Child & Youth Finance International, which is leading a collaborative, global movement to increase financial access and financial education for children and youth, visited today the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square. In honor of the occasion, Jeroo Billimoria, Managing director of Child and Youth Finance International, and Mr. Marc Bichler, UNCDF Executive Secretary attended the event.
Mr. Marc Bichler joined Jeroo Billmoria to ring the NASDAQ bell and stressed the importance of increasing access to financial services for low-income youth.
"Given UNCDF’s focus on the more vulnerable segments of society, given the youth demographics of 1.2 billion youth and growing, and given the preponderance youth amongst those excluded from the financial sector, focusing on youth seemed like the right thing to do. UNCDF launched YouthStart in 2010, an initiative initially focused on Africa to design, test and scale up financial sustainable services tailored to the needs of young people and linked to financial education," said Bichler.
"Thus far YouthStart has supported ten financial services providers in seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of our partners at the country level, have developed programmes that offer youth the possibility to open and manage independently a savings account, loans and financial or entrepreneurship education. This “package” of services is helping youth to open and operate their own business. Through the pilots of this program, UNCDF’s partners have opened savings accounts to almost 120,000 youth and have delivered financial education to almost 60,000."
This marks the closing of the first International Child and Youth Finance Week which was celebrated by national partners in 26 countries from March 15th - 21st. By working with global partners worldwide, the movement calls for global collaborations to ensure that children believe in themselves, are able to make responsible financial decisions and are given the opportunity to open and operate their own savings accounts in banks, thus fostering financially responsible and protected generations.
- Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), is leading a global movement with over 100 partners in over 80 countries to ensure that all children and youth understand money, learn to save, build their self-confidence and further the economic rights, skills and opportunities for all children and youth. Having reached its first 18 million children through its network, the Movement is moving towards reaching its first goal of 100 million children in 100 countries by 2015. CYFI have been recognized among the world's top 100 NGOs and is providing social and financial education to over 1 million children in 83 countries.
- The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. is the world's largest exchange company. It delivers trading, exchange technology and public company services across six continents, with more than 3,600 listed companies. NASDAQ OMX offers multiple capital raising solutions to companies around the globe. The company offers trading across multiple asset classes including equities, derivatives, debt, commodities, structured products and exchange-traded funds. NASDAQ OMX technology supports the operations of over 70 exchanges, clearing organizations and central securities depositories in more than 50 countries.
- UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 49 least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their small businesses by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. It provides seed capital – grants and loans – and technical support to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses, and local governments in Africa and Asia finance the capital investments – water systems, feeder roads, schools, irrigation schemes – that will improve poor peoples’ lives.