On December 18, 2013, the YouthSave Project in Ghana put the issue of youth financial inclusion squarely on the national agenda with its second widely-attended multi-stakeholder conference.
"Discussion centered on combining education with access – how to reach children, who will teach them and which products will appeal to young consumers. CYFI’s charge, once they determine content and delivery methods, is to take the efforts to scale."
"All of this experience can inform innovations in the United States and elsewhere. It seems likely that universal and progressive asset-based policies will play a larger role in many countries in the years ahead."
"NGOs and other providers may thus have a different role to play, such as supporting the education community and local schools to deliver the financial education content with quality, complementing the delivery of financial education through informal mechanisms such as SMS or edutainment, supporting monitoring and evaluation, or working in advocacy at the policy level."
"In a room where everyone had experience and ideas to share on youth financial services (YFS), the session provided an opportunity for in-depth discussion on common topics and set the stage for YouthSave’s third Learning and Exchange event."
"Access to formal saving channels seems to have motivated Nepali youths to develop saving habits. Even though preteens and teens tend to keep their surplus money for future use, especially in piggy banks, access to organised depositing agencies culminate it into saving habits.”
"Perhaps my favorite quote from the meeting came from Raju Shrestha, a YouthSave product champion at Bank of Kathmandu, when he said, 'It’s really nice to be able to stop talking about plans on paper, and start talking about what we did.'”
You probably brush your teeth every morning, a habit you started developing as soon as you were able to hold your own tooth brush. So, what if we applied the same logic to asset building – that as soon as you could grasp a handful of change, you started saving?
Members of the YouthSave Consortium and other youth finance experts gathered at New America yesterday to argue that this logic can – and should – be applied to today’s youth.
"Despite this, when it comes to youth savings, there is still a demand to “crack the profitability nut” and to better understand the social impact of these products in the short and long term."
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 $2 a day. More than ever, young people need the tools to manage their financial lives and, especially, accumulate savings -- opening up economic opportunities and impacting their attitudes and behaviors over the course of their lives.