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.

Rate this blog entry:
19517 Hits

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.

Rate this blog entry:
10217 Hits

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

Rate this blog entry:
16765 Hits

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.

Rate this blog entry:
13013 Hits


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.
Rate this blog entry:
14617 Hits

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
Rate this blog entry:
6255 Hits

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.
Rate this blog entry:
13113 Hits

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!

Rate this blog entry:
8238 Hits

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

Rate this blog entry:
9192 Hits

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.
Rate this blog entry:
5172 Hits

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.

Rate this blog entry:
7184 Hits

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!

Rate this blog entry:
8000 Hits

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!

Rate this blog entry:
5530 Hits

CYFI Regional Focus Group Meeting and Workshop Series for Asia and the Pacific




Identifying and Overcoming Challenges: Scaling Economic Citizenship Education, Financial Inclusion and Livelihoods from the Next Generation in Asia-Pacific

Amsterdam, Netherlands – More than half of the world's young people – some 650 million between the ages of 10 and 24 – live in Asia and the Pacific. In some parts of the region, young people make up nearly 20% of the population. However, about 12.8 million young people in East Asia, 8.3 million in South-East Asia & the Pacific, and 15.3 million in South Asia still remain unemployed. These figures in Asia-Pacific present both a challenge and an opportunity to improve lives across the region through the advancement of economic citizenship. At a time when innovative policies related to children’s financial issues are gaining momentum, it is important to focus on the realities faced by an entire generation that will have impact on the development of the whole region – and it is due to these that the Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) Regional Meetings exist.

On the 3rd and 4th of November, Malaysia is to host the first and only dedicated meeting at regional level that will deeply dive into the pressing issues, challenges, and opportunities that tackle child and youth economic citizenship today. The concept of economic citizenship encompasses children and youth’s ability to make sound economic decisions by equipping them with financial knowledge, their access to appropriate, child-friendly financial products through financial inclusion, and building their capacity to become entrepreneurs that will not only help them employ and invest in themselves, but also their communities. The event will bring together a focus group of senior to high-level National and Regional stakeholders, including representatives from Central Banks and Governmental Authorities, Educational Services Providers, Financial Services Providers, Banking and Microfinance Associations, and Regional Bodies from Asia and the Pacific to discuss financial education and drive financial inclusion to the top of the regional agenda.

Over the duration of two days, the meeting and workshop series will serve as a concrete platform for representatives from diverse levels and sectors to network, innovate and collaborate in order to arrive at a strategic way forward that will advocate and scale efforts on economic citizenship education, financial education, and livelihoods for children and youth. Through consultations, discussions, sharing of best practices, and a series of workshops that address these topics, the main target is to arrive at concrete action points that will improve the state of the Child and Youth Finance Movement in Asia and the Pacific.

Undoubtedly, this event will contribute to Child and Youth Finance International’s goal 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. The goal is to reach 100 million children worldwide before the end of 2015, in order to start effectively influencing the financial opportunities and freedom of the future generation.

This CYFI Regional Meeting is part of a series of annual regional consultations and stakeholder meeting events addressing issues on Economic Citizenship Education (ECE), Financial Inclusion, and Livelihoods Capability of young people.


Monday 3rd & Tuesday 4th November 2014

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603-2333 2888

Shah’s Village Hotel, No. 3 & 5 Lorong Sultan
46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor D.E. Malaysia
Tel: 603-7956 9322 | Fax: 603-7955 7715

About Child and Youth Finance International

Child and 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 Network has already expanded to 125 countries and reached more than 18 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.

Website: www.childfinanceinternational.org
Facebook: facebook.com/ChildFinance
Twitter: twitter.com/ChildFinance

Press Contacts
For further information about any of the mentioned events and/or Child & Youth Finance International, please contact:

Anastasia Loginova, Communications Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+31 (0)20 520 3900

Robin Willing, Director of Communications & Operations
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+31 (0)20 520 3900

Rate this blog entry:
6988 Hits

Expanding Youth Entrepreneurship Education

Youth included in strengthening entrepreneurship education in Europe, while JADE and Microsoft renew their Education Transformation Agreement.

On November 4th, Thomas Van Vynckt and Philip Harris from CYFI’s Innovations team took part in the Generations Club organized by JADE (the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises) in Brussels, supported by Microsoft. The meeting’s theme centered on asking the youth participants how entrepreneurship education can be expanded, strengthened and encouraged, with the main objective being to find sustainable ways to raise a generation of leaders. As an outcome of the meeting JADE and Microsoft renewed their Education Transformation Agreement to work together against ever-increasing challenges, and opportunities in entrepreneurship education. A take-away from the meeting was that if entrepreneurship education is to tangibly boost young enterprises then it needs to be taught both in and out of the classroom, and support should be encouraged not only by educators but by policy-makers and parents too.

