CYFI and KGB partners to deliver SchoolBank to 50,000 kids

CYFI and the Kerala Gramin Bank (KGB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to pursue a SchoolBank program in Kerala, India through KGB's FI@School project. The project is set to begin in January 2017 and implemented in a span of 1 year.

The MOU outlines the FI@School project that aims to impart financial education and financial inclusion of about 50,000 students studying in 500 schools in Kerala. This will be achieved through the adoption of schools by 500 branches of the Bank over a period of six months, followed by the implementation of the project where kids learn financial education and open their own bank account. This project targets to cover students in class VI and VII. Additionally, KGB aims to actively participate and promote the program during Global Money Week. 

Together with KGB and Rajagiri Outreach (the local NGO partner in delivering child social and financial education training), two Social and Financial Inclusion Trainers trainings have already been concluded. The first training program was in Kannur, Pallikkunnu on the 11th of January, 2017. The training was attended by 32 participants from the districts of Kannur, Kasargoad and Waynad. A second training program has also already been conducted in Malappuram on the 13th of January, 2017, which was attended by 23 participants. 

The main focus of the trainers training is to teach teachers and bank staff how to interact with primary class students on matters related to financial education. In addition, the training also provided participants with various tools and mediums such as presentations, budgeting samples, role playing, chart presentations, and other learning methods. 

The project will have its official launch on the 23rd of January, and is expected to continue rolling-out throughout the year. 

About Kerala Gramin Bank

Kerala Gramin Bank is a major financial institution in Kerala with 600 branches spread across the whole state of Kerala, mostly in rural areas. It is the second largest network in the state among public sector banks. The Bank is owned by the Government of India, Canara Bank and State Government (Government of Kerala). It has a total deposit base of Rs. 148 billion with advances of Rs. 127 billion. It provides financial services to over 70 million persons in the State. Most of its clients are agriculturists and small & medium entrepreneurs. It is also the largest Regional Rural Bank (RRB) of the country in terms of total business – and it is a profit making entity since inception. Kerala Gramin Bank was formed in 2013 by amalgamating two RRBs (regional rural banks) of the state (South Malabar Gramin Bank and North Malabar Gramin Bank), both of which started in 1976. Thus, it has 40 years' legacy in rendering financial services.

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Three affiliated organizations for youth ranked in world’s Top 100 NGOs!

For the second year running, three organizations founded by Jeroo Billimoria have been ranked in the world's Top 100 NGOs!

The newest rankings of NGO Advisor's Top 500 NGOs list place Aflatoun International 29th, Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) 45th and Child Helpline International 95th on the list of the world's top charitable organizations.

Joining other leading NGOs working to better the lives of children and young people, all three organizations were founded by pioneering social entrepreneur, Jeroo Billimoria. Being the only individual in the world with three different organizations ranked in the top 100, Jeroo has worked to empower young people and has challenged the systems which perpetuate poverty for over 25 years.

One social entrepreneur, three leading organizations

Jeroo founded CYFI, Aflatoun International and Child Helpline International with the intention of improving the lives of young people worldwide.

From working with street children in her native Mumbai to challenging financial systems which continue to limit young people in reaching their potential, Skoll awardee and Ashoka and Schwab Fellow Jeroo's work has been recognized around the world.

Jeroo credits the success of her three Amsterdam-based NGOs to their collaborative work to create lasting change. Of the incredible rankings, she said:

'I am delighted that three of my organizations have been recognized in the world's Top 100 NGOs for their work in supporting children and young people. The power of children knowing about money, saving and believing in themselves is key to positive and sustainable impact.'

A network approach lies at the heart of the successes of all three organizations in supporting child rights globally, with each working with a range of institutions, governments and organizations at international, regional and local levels.

Together, these three organizations have helped more than half a billion young people worldwide and continue to positively impact the lives of young people across 139 countries.

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CYFI Stakeholders Meeting in Vietnam

CYFI has collaborated with the Vietnam Microfinance Working Group (VMFWG) last 12th of December to have a number of Stakeholders Meeting with Vietnamese stakeholders in the field of financial education in Vietnam for children, including the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam.

The Stakeholders Meeting in Vietnam has allowed CYFI to introduce the mission and goals of the Child & Youth Finance Movement, as well as the various tools and expertise that the network would be able to bring and contribute to the development of Vietnamese child financial education landscape.

In particular, the Stakeholders Meeting provided a platform to start discussions on the importance of financial education and financial inclusion of young people in Vietnam – an area that shows immense potential in development. Best practices and case studies that were achieved across the world were presented, as well as concrete actions that the country may take to be able to move forward. 

