3 Top NGOs, 1 Social Entrepreneur: Jeroo Billimoria is One of a Kind

Jeroo Billimoria, Child & Youth Finance International’s Managing Director, a1sx2_250_Jeroo_OECD-CYFI-MoU_2014_web.jpg is the only social entrepreneur with three NGOs recognized among the world’s top charitable organizations according to the latest world rankings by Global Geneva. With a highly competitive application process non-government organizations ranked in Global Geneva’s Top 500 NGO list are considered to be world leaders in their field.

Jeroo established Aflatoun, Child Helpline International and Child & Youth Finance International due to her passionate belief that young people deserve to be happy, healthy and safe. Her innovative approach to a fundamental social concern – the well-being of children and youth – has earned her fellowships with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the Skoll Foundation and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Congratulations Jeroo! We are so proud of you and to be a part of your social enterprise family.

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3 Children's Rights NGOS In Global Top 500

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Three Amsterdam based NGOs; Child & Youth Finance International, Aflatoun and Child Helpline International have been recognized among the world’s top charitable organizations in the latest world rankings by Global Geneva. The results were just announced by Jean-Christophe Nothias, managing editor of Global Geneva in their 2014 Global Top 500 NGOs.

Children’s Rights and Protection as Priorities

Opportunities for children lie at the heart of all three organizations. Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), ranked 78th, is known for its advocacy work in the area of youth economic citizenship and for its efforts in coordinating Global Money Week, which involved 3 million young people in 118 countries in 2014. In existence for only three years, the young organization has already created a network which reached out to 36 million children, making high impact despite its short life span. Supporters of Child & Youth Finance International include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MasterCard Foundation, the players of the People’s Post Code Lottery (UK), MasterCard Corporation, and Triodos among others.

Sister organization Aflatoun, ranked 26th , teaches children and inspires them to discover their talents and put them to use, to stand up for their rights and those of their communities, to play games and to solve problems. Child Helpline International (CHI), ranked 113th , is the global network of 192 child helplines in 145 countries , which together have answered more than 140 million calls over the past decade from children in need of care and protection. Together these three organizations have helped more than half a billion young people worldwide.

“If we don’t empower young people now, their tomorrow will be the same as our today – unequal and unsustainable. We believe in children and youth’s ability to change the world.” – Jeroo Billimoria, Managing Director, Child & Youth Finance International

One social entrepreneur - three top NGOs

Child & Youth Finance International, Aflatoun and Child Helpline International were all founded by leading social entrepreneur Jeroo Billimoria, who believes that children should be empowered with the ability to change their own lives for the better and be given the right opportunities. Mrs. Billimoria is the only social entrepreneur to have three of her organizations all score top positions in the Top 500 NGO List. Together, the three Amsterdam based NGOs operate globally with a combined network of more than 300 partners, which spans over 145 countries. Other leading NGOs on the list who are partners and collaborators of Child & Youth Finance International include BRAC (#2), Save the Children (#9), World Vision (#10), Ashoka (#19) and Plan International (#45). With a highly competitive application process of over 2000 competing NGOs, non-government organizations ranked in Global Geneva’s Top 500 NGO List are considered to be world leaders in their field. Without their work, many of the world’s most crucial challenges would be ignored.

About Child and Youth Finance International

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) aims to develop a generation that will be able to prevent future financial crises by increasing the financial education, financial access, employability, and entrepreneurship skills of children and youth. Launched in April 2012, the Child and Youth Finance Movement has already expanded to 125 countries and reached more than 36 million children. Our international and regional events result in policy changes, and are the only events in the world where children contribute to setting the global agenda.

About Founder & Executive Director Jeroo Billimoria

Jeroo Billimoria is the Founder and Managing Director of Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) Jeroo is considered among the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and is now working on her ninth entrepreneurial venture. She is a Skoll awardee, and an Ashoka and Schwab Fellow. Among her organizations are Childline India and Child Helpline International which have facilitated a global movement for protection of children and youth and is active in more than 181 countries – having responded to over 160 million calls. Her previous organization, Aflatoun, is recognized among the world’s top 50 NGOs. In a space of three short years, Aflatoun succeeded in working with global partners to provide social and financial education to over 1 million children in 84 countries. Jeroo is now heading CYFI and building a Child Finance Movement to ensure financial inclusion and Economic Citizenship Education for 100 million children and youth in 100 countries by the end of 2015.

CYFI is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, MasterCard Foundation and players of the People's Postcode Lottery.

Media contact information

Robin Willing Director of Communications Child & Youth Finance International + 31 20 520 3900 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Anastasia Loginova Events and Communication Coordinator Child & Youth Finance International + 31 20 520 3900 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Youth Financial Inclusion is Officially a Priority of the G20: Hurray for Turkey!

It is with great pride that we share that youthTurkey-G20-Logo.png will now be at the forefront of the advancement in global financial inclusion according to the Turkish Presidency of the G20. The Presidency newly announced their 2015 financial inclusion agenda which begins with a strong focus on youth. The Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the inclusive platform of the G20, will respond to the need for financial inclusion and financial education for youth focusing on the following points:

  • promoting youth entrepreneurship and tackle youth unemployment,
  • supporting innovative solutions,
  • enhancing access to finance for youth,
  • collecting data and developing impact indicators for youth.

Turkey will work on youth related issues by emphasizing the importance of investing in the next generation. The G20 is committed to removing barriers for youth in access to finance, to promote financial literacy for youth, to encourage personal financial responsibility and, most importantly, to develop policies to foster youth entrepreneurship.

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), as an Affiliated Partner of the GPFI, will contribute in shaping the Youth focus as a crosscutting theme among the GPFI financial inclusion agenda.

CYFI, on behalf of the Child and Youth Finance Movement enthusiastically welcome these advancements toward a more inclusive financial climate for youth and thank the Turkish Presidency for making this possible.

