Founder and CEO of Al-Amal Microfinance Bank, Mohamed s. Al-Lai provides a brief overview of the bank, the first in the region to target women and children with savings and loan products. Mohamed addresses identification and collateral challenges the bank had to overcome working with women and youth. Special consideration is given to challenges overcome within the bank, such as youth-training and a redefinition of the notion of risk.
CEO of the K-Rep Group, Kimanthi Mutua, discusses the two youth financial products offered: Youth Enterprise Support for new entrant entrepreneurs in Kenya aged 18-35, and Go Girl, which provides savings accounts to vulnerable adolescent girls as a means to develop financial knowledge and discipline.
David Mukaru of Equity Bank outlines the tremendous opportunity for reaching out to 75% of Kenya’s population, youth under 30. In addition to describing the challenges and adaptations Equity Bank underwent to better reach and serve youth, David outlines the business case for offering youth-inclusive financial products by outlining the benefits youth bring to product development and laying the foundation for long-lasting relationships.
Education has played a transformative role in the development of Jordan from an agrarian, subsistence economy to a predominantly urban, industrialized nation. With few natural resources at its disposal, Jordan has opted to develop its human capacity. To date, Jordan's record of educational development has been impressive. Jordan’s population has a very high literacy rate of 89 percent. In July 2003, the Government of Jordan launched the Education Reform for the Knowledge Economy initiative.
The Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA) programme started in 2008 and is already making a difference in the lives of vulnerable Ugandan teenage girls and young women. Organised into 690 clubs for 13 to 22 year olds, the programme provides a safe place for them to socialise and take part in group activities as well as a forum for life-skills training. Many of the older members who are out of school have taken training in income-generating skills. Near the end of 2009, some began receiving microfinance loans and have launched their own businesses.
Ben Shell shares key lessons learned regarding the development of a youth savings product for girls between the ages of 7 and 24 in Mongolia. Specifically, Ben highlights the ways in which Women’s World Banking adapted their market research tools to be more youth friendly and the role that appropriate marketing plays when developing financial products for young people.
The MasterCard Foundation and Swisscontact, a Swiss-based NGO, today announced a five-year, $5.6 million partnership that will introduce and expand Swisscontact’s signature Learning Group model in Uganda and Tanzania (U-LEARN project). The Learning Group Model is a proven, market-based non-formal training model that provides skills and entrepreneurial training to youth in subsistence agriculture economies with little formal education, and enables them to access jobs or start a business.
YouthStart, a UNCDF initiative established in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, aims to increase access to financial services for low-income youth in sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on savings and financial education. The programme helps to design, test and scale up sustainable services tailored to the needs of young people, while helping to create an enabling regulatory environment for young people to access the right financial and other services they need to make sound financial decisions, build a strong asset base, and create sustainable livelihoods for themselves.
MasterCard Foundation, Save the Children, New America Foundation, Center for Social Development, CGAP, Banco Caja Social, HFC, Postbank Kenya, Bank of Kathmandu
YouthSave is a consortium project led by Save the Children in partnership with the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis (CSD), the New America Foundation (NAF), CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), and supported by The MasterCard Foundation. The YouthSave Consortium and its local partners - financial institutions and researchers - are committed to developing, delivering, and testing savings products accessible to low-income youth in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal.
This article makes the case that nonfinancial support should be recognized as an alternative to traditional types of collateral and guarantee to expand access to startup capital for young entrepreneurs.