JADE and Microsoft renew Education Transformation Agreement Youth representatives discuss entrepreneurship education in Europe Innovation Department youth representatives on their way to discuss entrepreneurship education

Young Leaders

Thomas and Philip were 2 of the young representatives who were chosen to speak on behalf of young entrepreneurs in Europe. With meeting attendees ranging from Microsoft, Ernst & Young and members of the European Parliament, the meeting set an example of how the private sector and policy-makers can empower youthby giving them the opportunity to hold leadership roles.

If you believe in the youth’s ability to lead a new generation of sustainably-minded, passionate and driven young entrepreneurs then donate to Child & Youth Finance International today and support the #youngleaders of tomorrow!

Images courtesy of Thomas Van Vyck and JADE
Rate this blog entry:
9891 Hits

Shaping Egypt's Future through Financial Education

Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) has recently launched a series of radio talk shows on financial literacy awareness and education. The radio series is part EBI's financial inclusion initiative called "Shaping the Future." In addition, on October 28, in partnership with GIZ, EBI held a training workshop for the members of the "National Committee for Drafting Financial Literacy Strategy in Egypt". The workshop brought together international experts to discuss the current state of financial education in Egypt and to enhance the skills of the committee members in their development of a national financial education strategy which is in line with international best practices.
Rate this blog entry:
10455 Hits

Young Women Learn Money Management Skills

On October 12-13, the Baizat team ran a series of “My Money Skills” workshops with young women (aged 12-18) from Sajaya Girls Centers in Sharjah and Kalba. The workshop was initially developed by Visa and the Emirates Foundation. In each course, 25 young ladies participated in personal finance lectures and activities which covered topics such as budgeting, decision making and banking services. The final part of the course involved a field trip to a financial institution or a local supermarket, in order to teach the young women about the basics of decision making and the major areas of personal finance that young individuals will encounter both today and tomorrow, such as budgeting, banking services and the costs of living alone.

a1sx2_Baizat My Money Skills Workshop with young women_Baizat-My-Money-Skills-Workshop.jpg
Rate this blog entry:
5710 Hits

YE! Entrepreneurship Platform Launching 10 December

YE! Launch Event

Date: 15:30~18:00 (CET), Dec 10th
Location: Amsterdam

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) is launching Young Entrepreneurs (YE!) on December 10th during an exciting launch event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. CYFI cordially invites key stakeholders of CYFI in the Netherlands as well as interested investors of YE! to the event.

As part of the event, CYFI will select 10 promising young entrepreneurs from the global YE! community and invite them to pitch their business to our esteemed guests. Interested investors will have the opportunity to speak with the entrepreneurs about potential investment opportunities at sessions that follow the event.

Info for Eligible Entrepreneurs

If you are a young innovator, with a starting business with large growth potential, we invite you to apply for the pitching session at the YE! launch event. Here you’ll be pitching to potential investors that might help you take your business to the next step.


To be eligible for the pitching session, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Your business must be legally incorporated
  • Your business must provide an innovative solution to a problem
  • You have a scalable business and you are able to demonstrate clearly your revenue model
  • Your business has a proven track record
  • You are ready for investment and have an investment need of EUR 10,000 to EUE 500,000

Application process

  1. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. expressing your interest including a link to your company website and your CV;
  2. Fill in the questionnaire we will send you;
  3. If you’re shortlisted, we will invite you to send us additional documents:
    • Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation
    • Business plan (we will treat confidentially)
    • Financial statements (income statement and cash flow statement)
  4. We set up a one or multiple call with you;
  5. If selected, you’ll receive confirmation and will be linked to a coach to prepare your pitch
  6. You’ll be invited to practice your pitch on the 10th and to pitch your business the same day!

About YE!

YE! supports young entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 and 30 around the world. YE! connects young entrepreneurs and links them to various tools, resources and opportunities to support the growth of their enterprises. It uses a hybrid of online and offline approaches to support young entrepreneurs. The YE! online entrepreneurship platform provides an online community, blog, library, coaching and funding opportunities to young entrepreneurs. In addition, YE! works with organizations to organize various offline activities – competitions, meetings, trainings etc. – to support entrepreneurs locally.

Rate this blog entry:
10862 Hits

End the Cycle: Empower our Girls

On October 11 Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child, an annual event instated by the UN in 2011 to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. This year, the theme was “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence,” and focused on bringing attention to the challenges and difficulties faced by adolescent girls throughout the world on a daily basis.

Basic necessities, which many of us take for granted, are merely an aspiration for a large number of adolescent girls around the world who suffer from lack of education, poverty, malnutrition and abuse, to name a few. While much is being done to address these problems related to basic needs, a further step must be taken in order to secure a brighter future—financial inclusion. It is therefore imperative for adolescent girls around the world to have easy, safe and reliable access to Child and Youth Friendly financial services.