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A First Look At The Post-2015 Agenda

In December 2014, the Secretary General of the U.N., Mr. Ban-Ki Moon, published a report titled Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet: Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General on the Post 2015 Agenda. The report puts forward 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets which aim at ending a1sx2_300_UN-meeting-CYFI-Youth-and-high-level-stakeholders-7.jpgpoverty, achieving shared prosperity, protecting the planet and leaving no one behind. It stresses the importance of using the millennium development goals (MDGs) as a “springboard” into the future—a future “free from poverty and built on human rights, equality and sustainability” (p. 5).

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) believes this report, and the presentation of the 17 SDGs, represents a major achievement in reaffirming many of the essential issues facing our world. The SDGs most relevant to the work of CYFI include 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 16 which, in very broad terms, cover issues of poverty, well-being, education, gender equality, economic growth and sustainable development. However, CYFI must stress that a greater emphasis on the issues facing young people, especially in regards to financial inclusion, economic citizenship education and sustainable livelihoods should be included in the associated targets.

National Strategies for Economic Citizenship for Young People

CYFI applauds the strong focus on inclusiveness and “leaving no one behind” (p. 34), and welcomes the many references to improving the global situation for children and youth in the Secretary General’s report. CYFI supports the position that “Young people will be the torch bearers of the next sustainable development agenda through 2030” (p. 3). Young people represent some of the most vulnerable members of society, and are therefore most deserving of our protection. However, they also represent our future and should thus receive the majority of attention when it comes to policy making at both the global and local level. CYFI believes that a stronger emphasis should have been made in the report on increasing the level of economic citizenship for children and youth, especially through the policies and initiatives of national and regional bodies.

Economic citizenship is achieved when an individual has the opportunity to access appropriate financial services, acquire relevant skills, secure a sustainable livelihood and participate in social, economic and political life. It plays an important role in the eradication of poverty and in facilitating inclusive, sustainable economic growth. CYFI’s National Implementation Manual provides guidance to government authorities seeking to design strategies to further advance financial inclusion and education for children and youth. As children and youth represent nearly a third of the world’s population, it is essential that national economic citizenship strategies are incorporated into the targets associated with the post-2015 agenda.

Financial Inclusion for Young People

While the report does mention the need to “stimulate and support a1sx2_300_Product-Development-Guide-2014.jpgentrepreneurship” and to “provide universal access to financial services” (p. 24), it does so, unfortunately, without specific mention of children and youth. CYFI believes strongly in financial inclusion for young people, enabling them to save and develop greater financial capability. In 2014, CYFI and the MasterCard Corporation developed a tool for financial service providers entitled Banking a New Generation: Developing Responsible Retail Banking Products for Children and Youth, a Product Development Guide. Greater access to formal financial services can help pave the way towards employment, entrepreneurship and investment opportunities, allowing young people to build assets and invest in their own futures. Children and youth often face barriers to financial inclusion that are of a different nature compared to other groups, and therefore need special attention. The UNCDF YouthStart initiative, and its promotion of sustainable financial and nonfinancial services for children and youth, is an example of a positive effort being made in this direction. In order for inclusive and sustainable economic growth (as is expressed in SDG 8) to be realized, it is vital that specific targets be included in the agenda which make formal financial services more accessible to young people.

Economic Citizenship Education

The report states that, “It is essential that young people receive relevant skills and high-quality education and life-long learning, from early childhood development to post-primary schooling, including life skills and vocational education and training, as well as science, sports and culture. Teachers must be given the means to deliver learning and knowledge in response to a safe global workplace, driven by technology” (p. 17, 18). CYFI strongly agrees with these sentiments and urges decision makers to set targets which will include Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) in its education goals (e.g. SDG 4). The ECE Learning Framework was developed by the CYFI Education Working Group, which was co-chaired by UNICEF and the OECD, and integrates elements of financial, social and livelihoods education. When ECE is combined with financial inclusion, it can lead to greater financial capability and empowerment, thus giving children and youth the opportunity to become active economic citizens. Possible synthesis of the CYFI ECE framework and UNESCO Global Citizenship Education programs could create a stronger, more extensive and influential program. CYFI suggests that the ECE framework, and its accompanying assessment tool, be incorporated into the agenda and its associated targets as part of the answer for life-long education, vocational training and life skills.

Sustainable Livelihoods

SDG 8 declares that it is necessary to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” (p. 14). Regrettably, this statement does not specifically refer to children and youth, but it does establish the necessity for a stable livelihood for all. CYFI strongly believes that promoting sustainable livelihoods and stable incomes for children and youth is an essential element in eradicating poverty. This is because children and youth have the highest levels of risk and opportunity in relation to poverty: they can either rise out of it through education or entrepreneurship, or relapse into it when faced with monetary or knowledge barriers. Such barriers must be removed so that children and youth are able to fulfill their true potential and poverty can be eliminated—a goal common to CYFI and SDG 1. CYFI efforts to promote sustainable livelihoods are represented in the Ye! Network: a web portal that provides young entrepreneurs with a diverse set of resources to help their businesses thrive.

Youth Participation & Engagement

a1sx2_300_Youth-Engagement-Country-Handbook.jpgThe report specifically states that there is a need to “accommodate voices of women, [and] youth”, and to “remove obstacles to full participation by […] adolescents and youth” (p. 17). Throughout the report, and in several of the SDGs (such as SDG 8, 11, and 16), inclusiveness is mentioned as a central element of the agenda. When children and youth are given the chance to participate in their community, in areas such as finance and politics, it can lead to personal growth and transformation on a wider scale. Participation allows children and youth to increase control over their lives and learn how to make their own monetary decisions, creating an environment that better supports and improves their wellbeing. CYFI has created the Youth Engagement Country Handbook to give governmental, academic, civil society and other national stakeholders a better understanding of the financial inclusion and education initiatives available to better engage young people in their countries. Engaging youth in this manner will encourage the larger goals mentioned in SDG 1, 4, 5, 8, and 16. Associated targets within the new agenda should stress the importance of including youth participation and engagement.


