YouthStart is a program implemented by UNCDF, aimed at fostering financial inclusion among young people (aged 12‐24) in eight Sub‐ Saharan countries, namely Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Uganda. The program run from July 2010 to December 2014, with an extension up to December 2015 for two countries (Malawi and Togo).
YouthStart resources amount at 11.9 million USD, provided by the MasterCard Foundation. The final evaluation of the program has been conducted by Microfinanza srl, partnering with Microfinanza Rating, engaging a team of 7 experts from January to July 2015. The Consultant analyzed project documents, the interim evaluation report and other specific studies, and visited 6 out of 8 countries (all but Senegal and Togo) and 8 out of 10 FSPs, evaluating activities and results from the begin of the program up to December 31st, 2014.
YouthStart proposed a specific pilot approach, starting from the assumption that, with a significant increase in the offer of financial (mainly savings) and non‐financial (mainly financial education) services particularly targeted to young people, the financial inclusion of this specific segment of the population would increase. The problem of access to financial services is thus overcome, in the logic of the project, by addressing lack of offer of dedicated services.