This paper is part of the Child and Youth Finance International Landscape Series. Each paper in the Landscape Series looks back on the developments of recent years and looks forward to the future. This paper focuses on financial inclusion for children and youth.
A Working Future and a new era of collaboration - Taking cross-sector partnerships beyond philanthropy
Plan International's A Working Future youth economic empowerment programme has proven that partnerships between the development and corporate sectors can successfully address social issues and generate commercial value. This kind of cross-sector collaboration with its potential to effectively address social issues while creating value for both society and business will play a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Rural youth tend to be the least financially included: youth financial inexperience and limited assets exacerbate the basic rural finance challenges of low population density and poor infrastructure. Nonetheless, they demand financial services to manage their resources, build assets, and invest in livelihoods or education. How should the financial sector react to this situation – try to serve rural youth directly with new products and services, focus on the “near adults” in a rural finance strategy and deepen services over time, or ignore this population until the challenges of rural finance can be overcome? 136 financial inclusion practitioners came together on January 11th to discuss these issues and determine whether rural youth financial inclusion was possible, or simply a bridge too far.
Chemonics International and Making Cents International
Expanding access to finance is a challenging endeavor. Add in conflict and the obstacles can seem insurmountable. Join Making Cents International and Chemonics International on a deep dive into two programs that are currently addressing those obstacles by focusing on mobile technologies, new opportunities for youth and women, and strong local partnerships. Arelis Gomez, Chief of Party of the USAID Colombia Rural Finance Initiative, and Omaid Deqati Rahimi, Banking Capacity Team Lead of the USAID Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan will share their respective program’s methodologies, best practices, and lessons learned for youth inclusive financial services programming when conflict and uncertainty loom.
The barriers to economic security for the growing youth population are daunting. With large numbers of youth entering the job market each year, there are insufficient formal employment opportunities, especially in poorer economies. The low quality of education and training and lack of a path to the job market put youth at a disadvantage.
Did you know that whilst almost half of young people in sub-Saharan Africa say they save, 80% do not have a bank account? Young people aren’t joining traditional savings groups either; a survey in 2013 found that of 103 organisations that promote savings groups in 43 countries, only 22 per cent include youth or child-focused groups. Banking on Change, a partnership between Barclays, Plan International UK and CARE International UK, set out in 2013 to find out why don’t young people join savings groups, and is it worth investing in them?
Rural youth in developing countries make up a large and vulnerable group. Globally, three quarters of the poor live in rural areas, and about one-half of this population is young people. This young and growing population confronts a number of challenges, including poor quality of education, lack of basic infrastructure, lack of access to or control of sufficient land for farming, and, for girls in particular, more traditional cultural norms, which severely hinder their ability to build sustainable livelihoods.
Did you know that whilst almost half of young people in sub-Saharan Africa say they save, 80% do not have a bank account? Young people aren’t a target of traditional savings groups either; a survey in 2013 found that of 103 organizations that promote savings groups in 43 countries, only 22% include youth or child-focused groups.
Not many financial institutions in developing countries target youth specifically, and for those that do, the youth market usually represents a small part of their overall operations. Other authors have argued the social value of extending savings services to youth, but the business case is less certain. As financial institutions have entered the youth market, the question has been whether they can offer youth savings products sustainably. In other words, is there a business case for offering youth savings products?