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The Role of Parents and Families in Youth Financial Inclusion Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

The Role of Parents and Families in Youth Financial Inclusion

The Role of Parents and Families in Youth Financial Inclusion

Summary

The United Nations Population Fund reports that there are 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24, with 89 percent of them residing in less-developed countries (2014). In Sub-Saharan Africa, minors often account for more than 50 percent of a country’s population. Moreover, by 2050, the world’s population will increase by 2 billion, an increase of 28 percent, all of whom will require access to health and education services, and eventually to jobs and self-employment opportunities. With appropriate knowledge and tools, youth can be financially empowered to access economic opportunities in a sustainable manner. Although they represent a large potential market, the integration of youth into the formal financial system is still a relatively new concept in many countries. Access is limited by a lack of financial education, restrictive government policies, inadequate financial products, and limited awareness among Financial Service Providers (FSPs) of how to include youth in their portfolios.

This brief provides an overview on the role of parents and families in building youth financial inclusion and explores the dynamics occurring within the household, taking into account parents, caretakers, and other household members, in order to better understand what is known about the interplay between adults and the young people within their mutual sphere of influence. Further, recommendations and examples are provided from programs that are attempting to leverage these dynamics to create greater impact in order to frame discourse on areas for further exploration. References are drawn from practitioners operating throughout the developing world.


This paper is one in a series of four Promising Practices Briefs written and commissioned by the SEEP Network’s Youth and Financial Services Working Group. These documents explore innovations and address operational issues in the promotion of effective financial services for youth. Topics were selected during a series of consultations held with Working Group members in January 2015.

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