Included in the Stakeholders Meeting were the discussions for the launch of a national effort on Global Money Week for 2017. A portion of the meeting also provided an opportunity to present a portion of the National Strategy for Financial Education Workshop to potentially assist the country in developing a child-centred financial education strategy.

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Child-Friendly Banking Product Development Workshop in Bangladesh

CYFI provided a Child-friendly Banking Product Development Workshop from 6-8 December in Bangladesh, co-hosted by the Bangladesh Bank at the Bangladesh Bank Training Academy in Mirpur, Dhaka.

The workshop had attendance and delegates from 42 commercial banks working in the field of product development, product design, product marketing, and product strategy. In addition, the workshop was joined by 6 officials from the central bank to learn from the sessions and provide feedback from the viewpoint of the regulators.

In particular, the Stakeholders Meeting provided a platform to start discussions on the importance of financial education and financial inclusion of young people in Vietnam – an area that shows immense potential in development. Best practices and case studies that were achieved across the world were presented, as well as concrete actions that the country may take to be able to move forward.

Included in the Stakeholders Meeting were the discussions for the launch of a national effort on Global Money Week for 2017. A portion of the meeting also provided an opportunity to present a portion of the National Strategy for Financial Education Workshop to potentially assist the country in developing a child-centred financial education strategy.

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Product development workshop in Ivory Coast

CYFI facilitated a product development workshop in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of November. This workshop had been organized in partnership with the Program of Financial Education of the Ministry of National Education. 

The Program of Financial Education (PFE) of the Ministry of National Education in Ivory Coast aims at enhancing the financial knowledge of the entire educational community hence, in particular focusing on children and youth in Ivory Coast. The program, established in 2013 with the intention of tackling the challenge of over indebtedness of teacher that had negative consequences on the teaching quality, has already reached 24.000 adults and 60.000 children. 

The PFE is also CYFI's partner in the country and leader of the Global Money Week campaign in the country. During the last edition of the Global Money Week, more than 15 events were organized at national level and around 21,700 children were reached. However, Ivory Coast is one of the countries of the region where financial inclusion of youth is amongst the lowest. In an attempt to  raise awareness of this matter and engage the private sector towards oriented action, the PFE organized the Product Development Workshop. The workshop aimed at making the case of the importance of youth financial inclusion and guide the local banks and financial institutions in the process of developing child and youth-friendly banking products.

A part of strengthening the collaboration between different key institutions in the country in financial education and inclusion, the workshop laid the ground for the implementation of the SchoolBank project in the country. It is expected that the project implementation will start in the first quarter of the year, in collaboration with local schools, the Ministry of Education, the Plan for Financial Education and GTBank.

For more details, information regarding the workshop, please follow this link to the report (in French).

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CYFI, CBK and KBA hold stakeholder workshop on financial education in Pristina

In collaboration with the Central Bank of Kosovo (CBK) and Kosovo Banking Association (KBA), Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) organized a stakeholder workshop on the national approach to financial education in the capital Pristina on 22-23 November 2016.

The workshop was hosted and held by the initiative of the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo and became the first national-level event on financial education in the country. The workshop was aimed at increasing awareness on financial education among national stakeholders, the roles that different stakeholders and organizations from various sectors can play in promoting financial education in Kosovo, and at determining ways of cooperation between public, private and civil society institutions in this sphere.

The workshop covered various aspects that can assist countries in fostering the development of the nationally coordinated approach to financial education, stakeholders' management, integration of financial education in the school curriculum, piloting SchoolBank project, best practices examples of financial education programs for youth and adults and many more. Moreover, the workshop also featured sharing the experience by experts from Bank of Albania, one of the most successful institutions in the region in promoting financial education, as well as provided a platform for local government, private and civil society institutions to share their experiences in financial education in Kosovo so far.

At the end of the workshop CBK and other stakeholders expressed the readiness to form a national platform for financial education in Kosovo, and cooperate closely on developing new educational programmes and campaigns, including Global Money Week campaign 2017. The platform would have an objective to serve as a space to exchange best practices, experiences and streamline and coordinate financial education initiatives in the country.

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CYFI Network Star - Andrew Pavlovsky

This month's CYFI Network star is Andrew Pavlovsky, an inspiring young investigative journalist from Ukraine!

Andrew Pavlovsky was named Ye! Entrepreneur Ukraine at the Boost training and Hackathon event sponsored by The Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe for his idea ‘Department Action’, a start up dedicated to create collaborations between investigative journalists and lawyers to fight corruption.

Now the head of investigative journalism department for online channel "17 kanal", Andrew graduated from Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts and has previously worked for a mange of national and online media channels.

