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. Through this project, the Consortium will share lessons and resources on delivering savings services sustainably, while improving the life chances of low-income youth in the developing world.
Rationale for Promoting Youth Savings
A third of the global population today is under the age of 19. With 90 percent of these young people living in developing countries, and 45 percent living on less than two dollars per day, there are more youth than ever who need support, tools, and opportunities to become productive, contributing adults. Giving young people the tools to accumulate savings not only opens up economic opportunities, but also affects their attitudes and behaviors in positive ways. Savings can help young people fund future education or start small businesses. They can also improve young people’s self-esteem and future orientation, which may, in turn, help them make positive choices like staying in school and avoiding health risks. Such choices affect young people’s lives for years to come.
Visit our general resources page to learn more about what practitioners and researchers have uncovered about the developmental effects of savings.
Low-Income Youth Can Save
How can the potential of youth savings be maximized? A growing number of initiatives around the world are showing that even poor and vulnerable youth can accumulate savings and assets – when the right tools and institutions are available. Unfortunately, many financial institutions have not developed cost-effective products and delivery systems to serve low-income youth. There is also a lack of knowledge about youth savings preferences in different markets, and about how best to educate and motivate them to save. Financial institutions – as well as the governments, donors, and NGOs that could assist them in serving this market – need better information on the development and commercial impacts of youth savings.
To learn more about how YouthSave aims to bridge this knowledge gap and bring financial services to low-income youth, click here.