While the Secretary General’s report is full of promise, and the SDGs with their associated targets represent real potential for global improvement, some issues related to children and youth remain unaddressed. Despite the report’s numerous references to the inclusion and well-being of young people, there has been a failure to sufficiently translate these sentiments into concrete goals and targets. CYFI, therefore, urges decision makers to make youth a priority, and to adopt a more aggressive approach to the youth related issues outlined above.

This article was authored by Oleksandra Pravednyk and Sean Filidis – CYFI Interns

Oleksandra is a Ukrainian student currently earning a bachelor degree at Amsterdam University College. She is currently interning at CYFI in the global education and engagement department, where she is in charge of CYFI relationships with multi and bilateral organizations.

Sean is an American business student and freelance ICT specialist living and studying in Amsterdam. He is currently interning at CYFI in both the Communications and the Global Engagement and Evaluation departments. He considers himself socially engaged and globally-minded, and hopes to continue making long-term, meaningful contributions in the non-profit sector.

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Lowering Youth Unemployment in Asia-Pacific through Youth Economic Citizenship Education

Asia-Pacific, as a region, accounts for more than half of the world’s unemployed youth – about 220 million young people. In response to the urgency of this issue, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Bank of Thailand (BOT), and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC) organized the OECD/Thailand Seminar on Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy in Asia in Bangkok, Thailand last December 16-17, 2014.


Bringing together more than 150 international experts from 30 countries in Asia-Pacific, the seminar tackled topics related to advancing financial inclusion and financial literacy within the Asia-Pacific, with a primary focus on national strategies addressing:

  • the emerging topic of financial education’s role in supporting micro-, small-, and medium-entrepreneurs (MSME’s),
  • the complementary nature of financial education and consumer protection,
  • measuring the impact of financial education.

How Economic Citizenship Education can Boost Youth Entrepreneurship and MSMEs

Rene Cuartero, Child & Youth Finance International’s Regional Advisor for Asia and the Pacific,a1sx2_300_2014-15-01_OECD-RC.jpg stressed the key role which Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) – a curriculum which combines financial, social and livelihoods education - can play as a driver for youth entrepreneurship in the Asia-Pacific.

As young people dictate the future of the region, investing in young people’s ECE is vital to ultimately empower young people to have the capacity to make good financial decisions, find the work they want, or establish their own enterprise. By receiving ECE young people’s interest, initiative and confidence in starting their own entrepreneurial initiatives can be vastly increased – contributing to the emerging importance of MSMEs to stimulate job creation and drive overall economic growth.

The author of this article is Rene Cuartero, Regional Advisor for Asia and the Pacific at CYFI

Rene leads CYFI's efforts in Asia and the Pacific, a region he holds close to his heart. He finished his BSc Economics and BSc Financial Management studies in the Philippines, and his MSc International Management in the Netherlands. During his diplomacy courses he realized that his true passion lies and has always been in creating meaningful impact for future generations – a passion that led him to CYFI. Rene considers himself as a “Global Filipino” and is always enthusiastic to learn and grow his expertise in business, international affairs, and pop music.

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3 Ways Governments Can Help Kids and Youth Find Financial Security

Financial security is achieved when a person practices wise money management, has secure savings in a savings account, and has a stable income. When a person is financially secure they have a higher chance of exercising their economic and individual rights, of being a socially engaged member of society and making sustainable decisions, in essence, they are an economic citizen. Governments have the ability to play a powerful role in the process of creating a financially secure generation.

What is the Government’s Role in Individual Financial Security?

The role that governments and national authorities play in whether or not a child has a chance of developing into a financially secure economic citizen is crucial. This is according to the results of this year’s edition of Children, Youth and Finance – an annual publication produced by Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) documenting the global progress of financial inclusion, financial education and entrepreneurship for young people around the world.

By assessing the outreach numbers of CYFI’s partner and collaborators, CYFI has documented that civil society organizations are effectively working towards increasing the economic citizenship of children and youth with around 27 million children and youth being reached by international NGOs. Goverments, on the other hand, have reached just over 4 million children and youth through programs and initiatives. While financial institutions have reached just over 3 million young people. Collectively, the CYFI Network reaches 36 million children and youth with at least a financial product or financial education program (16 million receive a combination of education and inclusion). With the involvement of more governments the Network can expand it's reach significantly.

CYFI believes that in order to reach a substantial number – in relation to the world’s population - of children and youth with financial services and Economic Citizenship Education, a coordinated effort is needed at the country level, with government institutions taking the lead role in this effort. While civil society has led outreach efforts up to this point, it has become clear that reaching scale globally can only be done if national governments are leading with NGOs and financial institutions taking a complimentary or advisory role.

How can Governments Help Kids and Youth Have Financial Security? We've found 3 ways!


Based on the findings in this document, CYFI has compiled the following 3 recommendations for governments in order to help guarantee young people’s financial security:

  1. Give children and youth a significant position in national financial inclusion strategies, financial regulations and consumer protection policies.
  2. Intensify coordination and collaboration with stakeholders from civil society and financial institutions at the national, regional and global level.
  3. Intensify youth participation and hear youth input during the drafting and consultation phases of national initiatives.

Children, Youth and Finance: Action for Sustainable Outreach gives several examples of successful national programs are included to help set the benchmark for governments in setting national level policy and regulation. Best practices from a variety of partners and collaborators in the CYFI Network are also provided. To download the full publication, and for previous editions, please visit CYFI Publications page at www.childfinance.org.

About Children, Youth and Finance

Children, Youth and Finance is an annual compilation of data gathered by Child & Youth Finance International from financial service providers, government authorities, civil society organizations, multilateral institutions and academics. The goal of Children, Youth and Finance is to provide an overview of the global progress of financial inclusion, financial education and entrepreneurship for young people.

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New Partnership to Increase Youth Savings Behavior

The World Assembly of Youth (WAY) held their 16th General Assembly in Tirana, Albania from December 7-11th, 2014. WAY is the international coordinating body of national youth councils and organizations with 120 member organizations, from every continent.