His investigations mainly focus on corruption in the political system of Ukraine, as well as social problems like organ trafficking. Recently Andrew directed a documentary called ‘Organ trafficking: Ukrainian market’ and himself became a donor, to show how actually a black market organ trade works. In 2013, accompanied by two film crews, Andrew flew to Turkey to shoot the entire chain of Ukrainians’ criminal trade. All footage was handed over to law enforcement authorities as early as 2013. While making his investigations he found out that journalists’ actions were not effective because of corruption issues in Ukraine. So he decided to start ‘Department Action’.

Andrew said that the Ye! event helped him to understand what his project was missing thanks to the lecturers, mentors and developers that he met. He is now looking for future international partners, as this, in his opinion, is the only way to drive a company effectively.

Offering an innovative slant on what it means to be a social entrepreneur, Andrew's work is inspiring and challenges problems within existing systems to create a better future for everyone. Keep up the great work, Andrew, we look forward to your next story!

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CYFI joins Canadians in Celebrating Financial Literacy Month

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada with activities for people of all ages happening across the country to promote financial responsibility and financial well-being. Each week has a dedicated theme related to budgeting, saving, living within your means and knowing your financial rights and responsibilities.

Initiated by Canada’s Financial Literacy Action Group in 2011, Financial Literacy Month has now been established as an annual event by the Canadian Government. Last year, Financial Literacy Month involved hundreds of organizations by holding nearly 1500 seminars, workshops and other promotional events. Information about all of the events that are taking place, as well as the leading financial education resources available to all Canadians, can be found on the Canadian Financial Literacy Database. Many events are taking place over the month, including the Financial Literacy Research Symposium in Moncton

Supporting Financial Literacy

CYFI supports national initiatives to promote financial literacy and intergenerational dialogue on money matters, sustainable livelihoods and economic citizenship. This is done through Global Money Week our international conferences, workshops and publications. We are pleased to see the momentum that is building each year in Canada around Financial Literacy Month, involving many participants from the public sector, private sector and civil society. The themes that are promoted throughout the month are very much in line with CYFI’s thematic priorities in Economic Citizenship Education: planning and budgeting, understanding financial services, prioritizing spending needs and consumer protection.

Since 2012, CYFI has maintained strong relationships with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE), both members of Canada’s Financial Literacy Steering Committee. CYFI was honoured to take part in the Financial Literacy Conference in 2014 in Vancouver where Canada’s new Financial Literacy Strategy “Count me in, Canada” was officially launched, including a specific focus on tending to the financial needs of young Canadians.

Canada will also be well represented at the upcoming Global Inclusion Awards 2016, with FCAC nominated as a finalist for the CYFI Country Award – America’s & The Caribbean and CFEE and Care Canada each nominated as finalists for the CYFI Civil Society Achievement Award.

CYFI wishes Canadians much success during Financial Literacy Month and looks forward to continuing to support and document the exciting initiatives that are happening in the country to bolster financial literacy and further development the next generation of economic citizens.

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3 events - 1 platform for young entrepreneurs!

CYFI initiative, Ye! community, has been busy working with young entrepreneurs all over the world! With events in Ukraine, Kenya, and India, the sky's the limit for the fastest growing online platform for young entrepreneurs!

Ukraine Ye! Boost Training & Hackathon, sponsored by the Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE DF), took place in Kiev over the course of three weeks.Over 60 young entrepreneurs attended lectures and practical trainings on business-creation. 20 chosen entrepreneurs took part in a weekend Hackathon in which they teamed up with some developers in order to produce the first prototypes of their ideas.

The event ended on 31st October with a pitching event where twelve business ideas were judged by an expert panel. Andrew Pavlovsky was named Ye! Entrepreneur Ukraine for his idea ‘Department Action’, a start up dedicated to create collaborations between investigative journalists and lawyers to fight corruption.

The ‘Road to Nairobi 2016 Multi-stakeholders forum’ was run in partnership with Building Bridges andtook place on 26th October in Nairobi, Kenya, at which over than 100 young entrepreneurs were present. The theme was ‘Youth Entrepreneurship as tool for economic development and youth empowerment in Kenya’.

The event featured a training for young entrepreneurs on investor-readiness. The event also provided a platform for young entrepreneurs to dialogue with key national stakeholder. Notable participants included Ms. Sicily Kariuki - Minister of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs and Mr. Frank Makken, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya.

On 26th October 2016, Ye! Community ran its first initiative in India: The Ye! Startup Pitching Event & Award Ceremony.

The aim was to celebrate the work and achievements of inspiring young Indian entrepreneurs. 20 of them attended the event, while 14 start-ups pitched their projects to an expert committee, after a first video selection.

