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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems


Designing Loans for Youth: Lessons Learned from Market Research to Pilot

Sep 9, 2014 (Tue), 10:00am-11:00am (US EDT)

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According to the World Bank, the MENA region suffers from one of the highest rates of financial exclusion in the world. The situation in Morocco, where only 4.3% of adults have received a loan from a financial institution in 2012, is particularly dire. Youth are disproportionally affected by obstacles to finance. Thus, only a minority of them are able to access credit in order to create or develop their business, support their families and ensure a better future for themselves and their loved ones.

Over a six-year project, supported by MasterCard Foundation, MEDA designed and developed an approach to address this gap and to lead to youth financial inclusion. Working with three leading Moroccan microfinance institutions, MEDA and partners began the product development journey from market research to pilot. This webinar will present the results from market research to the design of prototypes of three credit products with a closing reflection on lessons MEDA would like to share with other practitioners in the field of financial inclusion.

This is the third installment of the Understanding Youth and their Financial Needs webinar series organized by SEEP’s Youth and Financial Services Working Group.




Elena Mizrokhi - Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, MEDA

Elena Mizrokhi is the M&E Specialist with MEDA’s YouthInvest project in Morocco. She has been with MEDA for two and a half years, working to support results-based programing decisions and promote project learning through various monitoring tools and evaluation methodologies. Elena has also been providing technical support for a 3ie sponsored impact evaluation of YouthInvest’s “100 Hours to Success” training program. Prior to joining YouthInvest, Elena worked at the UN Headquarters in New York and UNESCO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau in Bangkok. She is currently based in Casablanca.

Nicki Post - Senior Consultant/Project Manager, MEDA

Nicki Post is MEDA’s Senior Consultant/Project Manager for their Youth Economic Opportunities team. Nicki has over 9 years of international development experience with a focus on economic development. With MEDA, Nicki oversees and provides technical support to the 5 year, USAID LENS (Local ENterprise Support) project in Jordan, this initiative supports access to finance for up and coming MSEs (Micro, Small Entrepreneurs) in 4 governates. She also managed MEDA’s six-year flag-ship financial inclusion project, YouthInvest, a training and technical assistance program for innovative financial and non-financial services for youth in Morocco and Egypt. Building on this model, Nicki manages the youth and gender financial and non-financial service work on the Themar project in Yemen. Prior to her work at MEDA, Nicki worked with Freedom from Hunger as a Technical Advisor, designing, developing and implementing financial education for MFIs and NGOs throughout West Africa and Southeast Asia. Nicki’s experience in economic development also focused on savings group methodologies (Saving for Change), savings product development and utilizing mobile phones as alternate education delivery mechanism. Nicki’s work with the International Monetary Fund and as a United States Peace Corps volunteer award her an array of training and technical assistance experiences as well as overseas experience. She holds an M.S. from New York University in International Economics and Development and a BA from the University of Denver in International Studies. She is fluent in English (native) and French.

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