WAY & CYFI Partnership Announced

WAY announced their new partnership with CYFI during the Assembly, resulting in Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) becoming an official consultative WAY member. The partnership will extend both CYFI and WAYs networks and allow both organizations to work together to further the interest of youth around the world in regard to savings accounts, money management skills and youth leadership.

Savings Accounts and Money Management Skills

This year’s General Assembly brought together youth and youth organizations from around the world to discuss issues concerning youth empowerment and youth leadership. The WAY General Assembly is conducted once every 4 years, so CYFI’s Youth Coordinator Kim DeRose was honored to address the General Assembly on the importance of savings accounts and money management skills for children and youth.


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Entrepreneurs Launch International Resource, Coaching and Funding Platform

Ye! Child & Youth Finance International held the Dutch launch of Ye! - an online platform for young a1sx2_Ye300_YE_logo_digital_cropped.pngentrepreneurs – in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Wednesday, December 10th . The global platform was launched to an audience of young entrepreneurs, investors, established entrepreneurs and representatives from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and, the event’s hosts, De Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM).

2015 – The Year of the Start-Up

The launch is timely as 2015 is set to be a tipping point for entrepreneurs in the Netherlands with ex-EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes being announced as the Dutch Special Envoy for Start-Ups, and the new law coming into act as of January 1, 2015, which will make it easier for international entrepreneurs to launch their business in the Netherlands.

Entrepreneurs Pitch to Investors

During the event 10 young entrepreneurs from around the world pitched their ventures to investors and key-stakeholders from the Netherlands:

  • VACSE: Shadi Al-Hakimi has developed a search engine which searches the content of videos and audio
  • I Hate Statistics:Pim Belling will turn your hate for statistics into love
  • Bonsum:Frederik Betz makes shopping sustainably easy and rewarding (for the earth and for you)!
  • Swapp:Want to swop your jacket for her shoes? Lonneke Boonzaaijer’s interactive app will do just that
  • The Dev School: Martha Chelimo is teaching African youth to code and become tech entrepreneurs themselves
  • Crystal Shower:Wouter Chömpff wants people to get unlimited shower time with just 1 bucket of water
  • Huishuai: Huishuai Li brings Asia from your browser to your door
  • Thinking Green: Marwan Ma’som powers street-kiosks in Malaysia with sunshine
  • Shoemates: Obaid Rahimi ensures your good fashion choices will benefit a family in need
  • FGE Exports: Senai Wolderufael is ensuring that the world gets their kick from ethically sourced Ethiopian coffee

a1sx2_300_Wouter-Chmpff-pitching-Crystal-Showers.png a1sx2_300_Young-Entrepreneurs-pitching.png

Sustainable Businesses

"The AFM supports Ye! due to our commitment to financial education and financial inclusion, and building fair and transparent markets. Young people can bring this change as young entrepreneurs predominantly start businesses which are unlike the old way of doing things – they are new and fair and they...bring a positive change in the world."

Theodor Kockelkoren, AFM Executive Board member.

Annemiek Hoogenboom representing the players of Nationale Postcode Loterij and Energo Foundation, a main sponsor of the Ye! online platform, underlined this socially conscious characteristic which the majority of the young entrepreneurs pitching at the event shared. She highlighted that in her experience young people tend to have more sustainable and socially aware solutions – their ideas are green from the get-go.

Start-Up Coach

Duke Urbanik, private investor and YES!Delft strategy coach, heeded this with a warning that the commonality of young entrepreneurs to be hyper socially-conscious may lead them to live in an idealist bubble. For an investor to take notice of a young entrepreneur they have to see an attainable goal. This is where the Ye! coaching platform will be useful to young entrepreneurs as the coaches will hold a mirror up to the entrepreneur and hold them accountable to their goals helping to ensure that they don’t become unrealistic and unattainable.

International Markets

Mr. Kockelkoren emphasized the important role which Ye! will play in welcoming young entrepreneurs from international markets to the Netherlands, and vice versa. Ms. Hoogenboom echoed the importance of this international platform: “Young people think internationally automatically. If they want to make a difference and earn money then they don’t just think “hey, let’s do this in the Netherlands," they think "hey, let’s do this in the Netherlands, the US, and China!” This is important for the growth of their business and national economies, and Ye!’s international resources makes it easier for them to do this.

Jeroen Roodenburg, the Ambassador for the Private Sector and International Cooperation from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announced that they are working closely with the private sector to ensure that the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (to be established in September 2015) will result in the eradication of extreme poverty. In light of this, encouraging investment in young entrepreneurs, especially enterprises in the supply chain which links developing markets to developed ones, is a top priority.

Entrepreneurship Top Tip

Perseverance was the word of the evening, with established and young entrepreneurs alike repeating that their top tip for any budding entrepreneur is to persevere! Gert-Jan van der Hoeven CEO and co-founder of H2 Equity Partners, a leading Western-European hands-on investment firm, shared jokingly that being an entrepreneur is what gave him grey hair but encouraged the young entrepreneurs to ride out the tough times and stick to their guns – it’s all worth it in the end.

Jeroo Billimoria, serial social entrepreneur and Managing Director of Child & Youth Finance International, said that the only reason that Ye! is in existence is because her team believed whole-heartedly in the idea and persevered against all odds.

International Resource Hub

“Ye! will make it so much easier for young entrepreneurs to find the advice and resources that they need” said Angelien Kemna, Chief Finance & Risk Officer of the APG Group, and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Yellow and Blue, a Dutch venture capital firm in the field of renewable energy. She went on to say that “we all need to work together to build up enterprises and economies.”

Stay tuned for the upcoming dates of the national launches and pitching events of Ye! set to take place around the globe in early 2015. If you are interested in joining Ye! as a young entrepreneur, a coach, or if you are interested in investment opportunities please contact Jie Xiu (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) from Child & Youth Finance International or join the community today!

About Ye!

Ye! will be the biggest online community for young entrepreneurs. It supports entrepreneurs between the age of 16 and 30. By joining the community, they can get in touch with peers and obtain support through sharing knowledge, a free coaching service from international and local experts, and funding opportunities. Young people can use these resources to become more knowledgeable entrepreneurs and grow their business.

