Advancing Integrated Microfinance for Youth (AIM Youth) in Ecuador and Mali: Final Project Research Brief

Abstract

Responding to the opportunity to build the financial capability of a future generation of money managers and clients of financial service providers, Freedom from Hunger, a recognized expert in integrated[i] financial and non-financial services for the chronically hungry poor, launched the Advancing Integrated Microfinance for Youth (AIM Youth) initiative in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation in December 2009. As of December 2013,  39,439 youth in Mali and Ecuador—exceeding the goal of reaching 37,000 youth—had received financial education sessions and had access to savings mechanisms either in the form of formal savings accounts, non-formal group-based savings, or group-based savings linked to savings accounts.
 
This research brief will summarize the key findings from both the Mali and Ecuador research, focusing primarily on savings knowledge, attitudes, practices, and outcomes, such as amounts saved generally and for emergencies, and will share important insights into the ability of integrated financial services to build the financial capability of youth. The intended audience for this paper includes financial-service providers, technical assistance providers, and donors interested in learning more about how youth interact with integrated financial services.