Vennela Krishna won the competition with her Law School 101 startup, receiving the first Ye! Youth Entrepreneur Award for India and an invitation for the Global Inclusion Awards 2016 held in Stockholm.

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Successful culmination of Flagship Visegrad project – Experience exchange between Central and Eastern Europe

In October 2016 CYFI and its 9 project partners have successfully concluded the project, supported by the V4EaP Program of International Visegrad Fund, aimed at experience exchange between Central European (Visegrad) countries and Eastern European (Visegrad Partnership) countries in financial education strategies and programmes for young people.

In the course of just a bit more than a year, six events were conducted in different parts of the region, and a number of distinctive training materials were produced and translated in various languages. CYFI network members from public sector in the region took an active part in project activities. For example, the National Bank of Belarus and CYFI organized an international curriculum integration seminar for more than 40 representatives of educational authorities in Belarus. The seminar was inaugurated by the Deputy Governor of the National Bank and featured sharing country experience on integration of financial education components in the school curriculum from national authorities from Brazil, Moldova and Ukraine.

In Ukraine, the National Bank also supported the organization of the dissemination seminar and hosted a workshop for banking and civil society sectors on the development of responsible banking products and financial literacy programs for young people. The Master Training in Tbilisi was attended not only by partner organizations, but also by representatives of the financial regulators from Belarus, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

These and many other examples show the multi-stakeholder approach to all aspects and themes of this project. More information about these and other meetings and activities of the project can be found in the Project Report, recently published by CYFI Secretariat.

Visegrad countries have been among the pioneers in introducing financial education in the national curricula and also dedicating resources to the creation of national programs or of national strategies for financial education for a long time.

However while implementing the project, CYFI and its project partners noticed the lack of such documented cases about Visegrad countries, containing comprehensive information about the national policies, standards and program highlights with regards to financial education for young people. Therefore, we have also put together a Best Practice Report, aimed at briefly outlining the case for youth financial education practices in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

CYFI would like to extend our gratitude to our project partners that made implementation of this project a particularly fruitful and enriching experience: Microfinance Center – Poland , Institute of Banking Education of the National Bank of Slovakia , The Foundation for Improvement of Financial Culture (Alapítvány a Pénzügyi Kultúra Fejlesztéséért) – Hungary, European Financial Planning Association – Czech Republic, LEPL National Youth and Children Palace of Georgia , Banking University – Ukraine, Institute of Educational Sciences – Republic of Moldova, Youth Entrepreneurship Support and Development Center – Belarus, Reliable Youth Future NGO – Azerbaijan

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Empowering children and young people for a sustainable future - Aflatoun International Meeting 2016

Children make up half of the nearly 900 million people living below the global poverty line, according to UNICEF, and 124 million children and adolescents worldwide do not attend school.

CYFI's sister organization, Aflatoun International, offers a globally tested and proven model of social and financial education, empowering children and young people in over 100 countries, allowing them to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and inequality. Aflatoun’s method provides them with local solutions to ensure economic revival and a sense of self-reliance, turning dependence into independence.

Following the announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, Aflatoun International’s strategy for the next five years has been aligned to support the delivery of their ambitious vision. As part of Aflatoun International’s commitment to fully implementing these far-reaching goals, we are delighted to announce a three-day International Meeting dedicated to exploring further how Social and Financial Education can effectively contribute towards achieving the SDGs. The meeting will take place from 2-4 November at the World Trade Center in The Hague, the Netherlands

Over 150 participants from across our global network will be attending, including UN agencies, government ministries, central banks and multilateral organisations, exploring key themes including:

  • Academic and experiences from the field engaging in meaningful and critical debates on key issues relating to the SDGs.
  • Aflatoun International and its partners demonstrating to key actors in the sector how SFE can be utilised to create a more equitable and sustainable future for children and young people.
  • Developing strategies for future methodologies and deliverables under relevant SDGs.
  • Sharing experiences throughout the Aflatoun partner network that will be required for supporting the development and successful implementation of the SDGs.

Go to for more information and to register.

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Economic citizenship and the global effort to reduce child poverty

Reducing child poverty remains an important challenge facing national governments and international organizations. Through our effort to enhance the financial capabilities of young people throughout the world, Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) is proud to endorse the recent Practical Action publication The Global Child Poverty Challenge: In Search of Solutions, which tackles the root causes of child poverty while providing fresh insights on innovative solutions to enhancing the social and economic lives of young people.

CYFI has always believed that the pathway to poverty reduction begins through collective action, allowing children to acquire foundational skills, develop their confidence as change-makers, build a solid asset base and secure future livelihoods as full economic citizens. For this reason, both this publication, and the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty, are in line with CYFI’s effort to empower all children and youth around the world by increasing their financial capability, enhancing their awareness of social and economic rights and improving their access to quality education and Child and Youth Friendly banking products.

