Impact of Integrated Financial Services for Young People in Ecuador: A Comprehensive Research Report for the Freedom from Hunger Advancing Integrated Microfinance for Youth Project

Introduction

Freedom from Hunger collaborated with two Ecuadorian credit unions, San Jose and Cooprogreso, to test the effectiveness of the Advancing Integrated Microfinance for Youth (AIM Youth) initiative which combined financial education and youth individual savings account services for youth. The results found that youth who participated in AIM Youth were more likely to report having savings in general, to report higher amounts in general savings and emergency savings, were more likely to be satisfied with their savings amounts, were more motivated to save, and were less likely to feel less stressed about covering educational and household expenses. Early adopters to the youth individual savings accounts were youth whose parents were already members of the credit unions. Girls and boys alike were able to open savings accounts and maintain similar amounts in total savings. To ensure youth stay engaged and continue to grow their savings, beyond providing access to a savings account and financial education sessions, additional “experiences” and touch-points with the youth have to be built into the product and service design.