YouthStart, a UNCDF programme in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, is currently active in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Uganda. YouthStart has supported 10 financial service providers to develop, test and scale up demand-driven and responsible financial and complementary non-financial services to youth. As of June 2014, six months before the end of the 4-year programme, approximately 411,000 youth (45 percent young women and girls) were saving either through an individual savings account or a group-based savings mechanism; close to 60,000 had received an individual or a group loan to start up or expand their own business; and, 388,365 had participated in financial education sessions. For more information, visit www.uncdf.org/YouthStart/
UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their small businesses by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis. It provides seed capital – grants and loans – and technical support to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses, and local governments finance the capital investments – water systems, feeder roads, schools, irrigation schemes – that will improve poor peoples’ lives. UNCDF programmes help to empower women, and are designed to catalyze larger capital flows from the private sector, national governments and development partners, for maximum impact toward the Millennium Development Goals. For more information, visit www.uncdf.org.
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada, with more than $9 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 46 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is a separate and independent entity. The policies, operations, and funding decisions of the Foundation are determined by its own Board of Directors and President and CEO. To learn more about The MasterCard Foundation, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.