4.2 The Business Case

One of the most burning questions facing YFS practitioners is whether there is a strong business case for serving youth with financial services. Both practitioners and funders alike are looking for evidence to support this case, analyzing it in increasingly complex terms. In 2010, Making Cents International began its research looking for a specific product costing model that would demonstrate that youth could be profitable over the long term. This initial research, along with other studies conducted at the SEEP Network 1 and the Citi Foundation 2, has evolved to look at multiple aspects of the business case including analyzing the benefits of long-term customer loyalty, cross-selling, and investing in financial education and technology. Lessons learned from this research are outlined below.

  • 1. The SEEP Network is a global network of over 130 international practitioner organizations dedicated to combating poverty through promoting inclusive markets and financial systems. SEEP represents the largest and most diverse network of its kind, comprised of international development organizations and global, regional, and country-level practitioner networks that promote market development and financial inclusion.  Members are active in 170 countries and support nearly 90 million entrepreneurs and their families.
  • 2. The Citi Foundation supports the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low- to moderate-income people in communities where Citi operates. They work collaboratively with a range of partners to design and test financial inclusion innovations with potential to achieve scale and support leadership and knowledge building activities. Through a "More than Philanthropy" approach, the Citi Foundation puts the strength of Citi's business resources and people to work to enhance our philanthropic investments and help improve communities.