Together with leading academics and experts in the field, CYFI has developed a model for economic citizenship for children and youth. The building blocks of empowerment and financial capability, that underpin the model of economic citizenship, are financial inclusion, along with financial, social and livelihoods education. From this model, CYFI has established the Child and Youth Friendly Banking Principles and the Economic Citizenship Education Learning Framework, providing a benchmark for curriculum and financial product developers throughout the world.

CYFI agrees with the publication’s premise that the elimination of child poverty cannot be left to the forces of economic growth alone. CYFI supports the publication’s emphasis on holistic solutions that combine efforts from policymakers and practitioners, ensuring that children are equipped with relevant skills at an early age, that they are given sufficient freedom to make social and financial choices, that their rights are recognized and upheld and that their economic potential is fulfilled.

Developing sustainable livelihoods

Karen Moore’s chapter in the publication reflects on the evolving approach of the MasterCard Foundation’s youth livelihoods programs in sub-Saharan Africa. It suggests that the combination of trainings on a range of market-relevant skills, along with access to economic opportunities and appropriate financial services, can foster secure economic futures for youth. CYFI supports this position and promotes the expansion of financial and livelihoods education at primary and secondary school levels in order for young people to familiarize themselves with financial institutions and develop entrepreneurial competencies that can sustain them and their families later in life.

Likewise, Mr. Richard Carothers’ chapter demonstrates how the microfinance sector can provide a safer and more beneficial learning experience for young workers employed in the businesses of their clients. CYFI supports the development of financial and employability skills in the teenage years, ensuring that young people understand the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees and how they can secure a sustainable livelihoods through entrepreneurship and decent work.

Financial inclusion for empowerment

Regarding the value of financial inclusion and financial literacy, recent studies have shown that youth want to save and do so when given the opportunity. However, for most young people, the chances are still limited that they will actually receive the opportunity to save in a formal institution. According to the World Bank Global Findex, children aged 15 to 24 are between 10 to 50 percent less likely to have an account at a formal institution than adults.

The YouthSave project, described by Ms. Rani Deschpande chapter in the publication, not only shows that children (mostly aged 12-18) want to save in formal savings accounts but also that younger youth (under the age of 13) actually save more often than older youth. The results of this project showed that account uptake is influenced by a number of factors, such as the minimum age at which children can independently open a bank account, terms and conditions of the account, and sales incentives provided by financial institutions.

Financial institutions seem reluctant to offer financial products to children and youth because they believe youth are more difficult and expensive to bank. YouthSave implementing partners have found that the benefits of financially including youth include economic and financial well-being, financial knowledge and skills, health, and educational achievement. This has also been reinforced through CYFI’s own Research Landscape document which provides an overview of key academic findings related to financial inclusion and education for children and youth.

Creating youth-friendly products and services

Much progress has been made in recent years to expanding the reach of Child and Youth Friendly banking products for young people around the world. Practitioners should work together with policymakers to ensure any legal or regulatory barriers, such as age or identification requirements, are reduced to provide an environment more conducive to financial access for young people. At the same time, they should cooperate to ensure that consumer protection policies are in place that are tailored towards children and youth.

Likewise, civil society organizations, community centers and schools are uniquely positioned to reach young learners with innovative and captivating educational content that builds foundational skills for financial capability, active citizenship, and sustainable livelihoods. These practitioners should work actively with policymakers to ensure that financial, social and livelihoods educational content is integrated into national curricula so that a greater number of young people can be reached in a systematic and sustainable manner.

CYFI believes that the Global Poverty Challenge publication provides a valuable resource for both practitioners and policy makers eager to solve the issue of child poverty through financial inclusion and education that enhances financial capability and economic empowerment.

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nimbl – the future of financial inclusion through fintech

In a recent survey of 6,000 parents in the UK, 7 in 10 agreed that their children do not understand the value of money in the way that they did when they were the same age. The survey, commissioned by nimbl, the prepaid MasterCard® debit card and smartphone app for children aged 8-18, found that 80% of parents believe that children spend money too easily. 2 in 3 parents also believe that the growth of digital money makes it harder for children to learn about spending.

Created by the founder of ParentPay, Clint Wilson, nimbl was launched to address these concerns by encouraging financial awareness and independence amongst young people.

nimbl allows 8-18 year olds to keep track of how much they have spent and where, on their prepaid, contactless MasterCard® debit card.

