Over the past several months, YouthStart has been offered several opportunities to share its experience and knowledge with policymakers and FSPs.
For example, this past February, YouthStart conducted a training in Rwanda. The half-day session was part of a workshop organized by MicroLead, another United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) programme.
The 22 MicroLead partners that attended the workshop are all leading technical and financial service providers—BASIX (Bhartiya Samruddhi Investments and Consulting Services Limited), CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere), Fidelity Bank, Opportunity International and WOCCU (World Council of Credit Unions), to name a few—that are working to expand their operations in least developed countries, with a focus on savings and alternative delivery channels.
YouthStart shared the business case for providing financial services to youth with the participants. They were not only keen to learn about the successes of the YouthStart programme but were also very engaged in the discussions, which included contributions from Jules Theoneste Ndahayo from Union des Coopecs Umutanguha (UCU), YouthStart’s partner in Rwanda.
This discussion created an excellent opportunity to present the unique model and products of a YouthStart partner. In their feedback, the majority of participants said the session had made a difference in the way they would approach financial services for youth and eventually develop such services.
Similarly, YouthStart was invited by Access to Finance in Rwanda to conduct a two-day training in Kigali and by the PASMIF (Programme d’appui au secteur de la microfinance) project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to conduct a one-day workshop on youth financial services. These invitations reveal the need of other FSPs in the region for capacity-building around financial services for youth and highlight how UNCDF is filling that gap.