UNCDF-MasterCard Foundation YouthStart initiative

Spur innovation and delivery of microfinance for youth in Africa.

UNCDF-MasterCard Foundation YouthStart initiative

YouthStart, a UNCDF initiative established in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, aims to increase access to financial services for low-income youth in sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on savings and financial education. The programme helps to design, test and scale up sustainable services tailored to the needs of young people, while helping to create an enabling regulatory environment for young people to access the right financial and other services they need to make sound financial decisions, build a strong asset base, and create sustainable livelihoods for themselves.

In June 2014, six months before the end of the four-year programme, approximately 411,000 youth (45% young women and girls) were saving either in the form of an individual savings account or through 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. Check the programmes publications to learn more about Youth Finance.


  • United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)

    Funding Agencies
    United States | Staff size: Unknown

    The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes investments in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

    Established in 1966 as a special purpose fund of the United Nations, UNCDF...

  • MasterCard Foundation

    United States | Staff size: 51-100

    The MasterCard Foundation is an independent foundation based in Toronto, Canada with $10 billion in assets. Their vision is to create the opportunity for all to learn and prosper. They promote...

More Resources

Key Information

LocationCentral Africa, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Togo, Senegal, Rwanda, Malawi, Ethiopia, Congo, The Democratic Republic of
  • Start Date 2010
  • End Date 2015
  • ValueUSD 12 Million