Feb 24, 2021 - Economy

TheSkimm launches virtual financial literacy program "SkimmU"

Co-founders of theSkimm Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin. Photo: Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

TheSkimm, a digital media company catering to millennial women, plans to launch SkimmU, a set of free virtual courses designed to help women take control of their finances.

Why it matters: TheSkimm has focused much of its coverage in the last year around what it calls the “shecession,” the recession that is disproportionately impacting women amid the pandemic. The free classes are meant to address that.

Details: The inaugural series will focus on helping people meet their financial goals, whether that’s tackling the way they think about money, starting a side hustle, budgeting, or navigating investing.  The series will consist of a few free, 45-minute courses, including:

  • Psychology of Money, led by Marsha Barnes, CEO and founder of The Finance Bar 
  • Budgeting for the Big Stuff, led by Shannon McLay, CEO and founder of The Financial Gym
  • Starting Your Side Hustle, led by Tonya Rapley, author, entrepreneur, and owner of Club Loofah
  • Investing 101, led by Farnoosh Torabi, financial author and host of the podcast So Money

Be smart: TheSkimm, which reaches over 7 million women daily via its newsletter, has made financial literacy among women and all young people one of its biggest editorial pillars.

  • The company was planning to launch a subscription vertical for finance last year but scrapped the idea, as charging users for access to financial resources during the pandemic wouldn't make sense.

The big picture: Lots of media companies are starting to invest in building online courses as a means of making more money. The idea aligns with the virtual learning trend that has taken off during the pandemic.

  • WWD (Women's Wear Daily) launched an online fashion business course with Parsons School of Design and Yellowbrick this week.
  • The Wall Street Journal launched a six-week newsletter course last year, offering "easy personal finance exercises for hard times."
  • Axios launched short courses last year around topics like 5G and vaccines.

What's next: Registration for SkimmU courses will open on February 25 and the first course will kick off on March 25. 

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