With the nimbl app, parents have their own account that manages and controls their child’s nimbl card with notifications and alerts to allow them to track their child’s spending in real time. They can make one-off transfers to their child’s account or choose regular weekly or monthly pocket money or allowances, set up weekly or monthly spending limits and view online statements to help guide their child’s financial decisions.

Using the web and mobile app, the child can keep track of money coming in, what they’ve spent, and how much they’ve saved. Friends and family can also be involved in the child’s financial journey and send money easily via a secure gift link.

nimbl aims to create carefully controlled conditions that help young people to understand the value of money and enable them to grow up as financially responsible adults.

Supporting the financial inclusion of young people

nimbl is part of a working group, collaborating with CYFI, MasterCard® and a range of other partners, seeking to make financial products safer for young people. The working group is developing a set of principles to guide the development of financial products and services by the private sector.

Paving the way for the future of child and youth-friendly e-banking, nimbl is an excellent example of how fintech can educate and include young people safely and securely. Whilst still under the protection of their parents, children are empowered and gain financial confidence for the future.

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G20 High-level principles for digital financial inclusion have been endorsed!

Under the leadership of the Chinese G20 Presidency, the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) developed a new set of High-Level Principles (HLPs) that encourage governments to promote a digital approach to financial inclusion.

HLPs are a catalyst for country-level action by G20 Leaders and their governments to drive financial inclusion using digital technologies. Youth are recognized as one of the under-served groups for which efforts should be step up in order to increase their access to appropriate digital financial services.

The new Principles complement the 2010 G20 Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion, which were critical in drawing global attention to the issue of financial inclusion and spurring initial policy actions. These 2016 Principles build on that success and reflect significant developments that have occurred over the past six years in terms of:
    1.technological innovations in digital financial services,
    2. availability of new G20-blessed and international standard-setting bodies’ standards and guidance,
    3. enhanced electronic data quality and availability,
    4. growing awareness of the critical importance of infrastructure, standards, and conducive regulations beyond the financial sector for financial inclusion.
Under the leadership of the Chinese G20 Presidency, the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) developed a new set of High-Level Principles (HLPs) that encourage governments to promote a digital approach to financial inclusion. HLPs are a catalyst for country-level action by G20 Leaders and their governments to drive financial inclusion using digital technologies. Youth are recognized as one of the under-served groups for which efforts should be step up in order to increase their access to appropriate digital financial services.

CYFI, as affiliated partner of the GPFI, has been part of the technical team and is proud to see that the youth segment is more and more recognized as an essential one to serve and keep in mind for the stakeholders!

Learn more about the HLPs for digital financial inclusion.

CYFI is looking forward to continue this important stream of work and its implementation at country level under the German G20 Presidency and would like to congratulate the G20 Chinese presidency for the great achievements.

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CYFI conducts workshop on active learning methods in Moldova

CYFI, together with its project partner the Institute of Educational Sciences of Moldova, held a Training in the field of financial education on implementing effective financial education and financial inclusion programs between the 23 -26 August 2016. The workshop took place at the Institute of Educational Science of Moldova and saw the participation of more than 25 teachers and representatives of the civil society organizations interested in implementing financial education and inclusion projects in the Republic of Moldova.

The current training focused on empowering teachers on delivering financial education using active learning methods. It provided the participants with a standard 14-hour educational module which can be used by the project partners involved in the implementation of the SchoolBank project. The training was delivered by CYFI staff and international consultant Paul Moclair on behalf of partner organization Aflatoun, as well as local experts from the Institute of Educational Sciences. They discussed the possibility of implementing financial education in the Moldovan national curricula as cross-curricular subject.

The workshop had the following objectives:

  • To present the concept of an integrated approach to financial education to local stakeholders;
  • To introduce the concept of Schoolbank and its various implementation options;
  • Discuss the existing financial education programs for children and youth in Moldova and the three ways to integrated financial education in the Moldovan schools: as cross-curricular subject, as a stand-alone subject under the social and financial education course, as an extra-curricular activity;
  • Discuss collaboration and further action plans for the implementation of financial inclusion and financial education programs for youth in Moldova.

Following the training, it is expected that more than five schools in the country will implement the educational materials provided. The workshop was conducted as part of the implementation of the Schoolbank pilot in the Republic of Moldova. It was supported by the European Fund for South East Europe, and in the framework of the project CYFI is implementing with its project partners from 9 countries within the ‘Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership (V4EaP) Program - Flagship Projects’- "Transferring the experience of the Visegrad countries in the Eastern Partnership countries and the development of capacity and technical expertise in the field of financial education for children and youth", supported by International Visegrad Fund.

CYFI would like to thank the project partner the Institute of Educational Science of Moldova for its continuous support and collaboration in the implementation of projects aimed at enhancing the financial literacy of children and youth in the country.