Inclusion and Education Vital For Empowering Young Girls

Financial inclusion and Economic Citizenship Education are important and necessary components of empowering girls, providing them with the resources and self-confidence they need toEducation leads to empowerment create a sustainable future for themselves and their households. To mark the International Day of Rural Women (October 14, 2014), UN Women's Executive Director, Ms. Phumizle Mlambo-Ngcuka, published an article arguing that not having sufficient knowledge, and therefore not being empowered to claim their rights to equality in land and resource ownership, was one of the main setbacks keeping rural women economically, socially and politically excluded. Economically empowering these young women, particularly in rural settings, is essential for not only their own socio-economic benefit, but also for the larger scale benefit of the international economy as it will create a more well informed and financially capable global economic citizenry

The celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child and the International Day of Rural Women is significant as we strive towards eradicating the many difficulties that girls and young women face throughout the world on a daily basis. On this note, CYFI believes strongly that it is important that young women are supported in their effort to overcome these barriers and create opportunities, not only for themselves, but for other young girls and boys around the world as well. Our partner Plan International runs the inspirational Because I am a Girl campaign which promotes equality in education and vocational training: Raise your hand if you believe that every girl has the right to education here.

Malala: A Young Girl Championing Equality in Education

Malala Yousafzai is a remarkable example of a young girl who is striving to create a better future for children and youth around the world by dedicating time and effort into promoting the rights of girls to education. After surviving a shot to the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 for blogging and campaigning for girls’ education in northern Pakistan, she has now become an international spokesperson for the equal rights of children to education in all parts of the world. CYFI was pleased to see Malala win the Nobel Peace Prize last week along with Kailash Satyarthi, a children’s rights campaigner from India who founded the Bachpan Bacho Andolan in 1980. Malala’s dedication to fighting for education and Satyarthi’s dedication to fighting against child slavery and labor exploitation are commendable, and CYFI joins in the recognition and celebration of these admirable efforts on the International Day of the Girl Child.

It is also worth noting that the shared win of the Nobel Peace Prize by a Pakistani and an Indian, while their respective nations are engaged in an ongoing border dispute, serves to highlight the fact that, despite odds and opposition, progress can be made for the cause of peace alongside that of equal rights to education and financial capability for children and youth. The efforts of such individuals, and the organizations which support them, prove that it is possible and necessary to ensure that all children and youth, particularly adolescent girls, receive quality education and are given opportunities to create a sustainable and secure future for themselves and their communities.


This article is authored by Shaireen Moon - CYFI Intern

Originally, from Pakistan but now living in the USA, Shaireen recently graduated from University of California Berkeley and has decided to take some time off from studying to explore her interest in international development. Shaireen is currently interning at CYFI in the research department where she aims to gain more knowledge about economic citizenship for children and youth and the difficulties that are encountered in this industry.

Image courtesy of StockImages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Rate this blog entry:
12784 Hits

Unlocking Resources For Innovative Development

The World Economic Forum (WEF) hosted the Special Meeting on Unlocking Resources for Regional Development in Istanbul on September 28-29th, 2014. The location was chosen strategically - Turkey is not only at the intersection of 3 global regions (Eurasia, Middle East, and North Africa) which are all undergoing rapid transformations, but it will also assume the Presidency of the G-20 in December 2014. The Special Meeting took these opportunities as a way of creating discussion between stakeholders on the pathway for global economic growth, to shape (inter)national agendas, and to give them a chance to build relations and agreements on these topics.

WEF’s Special Meeting was structured on 4 cornerstones

  1. The Future of the Region and Turkey’s Forthcoming G20 Presidency
  2. Shifting Energy Dynamics across the Region
  3. Building Entrepreneurial and Inclusive Economies
  4. Infrastructure as a Platform for Physical and Digital Growth

Out of these discussions arose new and better ways to use capital, ideas and labor through wide-ranging and pioneering partnerships. In this regard, children and youth were recognized as needing to be empowered as stakeholders, as they are the future economic actors who will shape tomorrow's global economic policies and landscape.

Innovative Inclusion

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) was present with 2 spokespersons highlighting the interests of children and youth of the world. Managing Director, Jeroo Billimoria spoke during the 2014-10-08_WEF-Istanbul-Turkey_JB-and-PH-copy.jpgTackling Inequality session, and Innovations Coordinator Philip Harris was a facilitator during a session on Collaborative Innovation: Transforming Business, Driving Growth.

As representatives of CYFI they engaged in discussions with various private and public stakeholders, some of whom attended CYFI’s Annual Summit in Istanbul in May last year, earning support and commitment towards ensuring that children and youth are actively included in decision-making roles in setting economic and political agendas in the region.

The Special Meeting on Unlocking Resources for Regional Development, was an opportunity for leaders from Europe, MENA and Euroasia to collectively use their creativity and experience to develop innovative and sustainable proposals to unlock regional resources for development. CYFI suggests that there is no better way to ensure innovation than by including children and youth's creative energy in these decision making processes.

Rate this blog entry:
6291 Hits