Implementing Partners



Maria Perdomo
UNCDF Lead Youth Specialist

YouthStart Pilot Programme

YouthStart, a UNCDF programme in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, aimed to reach 200,000 youth in sub-Saharan Africa with demand-driven financial services and non-financial services, in particular savings and financial education, by 2015. The programme came in response to the lack of economic opportunities for the growing population of young people around the world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

By the end of the Programme (2015), YouthStart tripled its targets reaching more than 635,000 youth with financial and non-financial services.

What have we done?

UNCDF has provided financial support and technical assistance to ten financial providers (FSP) in eight countries to to design, develop and scale up financial and non-financial services tailored to youth needs.

In Uganda, UNCDF has partnered with Finance Trust Bank and FINCA Uganda for its youth portfolio.

Through YouthStart, UNCDF has gained a deeper understanding of a) the types of financial services that best meet the needs of youth according to their socio-economic context and developmental stages, b) the business models that FSPs can use to deliver financial education to youth, c) the business case for youth financial services; d) the types of trainings and tools necessary for FSPs to gain a better understanding of the youth market; and, e) the changes needed in the policy and regulatory environment to increase access to financial services for youth.

See what UNCDF wants to do in its expansion phase for youth under the new UNCDF Leaving no one behind in the digital era Strategy. Click here.


In 2017, UNCDF wanted to explore how technology could be a more efficient delivery channel for non-financial services to complement existing financial service packages offered to young women and adolescent girls. UNCDF has therefore partnered with Every1Mobile (E1M) and Finance Trust Bank to develop and pilot a mobile interactive application to train adolescent girls in critical topics related to reproductive health and financial education, with the final aspiration to economically empower those girls. TrustGirls is the FTB platform for a community of more than 2,000 Ugandan girls that have access to courses designed to help them understand the link between financial independence and their sexual and reproductive health and can share and receive advices from their peers.

FACTS AND FIGURES from youth in uganda (findex)


Had an account at FI
(ages: 15-24)


Saved at FSPs
(ages: 15-24)


Borrowed from FI (ages: 15-24)


Had a mobile account

Access to Finance


Acces to Jobs

Finance Literacy



Youth clients


Youth savings (USD)


Youth received financial education

Stories from the Field

our partners

Dakar, Senegal

Maria Perdomo
Youth Finance Global Specialist

Ata Cisse
Youth Finance Regional Specialist

Arianna Gasparri
Youth Finance Advisor