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Niger, Senegal, and Sierra Leone: Youth Microfinance Project

The Youth Microfinance (YMF) Project aimed to improve the lives and help realize the rights of West African youth, with an overall goal of empowering young people both socially and economically by increasing access to financial services and disseminating knowledge of critical life skills. The main objectives were to: promote asset building through Youth Savings Groups (YSGs); complement financial access with life skills and financial education training to enhance youth’s chances of successful transition into adulthood; and document and share the results of the project.

The project targeted 70,000 youth between the ages of 15 and 25 (at least 70 percent female) forming YSGs in Niger, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. In total, 89,719 young people were formed into 4,150 YSGs in these three West African countries, covering both rural and urban areas. Eighty-four percent of YSG members have been young women.

The MasterCard Foundation
Project Start Date
January 2010
Project End Date
June 2014
Technical Areas Covered
Microfinance and Youth Savings Groups (YSGs)

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