UNCDF launched YouthStart in 2010 in response to the lack of opportunities for the growing population of young people around the world, especially in Africa. To improve financial inclusion of youth, UNCDFYouthStart supports strong financial service providers (FSPs) in developing, piloting and rolling out financial products focused on low-income youth -- with a special emphasis on savings -- and nonfinancial services such as financial education. UNCDF-YouthStart aims to reach 200,000 new youth clients (12 to 24 years of age), with at least 50 percent of those being young women and girls, by the end of 2014.
For UNCDF, inclusive finance must be responsible finance. The extent to which inclusive finance can contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly to poverty reduction, depends first on 'doing no harm.' The need for client protection is even more critical when the clients of FSPs are more vulnerable, in particular youth. This technical note is intended to assist FSPs currently serving youth, planning to serve youth, or making improvements to existing services to do so in a way that ensures that youth are protected. The technical note synthesizes adaptations made by UNCDF-YouthStart to the indicators of The Smart Campaign's Client Protection Principles (CPPs) selfassessment tool and draws on the Certification Principles of Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI). This technical note is designed to support FSPs to address the particular characteristics, needs and vulnerabilities of their youth clients.