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APEC Guidebook on Financial and Economic Literacy

The APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Guidebook on Financial and a1sx2_300_APEC_20141211-095201_1.png Economic Literacy in Basic Education, released earlier this month, is set to be a valuable resource for policy makers and practitioners concentrating on financial and economic education at the primary and early secondary school level. The Guidebook demonstrates how to design and implement learning activities related to financial and economic literacy for children and youth.

Child & Youth Finance International joined the World Bank, OECD, Aflatoun, and national authorities from Australia, Canada, China, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, and the United States in setting the outline and content of the Guidebook in September 2012. CYFI’s Global Evaluation and Engagement department contributed to the chapter on resource mobilization and edited the rationale and curriculum integration chapters.

The report comes the month after the APEC celebrated 25 years of being the primary forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Young Entrepreneurs Get a Helping Hand (onto International Platforms)

Data from the World Bank confirms what we have been hearing a lot over the past years: unemployment is increasing (with very few exceptions) everywhere in the world. Young people struggle to enter the job market despite high levels of education, the number of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) is rising dramatically, workers lose their lifetime job and do not have chances to begin another profession. Recovery is happening for some, but very slowly.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

There are many reasons to be pessimistic but some inspiring leaders have chosen to see it as an opportunity for change. In response to the need, Global Entrepreneurship Week was announced in 2007. Global Entrepreneurship Week aims to inspire people to gather the courage to undertake the entrepreneurial challenge. It is a chance to draw attention to the capabilities of those who have a business idea that they are passionate about making a reality.This year the event was held from Nov 17-23, 2014 and it involves more than 140 countries and activities all over the world!

Providing Assistance for Young Entrepreneurs

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) celebrated a1sx2_Ye300_YE_logo_digital_cropped.png Global Entrepreneurship Week too and, in order to provide assistance for young entrepreneurs around the world, CYFI has created a new dedicated platform called Ye! (Young Entrepreneurs). Ye! aids young innovators who need support to expand their business and keep their projects alive.

Resources, Coaching and an International Community for Young Entrepreneurs

Ye! will be the biggest online community for young entrepreneurs. It supports entrepreneurs between the age of 16 and 30. By joining the community, they can get in touch with peers and obtain support through sharing knowledge, a free coaching service from international and local experts, and funding opportunities. Young people can use these resources to become more knowledgeable entrepreneurs and grow their business.

CYFI is hosting the first local launch of Ye! on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 in Amsterdam. Investors and young entrepreneurs from around the world will be in attendance at the launch at De Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM). These past months CYFI has been interviewing young entrepreneurs from around the world and will choose 10 young entrepreneurs to pitch their business to potential investors. This will be a great opportunity for them to talk to investors who could help them take their business to the next level.

Young Tech Innovation Entrepreneur Takes Start-Up to the Next Level

The selection of the brave young entrepreneurs has already a1sx2_Original1_VACSE-Technology_Ye-launch.pngstarted and, among those who will be able to take the stage at the Ye! launch is Shadi Al-Hakimi, 24 years old, from Yemen. Shadi launched his company, Video and Audio Content Search Engine (VACSE), along with his co-founders Jamal Al-Darwbi and Abubaker Salem, about a year ago. Despite the global spread of generic search engines there was still a scarcity of tools to search for video and audio content. Shadi aimed to address that issue. VACSE allows users to search for visual and audio material not only by description and name, but also by content. Shadi has already accomplished a great deal with his product. He has registered it as a provisional patent at the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Yemen. In 2013, Shadi’s hard work was recognized when he won first place in the Yemeni Youth Tech Innovation Awards. Shadi believes that VACSE, together with other start-ups in Yemen, could help draw attention to technological innovations all over the world. Shadi has achieved many of his goals on his own. He is a CEO at only 24 with awards and a growing business. However, Shadi wants to take his business to the international arena and he needs help to achieve this goal.

This is what the Ye! community is made for: to inspire young entrepreneurs to be more confident in what they do and help them believe that they can change their lives and the world. Are you one of them? Do you believe that your new business could grow exponentially with a little help? Would you like to get in touch with Shadi and ask him how he has got to where he is now?

Join Ye!

Eligible entrepreneurs are invited to submit their application by getting in touch with the CYFI team and join the platform. You can find relevant information and join the community: let us help you make your dream come true.

This article is authored by Irene Dominioni - CYFI Intern

Irene is an Italian student and freelance journalist who has gone international since she started the Erasmus Mundus Master's in Journalism, Media and Globalisation. She lived in Denmark and now she is set in Amsterdam, fulfilling her love for the city. Irene is currently interning at CYFI in the communications department, where she is helping to spread the word about the subjects of economic citizenship and financial education.

Images courtesy of Ye! and VACSE Technology

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Policy Pledge for a Generation of Financially Capable Young People

Today is the last day of the 3rd Annual Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) Regional Meeting for Africa. Held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the meeting brought together Africa’s finest policy makers, educators, research and academic institutions, financial service providers, as well as representatives from various government ministries. The main objective of the meeting is to develop a common African position on the advancement of a unified financial education and inclusion plan of action for children and youth across the continent.

During a variety of workshops and plenary sessions it was concluded that a great deal of innovation and action is needed to create an economically active and responsible youth population by addressing the various barriers to youth financial inclusion in Africa. The development and prosperity throughout Africa must be framed around the large, and very dynamic, youth population. The growing youth population is a unique resource for several African countries; youth must be given the attention they deserve as they are essential for social and economic stability and growth.

Integrated African Policy for Child and Youth Financial Inclusion

At the close of the meeting a policy paper pledging for an integrated African Policy for Child and Youth Financial Inclusion to be part of Agenda 2063 was announced. This policy paper details the recommendations needed for “a global strategy to optimize use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans” for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

African leaders must develop and pursue national financial programs and strategies for children and youth with the objectives of ensuring that every child and youth in Africa has access to safe financial services, quality Economic Citizenship Education, and the opportunity to attain a sustainable livelihood.