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Workshop on active learning methods and product development workshop for child and youth friendly banking products in Azerbaijan

CYFI, together with its project partner Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Reliable Youth Future NGO, held a seminar in Baku on 29 – 31 August on active learning methods for financial education and access to basic financial services for young people in Azerbaijan.

The workshop took place at the Training Center of Access Bank and saw the participation of 20 representatives of the banking sector, financial regulatory and educational authorities and civil society sector representatives.

The workshop had the following objectives:

  • To train trainers engaged in the delivery of financial education programs on active learning methods for financial education;
  • To present the concept of an integrated approach to financial education to local stakeholders in Azerbaijan;
  • To introduce the concept of SchoolBank and its various implementation options;
  • Discuss the existing financial education programs for children and youth in Azerbaijan and the project partner presentation of updates on their program (Reliable Youth Future NGO);

The first two days of the seminar focused on active learning methods. Participants enjoyed learning how financial education can be delivered in an innovative and fun manner. These methods can be applied not only to children and youth programs but also to adults in any contexts. During the third day of the seminar, CYFI presented parts of its Product Development Workshop module, including business and CSR case for financial institutions, and discussed various technological and innovative solutions for Azerbaijani FSPs to start investing in savings programs for youth. The workshop was conducted by CYFI Head of Network Advisory Services Bianca Isaincu.

The workshop was conducted as part of the project CYFI is implementing with its project partners from 9 countries within the ‘Visegrad 4 Eastern Partnership (V4EaP) Program - Flagship Projects’- "Transferring the experience of the Visegrad countries in the Eastern Partnership countries and the development of capacity and technical expertise in the field of financial education for children and youth", supported by International Visegrad Fund.

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KIESA, ICK and Ye! Join Hands in Boosting Young Entrepreneurs

On September 9, 2016 eight emerging young Kosovo entrepreneur stars pitched their business ideas to policy makers, angel investors, financial sector representatives and successful entrepreneurs during a high-level pitching event hosted by the Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency (KIESA). At the event, Mrina Godanca from “Architecture for Humans”, won the “Ye! Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Prize. The 2nd place goes to Mendim Avdyli (Sumthesun) and 3rd place to Lum Kryeziu (Spartments). The two entrepreneurs received interest-free loans provided by TEB Bank to further develop their business ideas.

Bringing awareness to the young rising stars of entrepreneurship

The pitching event is a feature event which marks the closing of the week-long Ye! BoostCamp in Kosovo, an entrepreneurship training event for 17 young entrepreneurs from Kosovo. Held at the Innovations Centre Kosovo the event was attended by key stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem– policy makers, international development organizations, angel investors and successful entrepreneurs. The event provided a platform for the young entrepreneur participants to showcase their business ideas, receive feedback and seek seed capital.

Mr. Besian Mustafa, General Director of KIESA, opened the final pitching event with a welcome speech on behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Kosovo. Ms. Venera Hoxha, Senior Investment Officer from Finance in Motion, also shared a message to the participants and guests on behalf of the European Fund for Southeast Europe, the funder of the Ye! Boost Programs. Ms. Hoxha expressed that the European Fund for Southeast Europe Development Facility will continue to expand its support of youth employment and entrepreneurship in the EFSE countries and the development of quality financial support via the financial sectors.

Eight young entrepreneurs selected from the youth participants of the BoostCamp pitched their ideas at the event. These vibrant youths are all working on ideas addressing critical issues faced by their community. Among them are Besart Kunushevci (Platforma Akademia), Armend Alshiqi (Dekorime nga Dora Ime), Lum Kryeziu (Spartments), Trëndelinë Gërguri (Login Texas), Mendim Avdyli (Sumthesun), Vesa Broqi (Gjurmet), Mrina Godanca (Architecture for Humans), Drilon Balaj. Their ideas were evaluated and challenged by a panel of jury members that are represented by policy makers, angel investors, financiers and successful entrepreneurs: Mr. Besian Mustafa (General Director, KIESA), Leutrim Blakaj (Executive Chairman & Founder, Highlight Ventures), Besian Demiri (Manager of Small Business Department, TEB Bank) and Dardan Gërguri (Banka për Biznes).

The jury selected Mrina Godanca from “Architecture for Humans”, a startup that makes custom-designed furniture for people with disabilities, to receive the “Ye! Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Prize awarded by KIESA and the Ye! Community. Mrina also received a cash prize of 1,500 Euro sponsored by TEB Bank. Mendim Avdyli, the entrepreneur behind Sumthesun – a startup with the ambition to help US households adopt solar energy received the 2nd place and the “Best Pitch” award. He received an interest-free loans of 5,000 Euro from TEB Bank and a cash reward from Banka për Biznes. The entrepreneur of a student housing online platform, Lum Kryeziu won the 3rd place and an interest-free loan of 3,000 Euro from TEB Bank.

