Of the 3 billion people today are under the age of twenty-five, half a billion live on less than $2 a day and less than 10% have access to financial services. Low income youth - one of the world's largest and most vulnerable populations - need new and effective tools to achieve social and economic development. This half-day forum – hosted by the YouthSave Consortium with the support of the MasterCard Foundation– explored whether savings accounts for low-income youth might be one such tool. YouthSave also released its new report, “Youth Savings in Developing Countries: Trends in Practice, Gaps in Knowledge,” at the event. This report presents the state of practice in the youth savings field, analyzing products, programs, policies and research, in more than 25 developing countries as well as laying out a number of important questions that need to be answered before the potential of YSAs can be fully understood or realized. The event, much like the report, discussed whether it is possible to design youth savings accounts that both meet the social and economic needs of the population and be offered and delivered in a commercially sustainable and scalable way.
The event also marked the official launch of the YouthSave Initiative, a landmark, global research program that will test how to sustainably deliver savings services to low-income youth in the developing world.
For a full written summary of the event, click here.