Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. As one of the largest, independent foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion in order to alleviate poverty. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org or follow us on Twitter @MCFoundation.
The Advancing Integrated Microfinance (AIM) for Youth initiative aims to develop, test and document innovations in the integration of financial services and education for young Senegalese ages 13 to 24. The project goal is to improve the capacity of youth living in poverty to access and use financial services as a way to enhance their future economic opportunities. In partnership with Tostan in Senegal—presented in greater detail below—Freedom from Hunger is working to offer integrated financial services to these young people.
"Youth" do not represent a uniform group of people whose needs can be met with one standard approach. Cultural differences, stage in lifecycle, and availability and access to local resources are all determinants of what financial needs youth have as well as how those needs can be met. To ensure that education is locally relevant, retained and applied, and that financial services are appropriate and operationally viable, Freedom from Hunger and its partner, Tostan, worked together to design and implement this market research study in Senegal. The market research also paid special attention to the risks and vulnerabilities youth face in specific contexts, thereby ensuring that these integrated services are provided in a safe environment.