All participants will receive six-month mentoring provided by experienced professionals both from Kosovo and Ye!’s international network.

About Ye! Boost Program

The Ye! Boost Program is an entrepreneurship capacity building program targeting early-stage young entrepreneurs. The program provides training, networking and coaching opportunities for entrepreneurs (16~30 years old). In 2016, the Ye! Boost Programs are implemented in Turkey, Kosovo and Ukraine, with the sponsorship and support of the European Fund for Southeast Europe. In Kosovo, the Boost Program is partnered with Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK), Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency (KIESA), TEB Bank and Banka për Biznes (BPB).

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CYFI Network Stars: Tom Okot

This month's CYFI Network Star is Tom Okot, a young entrepreneur who has created positive social impact as part of his work around farming reform!

Tom Okot was born in Uganda during a time of political turmoil and instability. He fled to Kampala, the capital, as a refugee, but remained positive and optimistic and refused to lose sight of his dreams. He is currently living and studying in Costa Rica. His passions include adventure, traveling, and storytelling through art, design and humor, and he studied civil engineering, construction management.

Tom is currently a young Ugandan's Costa Rica mission and advocator for the United Nations sustainable development goals agenda for 2030. He is also active member of the United Nations Academic Impact.

Tom is a co-founder of the UNEGA integrated farm with a vision to be a model integrated farm that is a leading supplier of quality agricultural products in East Africa, and is committed to innovation and implementation of sustainable modern farming practices.

Having lived in Costa Rica for the past 2 years, Tom has had the opportunity to learn about different cultures and languages, in addition to developing alternative approaches in developing countries and exchanging and sharing cultural differences.

Read more about Tom's work here!
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Fiji releases their 2016-2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategic Plan

The Reserve Bank of Fiji and the country’s National Financial Inclusion Taskforce has unveiled their 2016-2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategic Plan. This plan is a follow-up to their first national strategy 2010-2014, wherein the country has been able to successfully integrate Financial Education (FinEd) into the national curriculum for primary and secondary students.

The new strategy has a total of seven priorities that it aims to address, one of which is the empowerment of women, youth and those living with disabilities. Other priorities identified in the strategy are: financial Infrastructure; digital finance; services and products; financial literacy and consumer protection; public/private sector partnership; and data measurement.

In addition to identifying youth as a key priority, one of the concrete targets in the strategy’s overall national goals is to increase the percentage of youth accounts with formal financial institutions from 51% to 80% by the year 2020.

View the online version of Fiji’s 2016-2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategic Plan.
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Advancing Economic Citizenship for Youth alongside Trade and Development

Financial inclusion, financial capability and sustainable livelihoods are essential components of full economic citizenship, contributing to economic development within and between nations. CYFI works with key UN agencies, such as UNCTAD and UNCDF, to promote full economic citizenship for children and youth through government agencies, private enterprise and civil society.

CYFI recently took part in the 14th UNCTAD Conference held July 17-22nd in Nairobi, Kenya. This was to ensure that full economic citizenship for children and youth, particularly through integrated financial and educational services, along with support to young entrepreneurs, were addressed during the Conference’s World Invest Forum and Youth Forum.

CYFI also presented on a Youth Forum panel chaired by UNCDF on the challenges and opportunities of youth financial services and youth friendly banking regulation. Interest was generated for CYFI’s model of SchoolBanking with a number of country opportunities emerging for CYFI to further integrated financial and educational services through a collaborative efforts between government authorities, financial institutions and education providers.

Supporting Young Entrepreneurs

As part of the Youth Forum, CYFI and UNCTAD co-hosted a workshop and pitching event for young entrepreneurs in the Empretec and Ye! Programs. This allowed may Empretec and Ye! Members to gain valuable experience in presenting their business plans to potential investors and communicating effectively about the value proposition of their enterprise.

CYFI’s Ye! Platform has been active in Kenya, establishing a local Ye! Ambassador and increasing the ranks of local Ye! members with exciting and innovative business ventures. CYFI will build on the momentum generated through this event to further expand the Ye! Community in Kenya while providing greater support to its members through training, information and professional networking.

UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Youth, Ahmed Alhendawi, presented Ye! Member Ifrah Mohammed with the Ye! Youth Entrepreneurship Award for Kenya. CYFI also used the event to kickstart the application process for the Global Youth Entrepreneur Award, which is now open to young entrepreneurs throughout the global Ye Community.

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