Providing young people with financial services, which include an educational component, enhances a young person’s ability to make their own economic decisions and escape the cycle of poverty. Such access to appropriate financial services allows young people in increase their awareness of their social and economic rights and their ability to build assets and invest in their own future.

CYFI 3rd Annual Regional Meeting for Africa Key Recommendations

Outlined below are the 4 main recommendations highlighted throughout the meeting. Please read the Recommendations and Action Points document for a full overview of the concrete and necessary action plans that African policymakers should lead and implement at national level while engaging the various stakeholders and practitioners, and, of course, children and youth.

By focusing on and taking the necessary steps to turn these recommendations into a reality, the region at large will benefit from such interventions, as a new generation of financially capable young people grows up to be responsible economic citizens.

Key Recommendations for every African State/Country

  1. To celebrate nationally and integrate Global Money Week in the public national activities’ calendar
  2. Global Money Week (GMW) is a worldwide celebration intended to empower the next generation of financial actors to be confident, responsible and skilled economic citizens. During this week various worldwide activities will be held to engage children, youth and their communities to learn about how to save, gaining employment, and creating livelihoods.

    The participation of each African country brings the world one step closer to ensuring that every child will have access to financial services, basic financial awareness, a reliable source of income and the will to save. In order for children and youth to have a safe tomorrow, they should begin to save today.

  3. To integrate Economic Citizenship Education into the national curricula starting from primary school; and non-formal economic citizenship education should be provided for out-of-school children and youth
  4. In the CYFI Global Youth Survey, nearly 85% of respondents http://childfinanceinternational.org/resources/publications/2014-cyfi-global-youth-survey.pdf felt Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) should be learned in school. This profound percentage should be taken forward to ensure that ECE is taken on in national curricula, and is not left as a “family item”. Children and youth must be given a standard learning format to ensure that they are provided with all of the necessary ECE knowledge to make wise financial decisions and act as economic citizens.

    Furthermore, empowering all children and youth, both in and out-of-school, must also be a priority for national policymakers. According to UNESCO in 2010, sub-Saharan Africa was the second region counting the highest number of out-of-school lower secondary school children (22 million). Research has shown that depriving children of opportunities at a young age, such as education, have been associated with a well-catalogued variety of negative outcomes, including social and mental well-being. Financial inclusion towards social and individual empowerment, need to be inclusive and be devoted to all children and youth.

  5. To ensure that all children and youth, starting from primary school, have access to appropriate child and youth-friendly banking products and services such as savings accounts.
  6. Africa has the lowest saving-account penetration rate for youth in the world, equal to 12% http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/documents/youth/fact-sheets/youth-financial-inclusion.pdf. Cultural barriers, legal restrictions, inadequate child and youth friendly financial services, long distance to access points, low education, unemployment, high transaction costs and negative stereotypes about youth are among the main challenges for youth being financially included in Africa. Legal and regulatory barriers create also significant obstacles for the youth to access to financial services suiting their needs. Such barriers impact the prosperity of policies and practices for the economic and financial empowerment of young Africans.

  7. To support young entrepreneurs in Africa by providing connections, education and access to financial resources for developing their enterprises.
  8. Various research and studies have shown that unemployed persons – particularly young persons – are unhappier, more likely to experience a range of health issues, and face difficulties in integrating back into the labor market place . While the youth unemployment rate in Africa hovers around 20%, data collected from the 2014 CYFI Global Youth Survey points out that Africa is undoubtedly the leading region for numbers of young entrepreneurs.

    The promotion of youth entrepreneurship simultaneously supports the creation of job opportunities, economic growth and development within local, regional and global communities.

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Amsterdam, the Netherlands – On 10 December 2014, the global online community for young entrepreneurs, Ye! will launch its website at De Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) in Amsterdam. The Ye! website links young entrepreneurs to experienced coaches and investors, useful tools and resources and other entrepreneurial youth across the world. The launch will also feature Ye!’s first pitching event in which ten promising entrepreneurs from the Netherlands and around the world, all under the age of 30, will pitch their businesses to investors, policy makers, bankers and other financial experts. Speakers include Theodor Kockelkoren, Member of the Executive Board of AFM, and Jeroen Roodenburg, Ambassador of the Private Sector & International Cooperation at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

What is Ye!?

Ye! is an online and offline portal developed by Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) for the next generation of leading entrepreneurs. Ye! connects young entrepreneurs from across the world and provides them with the ecosystem to help their business thrive. On Ye!, young entrepreneurs can share their experiences, look for country specific resources and access country entrepreneurship guides, apply for coaching and get access to funding opportunities. Developed by a young entrepreneurial team, the portal incorporates ideas and suggestions of young entrepreneurs from different parts of the world, to make sure that Ye! is up to date with their latest needs and best accommodates them. The team will continue to involve the community for feedback so it will truly be the global community for and by young entrepreneurs.

One of Ye!’s entrepreneurs is the 24 yearl old Shadi Al-Hakimi from Yemen. Shadi is CEO of VACSE, a search engine that allows one to find audiovisual material on the internet by content, not only by description and name. Shadi, who has big ambitions, can now share and test his ideas with the world and find support to realize his ambitions;

“To really understand what investors want in a collaboration is always the tricky part. I would like to access Ye! for effective coaching to attract funding.”
Ye! supplies the right resources and guidance to those with inspiring ideas, so they can start and scale their businesses successfully. Brainchild of CYFI, the Ye! initiative builds on a strong foundation of CYFI’s global network and success.

Why Ye!?

Worldwide, 357.7 million youth were not in education, employment, or training in 2010. This number is increasing. Over the next 10 years, 600 million jobs need to be created “in order to generate sustainable growth and maintain social cohesion” (WorldBank, 2012). By stimulating and supporting the next generation of high-level entrepreneurs, Ye! empowers the youth to take control of their own futures and stimulates job creation.

