Changing Mindsets on Youth, Opportunity and Financial Services

03 May 2013

With an estimated 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24, the vast majority of them living in developing countries, youth are both a policy and political priority for many countries around the world. These numbers represent major development challenges, but also great opportunity.

Youth are particularly vulnerable to economic problems. They often do not have access to savings accounts, credit, or insurance due to lack of education and employment. Governments are aware of this and many are working to make it easier for young people to access financial services so they can transition smoothly into adulthood.

At a recent roundtable convened by CGAP, policy makers from eight countries discussed the role of financial services as part of their strategies for youth development. The participants, representing a range of different government departments including ministries of Education, Finance, Youth and Sport, as well as Central Banks, agreed that youth finance represents a largely untapped opportunity to address social issues in their countries.

Governments have an important role of changing the mindset of banks from viewing youth as a risk to viewing youth as an opportunity. “They are your future customers, future citizens,” said CGAP’s Tanaya Kilara. “Everything you do with youth has higher returns in the long term.”

Watch this video of the policy makers answering the question, “Why youth financial services?”

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Additional in-depth video interviews with the participants are also available on CGAP's YouTube channel.

More information on youth financial services on

Silatech-CGAP Workshop Calls for Expanding Financing for Youth
Emerging Perspectives on Youth Savings
What Role for Finance in a Youthful World?
Linking Youth Transitions to Financial Services