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Promoting financial inclusion among Latin American youth

June 26, 2017

Presenting advances in financial inclusion and education for youth, sharing national and international experiences on the development of products and financial services targeted towards youth, and conducting a collaborative and critical reflection of the rights and responsibilities of youth in the formal economy were topics at the heart of recent workshops in Chile and Peru.

Representatives from banks, civil society, government, and academia attended the workshops, called “Financial capabilities of youth: Reflections on opportunities and barriers for financial inclusion”, in June in Santiago and in Lima. The meetings were organized by the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos through Proyecto Capital, a regional initiative supported by IDRC and the Ford Foundation that is dedicated to improving financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The workshop contributes to Proyecto Capital’s previous youth financial inclusion work such as the virtual financial education platform #PorMiCuenta in Peru, which is geared towards university students who are part of a government scholarship program called “Beca18”. In addition to providing financial training online, the project is also designed to foster the use of mobile money. Through Proyecto Capital, IDRC is supporting an impact evaluation with 1,600 “Beca18” users, and research results will feed into the scaling up phase, which ultimately aims to reach 45,000 users.

Students in Brazil participating in financial training

As part of Proyecto Capital, IDRC-supported Fundación Capital is also harnessing technological innovations to promote financial inclusion and build the financial capabilities of young people. Trainings on how to save and how to use electronic mobile payments were implemented as part of the Colombian national Youth in Action program. In Brazil and Bolivia, online games that teach financial planning and entrepreneurship were piloted for national dissemination.