Furthermore, while it is usually relatively easy for young companies to find the initial start-up funds to start an enterprise, the difficulties arise during scale up, as many aspiring entrepreneurs struggle to raise capital to boost the growth of the company to the next level. Ye! provides the necessary coaching and resources, as well as links to potential investors in its global network to ensure that businesses can scale up and sustain their success.

Finally, in today’s world, technology has proven to be a low cost channel for people to connect and have access to resources in a way that has been unimaginable before. Ye! leverages the power of technology and establishes a global online community for entrepreneurs.

Say Ye!

Ye!’s ambition is to reach 10 million young entrepreneurs by 2020. With this new online platform, together, we can make this happen. Ye!

Find Ye! at www.yecommunty.com from midnight on 9 December 2014.
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Integrated African Policy Pledge to Financially Include Kids

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – On 4-5 December 2014 the Third Child and Youth Finance Regional Meeting for Africa will be held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Meeting will bring together Africa’s finest policy makers, educators, research and academic institutions, financial service providers, as well as representatives from various government ministries to develop a common African position on the advancement of a unified financial education and inclusion plan of action for children and youth across the continent. Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) leads the world’s largest movement dedicated to advancing child and youth financial inclusion and education, with partners including The Mastercard Foundation, People’s Postcode Lottery, The Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI), Ethiopian Inclusive finance Training and Research Institution (EIFTRI), African Child Policy Forum (ACPA), ICS: Creating Change, African Youth Panel, Africa 2.0 and Aflatoun, among others.

The main outcome for this meeting includes drafting a policy paper to pledge for an integrated African Policy for Child and Youth Financial Inclusion to be part of Agenda 2063 – “A global strategy to optimize use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans” for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

Large Population of youth in Africa

Africa has the fastest-growing youth population in the world. An estimated 65% of the continent’s total population is below the age of 35. In most African countries the responsible ministries are among the least resourced and funded government units. Without appropriate support, the drop out school rate is critically high. In one-third of sub-Saharan African countries, approximately 50% of all children do not complete their primary education. When they grow older, these 50% are in serious danger of being unemployed.

Policy dialogue on Financial Inclusion for youth

Taking place over two days, the third CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa will include an action packed program of panel discussions, training sessions and workshops. Some of the highlighted speakers include Dr. Louis Kasekende, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda, Mr. Majozi Vincent Sithole, Governor of the Central Bank of Swaziland and Hon. Octave Nicoue Broohm, Minister of Higher Education and Research of Togo. Apart from providing a platform for policy dialogue on financial inclusion, education and employment to take place for the youth, the meeting also serves as an avenue for knowledge sharing, skills and capacity development, and for linking children and youth to take advantage of the current momentum of Agenda 2063.

African Union Commission takes initial steps

In November, following the first African Union Commission Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture and Sport, held in Addis Ababa, the AUC had taken some initial steps, by adopting a recommendation for member states to invest in financial education and inclusion for children and youth, which includes child and youth friendly financial product development. There, CYFI’S Regional Advisor for Africa, Akwasi Osei presented a case for an integrated African policy for financial education and financial inclusion for children and youth at a youth-focused breakout session.

“Young people are more likely to maintain a relationship with financial institutions and have greater financial assets later in life if they own a savings account earlier in life. Therefore, policy innovations that make savings accounts widely available and easily accessible to children are valuable tools for increased savings behavior that can continue into adulthood and lead to improved financial outcomes over the long-term.” – Akwasi Osei, Regional Advisor for Africa, CYFI
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Ethiopian Airlines & African Union Commission Flying the CYF Movement Flag High!

African Union Commission (AUC) to Recommend Child and Youth Friendly Financial Policies

The 1st African Union Commission (AUC) Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture and Sport was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from October 27 to November 1, 2014. Akwasi Osei, Child & Youth Finance International’s Regional Adviser for Africa spoke at a youth-focused breakout session where he presented a case for integrated African policy for financial education and financial inclusion for children and youth. a1sx2_AUC Delegates_Africa-Union.jpgThe AUC adopted a recommendation for member states to invest in financial education and inclusion for children and youth, which includes child and youth friendly financial product development.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) - Official Carrier for CYFI's 3rd Regional Meeting for Africa

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) is please to recognize Ethiopian Airlines (ET) as the Official Carrier for 3rd CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa, to be held at African Union Conference Center from December 04 - 05, 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

As part of this collaboration between CYFI and Ethiopian Airlines, ET is offering a 12% discount on Business class and 10% discount on Economy class fares for delegates traveling from its Africa and Europe online cities to Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Airlines.

Delegates are invited to make travel arrangements to the event by contacting local Ethiopian Airlines sales office. To find out your nearest ET office, please email Ahmed Abdulhadi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your departure city.

Kindly take note of the following sales and travel conditions for the event:

  • Delegates may purchase their flight ticket until Thursday, December 04, 2014.
  • Delegates are expected/ allowed to travel to Addis Ababa from Friday, November 21 up to December 05, 2014.
  • Delegates are allowed to return to their original destination or travel to their intended destination from Thursday, December 04 up to 18, 2014.
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OECD and Child & Youth Finance International Sign MoU

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) is proud to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on October 22, 2014. The MoU is sure to strengthen the relationship which CYFI and OECD have enjoyed since the Child and Youth Finance (CYF) Movement’s launch in 2012. This formal agreement is set to boost the Movement’s promotion of children and youth’s financial education, financial inclusion and the protection of their rights at a national, regional and international level.

MoU will Strengthen Existing Collaboration

We welcome the signing of the MoU as a major step in CYFI’s and OECD’s excellent relationship. We look forward to strengthening this collaboration within this enhanced framework with a view to promoting young people’s financial wellbeing.

Mr André Laboul – Head, Financial Affairs Division, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD

The OECD and CYFI have closely worked together in recent years with the OECD serving as a co-chair of the CYFI Education Working Group, providing technical expertize and input to CYFI’s Education Manual and Education Learning Framework and guiding the strategic direction of the CYF Movement in their position as observer in the CYFI Supervisory Board.

