated by small-print on clients’ claims against mis-sold financial products (e.g. bank charges, credit card charges, and mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance).
Jane was unable to reconcile her conscience with the practice, and identified a gap in the market for ethical and not-for-profit financial services. As a result, she left her job and within months had joined Cornwall School for Social Entrepreneurs. She began to put the building blocks in place to set up Smart Savings. Initially Smart Savings specialised in reclaiming mis-sold PPI, credit card and bank charges, but soon developed to offer courses in money management.
Since 2009, Smart Savings have literally changed the lives of hundreds of vulnerable people in Cornwall and Devon who have been struggling with debt, financial exclusion issues, and unemployment. We know that advice is not the only solution, and this is why we offer a wide range of innovative training and learning activities. Our services give people confidence, motivation and control; provide new skills and knowledge; improved wellbeing; and help unemployed people to become ‘job ready’.
As the company has evolved and the team has grown over the years, more successful money and employment services have been offered in both Cornwall and Devon.
Smart Savings holds a Credit License to provide debt counselling and debt adjustment on a non-commercial basis.
Smart Savings have over seven staff based in Cornwall and Devon in full-time and part-time roles.
Jane Jiwa – Project Director
Smart Savings was founded by Jane Jiwa in 2009. Jane has worked as a district manager in the retail sector, a senior project manager in the personal finance sector, and has worked as an adviser for Jobcentre Plus.
Jane was also previously involved with writing copy for pioneering e-learning products launched by The Basic Skills Agency called “Money-Go-Round” and “Money Power”, which gave students the confidence to manage their money effectively, together with improving their numeracy and literacy.
Jane’s goal is to make a positive difference to people’s lives and help individuals to see their own potential through Smart Savings ethical and professional services.
- BA Hons Business Studies, Class 2:1;
- Certificate for Financial Advisers (CeFA);
- Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (Modules 1 & 2 of
- Postgraduate Certificate in Management & Finance;
- CIM Advanced Certificate in Marketing;
- Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid;
- City and Guilds in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning
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Shiraz Jiwa – Finance Director & Debt Adviser
Shiraz has a background in accounts, tax, benefits, and debt advice. Having worked for HMRC, he gained a wealth of knowledge in both tax and benefits, and more recently trained as a debt adviser for Smart Savings. Shiraz also specialises in the lettings industry, dealing with complex accounts and block management (service charge) queries.
Shiraz was an internet entrepreneur in 2000, having founded a website and grew it to become the biggest of its’ kind in Europe before selling it to a London-based media company in 2008. Shiraz learnt a wealth of media and PR skills along the way.
- BA Hons Managerial Statistics;
- Money & Debt Adviser.
Gareth is the founder and director of a successful CIC and social enterprise, and the Chair of Plymouth Social Enterprise Network. Gareth led Plymouth’s successful bid to become the first ‘social enterprise city’ in the UK. Gareth has over 20 years’ experience of working with social enterprise, voluntary, private and public sectors. Gareth is the author of numerous articles about social enterprise for national and local newspapers. Gareth’s expertise lies in social enterprise strategy and policy development, social investment, business structure, governance and social impact evaluation.
- BA Hons Ancient History and Archaeology, Class 2:1;
- Open University Professional Certificate in Management;
- SFEDI Accredited Gold Standard Social Enterprise Business Adviser;
- BTEC Introduction to Journalism.
Paul is a qualified engineer and MBA with twenty years of industry experience as a General Manager and Managing Director in high growth technology companies.
For the last five years he has been a coach, mentor and trainer in the fields of enterprise start up, management and leadership. This has included a wide experience in presenting to large and small groups on a variety of leadership, management and team building events.
Recent responsibility includes working for the Citizens Advice Bureau; the delivery of management workshops for businesses in Cornwall; and providing support and training to Community Interest Companies, Smart Savings and the School of Social Entrepreneurs.
Paul brings a wealth of experience in finance, accounting and debt management.
- BSc (Hons) Chemical Engineering, Commercial Law LLb (part);
- MBA (speciality: Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions);
- OCR in A1 assessor award;
- City and Guilds in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning
- Hogan Leadership;
- NLP trainer.
Sam Cartlidge – Money Advice case worker
Sam has worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau as a Money Advice case worker for seven years, and has worked in the Wills and Probate department at Coodes Solicitors for four years. Sam is responsible for advising clients with their debt and money problems, providing a full benefits calculation, budgeting advice and full specialist debt advice.
Sam is a fully qualified DRO intermediary, and is responsible for training debt advisers.
- Money Advice Practice Certificate (MIMA);
- ILEX (Level 6) – Contract & tort;
- Completed various courses regarding Bailiffs – the new regs; Supporting Clients; CCA Training; Universal Credit; IVA’s; Parking Penalties; Legal Update;
and Charging Orders.
Louise Toft – Counsellor and Psychotherapist
Louise currently provides counselling support to our clients engaged with the ‘Creative Pathways to Smart Money’ project and works part-time as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist at Outlook SW. Louise has previously worked as a counsellor at Liverpool John Moores University, a Family Support Practitioner, and Outpatient Substance Abuse Counsellor, and as a yoga instructor.