Since 2003 the OECD has been an international leader in the field of financial education. In 2008 the OECD established the International Network on Financial Education (INFE) to bring together high-level public officials from OECD Members and non-Members to discuss financial education issues, develop data and relevant policy instruments, and conduct analysis. CYFI is proud to collaborate as a key partner with the INFE, by promoting a child and youth focus in line with the goal of the CYF Movement in 2015, and beyond!

The highlights of the collaboration between CYFI and the OECD are as follows:

  • OECD as a key partner in Global Money Week activities;
  • Exchange of advice and expertize in the development of analytical reports and surveys, as well as on the organization and hosting of regional and international meetings on the topic of financial education and inclusion;
  • Sharing of child and youth focused financial education, inclusion and consumer protection research, resources and good practices.

Great News for the CYF Movement!

We are excited to collaborate more closely with the OECD and are positive that this partnership will do great things for the efforts of the Child and Youth Finance Movement!

Jeroo Billimoria, Managing Director, Child& Youth Finance International

The CYF Movement will greatly benefit from the formalization of CYFI’s collaboration with the OECD: we look forward to this relationship translating into the implementation of child and youth centered financial education and financial inclusion policies at both the national and international level.

Special thanks from CYFI Secretariat staff goes to our friends and long-time supporters of the Movement: Mr André Laboul – Head, Financial Affairs Division, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD; Flore-Anne Messy – Deputy Head, Financial Affairs Division, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, and Executive Secretary INFE; and, their amazing team!

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Win a trip to CYFI’s International Youth Meeting in 2015!

CYFI has taken on the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge, and we want you to join us! The Skoll Challenge is a fundraising competition for social entrepreneurship. All money raised on behalf of CYFI in the challenge will help CYFI to improve the knowledge, skills, opportunities and resources for young leaders. Check out CYFI’s Challenge Profile to learn more about it! a1sx2_Empower Children and Youth - Donate Today_Empower-Children-and-Youth---Donate-Today.jpg

All youth are encouraged to join the challenge – everyone else is encouraged to support young fundraisers and donate today!

The top young fundraiser (8 – 25 years old) will have the opportunity to win a trip to our upcoming International Youth Meeting in June 2015! The fundraising minimum for this challenge is $800. We encourage you to ask your friends, family and local community to donate to the cause.

The Challenge started on October 27th and lasts until December 5th. If you are interested you can email Kimberley DeRose for help setting up your profile to join the challenge. You may also download the Toolkit here

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Children and the Financial Regulatory Landscape: Latin America

We are very pleased to announce the release of the preliminary report of Children and the Financial Regulatory Landscape: Latin America. This document presents the key findings of a survey released by CYFI in the first semester of 2014, which was disseminated among the regulatory authorities in the region. It gathers the responses of 14 countries on child financial inclusion policies, financial and consumer protection regulations. This study is a collaboration between CYFI, Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas, Banco de la República (Central Bank of Colombia) and Boston University. CYFI aims to replicate this research in the other regions in order to make a global analysis.
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Introducing CYFI's Network Response Program

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) is excited to announce the launch of a new service called the CYFI Network Response Program (CNRP), a matching service geared towards connecting organizations seeking technical assistance in developing national strategies, financial services or education programs for young people, with CYFI-approved consultants who have the necessary skills and expertise.

Calling all Consultants

We are putting out a call for experienced consultants who want to be part of the CNRP network. As a CNRP associate, CYFI will recommend your services to organizations such as national financial authorities, Ministries of Education or private sector financial service providers, who can make use of your skills. For more details you can download this short 2-pager. If you are interested in joining the CNRP, please fill out your details and upload your CV by Friday, Nov 21 via this form. Please also forward the form to any consultants in your network that you think would be interested.

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High-School Student Publishes Book on Finance!

CYFI Youth Committee member Mahir Jethanandani from USA has recently had his book, The Immaculate Investor, published on Amazon!

a1sx2_The Immaculate Investor by Mahir Jethanandani_The-Immaculate-Investor.jpg

The Immaculate Investor

The Immaculate Investor delves into the world of finance, economics, and investing for the sole purpose of demystifying how the money around us functions, operates, and works. Bunking the myth of taxes, loans, and retirement being difficult processes and concepts to understand, The Immaculate Investor lays down the solid foundation of what every student, adult, and financially aware person should know. The Immaculate Investor was written in the eyes of a sixteen-year-old, whose desire was to accumulate the knowledge he learned over the course of nine years, from the opening of his first bank account, and what he sought to underline as the necessities and concepts needed to understand the world of finance and money.

Way to go Mahir!

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CYFI’s Young Interns Voice Their Opinions!

On 6 November, three very talented CYFI Interns were asked to express their opinions as the "views of young adults" at the 2nd OECD/GFLEC Global Policy Research Symposium to Advance Financial Literacy in Paris, France. The three expressed their opinions during a session that focused on the gaps in students' financial literacy.

Consulting Youth

Here is what they had to say about their experience:

a1sx2_CYFI Interns at OECD Symposium_CYFI-Interns-at-OECD-Symposium.jpg

Shaireen Moon (Pakistan) - The OECD Conference was truly an enlightening experience, it was wonderful to see all of the attendees so interested in what we, as the youth, had to say – many people came up to us in person and spoke to us about what we felt were ideal practices in term of financial education!

Thomas Van Vynckt (Belgium) - I am proud of having been part of the first ever group of students to have been invited to speak at an OECD conference. Being asked about my opinion by experts and professionals on what the necessary tools and steps are to improve financial inclusion was incredibly motivating.

Priyanth Pathmarajah (Netherlands) - I enjoyed the conference very much. It was a very educational experience and it was nice and inspiring to see how the high level people approached us after our session to ask us about our opinions. It is a pretty amazing feeling to be one of the first students who spoke to the audience during an OECD meeting and I hope that in the future there will be more and more input of students during these kinds of meetings.

CYFI is very proud of the great job that they did and of the wonderful contribution they are making to the Movement!

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