- BA (Hons) Psychology with Handicap and Disability -Liverpool John Moores University, 1986 – 1989.;
- Positive Parenting Practitioner – licenced from 2010.;
- Solihull Parenting Practitioner and Trainer – 2010.
- Post Qualifying Diploma in Child and Adolescent Counselling -Iron Mills Institute, Devon, 2009-2010.
- Hatha Yoga Instructor Training – 200 hr Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) – Anchorage, Alaska, 2003-2004.
- Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga Training – Level 1 & 2, Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, 2002-2003.
- Substance Abuse Counsellor Training – 83 hrs Regional Alcohol Drug Abuse Counsellor Training Program, Anchorage, Alaska, 1999-2002.
- Master Practitioner Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy – Advanced Neuro-Dynamics (AND), Hawaii, 1998.
- Master Hypnotist Hypnotherapist Certification -AND, Hawaii, 1998.
- Time Line Therapy Certificate AND, Hawaii, 1998.
- Practitioner Neuro-Linguistic Programming – ChangeWorks, Liverpool 1993-1994.
- Diploma Psychotherapy and Hypnosis (with distinction) -Centre Training School, Liverpool 1992-1993.
- ‘Acting Out’ Community Arts Group Facilitation Training Mersyside Open College, 1989-1990.
Tina has an extensive background in the planning and delivery of a wide range of educational programmes, particularly training in Functional Skills – Literacy, Numeracy and ICT, and providing one-to-one Information, Advice and Guidance sessions. Tina has experience of providing Dyslexia support to students, providing support to students with Dyscalculia, and has been an assessor for a range of programmes relating to City & Guilds, Edexcel, OCR, Diplomas, ECDL, CIEH and other awarding bodies.
Tina has previously worked as a course manager and lecturer for Cornwall College, an adult education tutor for Link into Learning, and a Skills Trainer for Penwith Community Development Trust, and A4e.
- CIEH Health & Safety Level 2
- Level 4 Project Management for Business – University of Plymouth
- NVQ Level 3 Information, Advice and Guidance
- Certificate in Education – University of Plymouth
- Numeracy Level 3 Subject Support – City & Guilds
- Advanced Certificate in Food Safety
- Intermediate Certificate in Food Safety
- National Level 2 test in Numeracy
- National Level 2 test in Literacy
- City and Guilds 9295 – Level 2 Certificate in Adult Learner Support
Nikki has over 25 years experience of working within financial services (Banking and Debt Management). Nikki has previously worked as a training manager and coach for the Royal Bank of Scotland and has worked with Fairbridge and the Princes Trust to help develop young people. Nikki also has extensive knowledge of debt management, having recently worked for a Debt Management Company.
- CIPD certificate in Training Practice
- CIPD certificate in Coaching and Mentoring
- TAP Training Design
- Diploma in Retail Studies
- Certificate in Management
- NVQ Level 3 Customer Service
- Warwick University Operations Management module (MBA)
Kelly has over 13 years of administration and customer service experience. Kelly has worked on many projects that help unemployed people back to work, and has been hands on with supporting individuals with their computer skills, and interviewing people for various courses.
Kelly has also worked for the Children’s Schools and Families department within Cornwall Council, where she managed toy libraries, and Rhythm and Rhyme classes for pre-school children.
- Certificate in Excellent Customer Service;
- NVQ 2 in Business Administration;
- NVQ 2 in Child Care and Development.
Hannah is currently working as a Nursery Manager at Naturally Learning. Hannah has previously worked as a primary school teacher at St Columb Minor Academy, and has over nine years’ experience as a nursery nurse, babysitter and event and holiday nanny.
- BEd (Hons) Early Years – First Class Honours;
- Level 3 OCN Baby Care;
- BTEC National Diploma Health Studies – Triple Distinction;
- EpiPen and paediatric first aid.
Victoria Whitney – NLP practitioner
Victoria has been working in the personal and professional development field for over 10 years, working with clients from all over the world. Victoria’s work enables people to overcome lifelong blocks and achieve lifelong personal and business goals through both training and coaching. Victoria is a certified trainer of Neuro linguistic programming and Hypnotherapy, and a Master NLP coach. In addition to her NLP work, Victoria has been employed with the NHS and private sector care providers.
- LLB Hons Law;
- Certificate in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector
- ILM certificate in leadership and management.
Based in Plymouth, Lea is an experienced trainer in employment skills and an NVQ Assessor in business administration, retail and customer services. Lea uses her psychology degree to help motivate people to achieve their employment goals.
- Bsc (Hons) Psychology, Class 2:1;
- Introduction to Social Studies
- Teaching Business Administration, NVQ 3.
- 2010: Smart Savings founder recognised as an up-and-coming social entrepreneur
- 2011: Smart Savings awarded accreditation from the Institute of Leadership and Community Management
- 2011: Smart Savings won praise for its philanthropic approach in a new report by banking company Coutts, of Exeter
- 2012: Smart Savings Retail courses gained National recognition and rolled out across Cornwall and Devon. The project supported 200 unemployed
people to find retail jobs.
- 2013: Smart Savings wins the Cornwall Works WISE Award 2013 for excellence in the delivery of Welfare to Work provision.
- 2013: 100% success for retail skills course.