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NEW DATA: Teens in Poor Nations Seek to Save More Money For the Future

New Research Explains Savings Habits of Young People in Developing Nations
Published:   July 26, 2012

Washington, DC — Teens in poor nations want to save larger amounts of money over the long-term in secure places to pay for their education or to start a small business, which can be used to bump them up into a better set of opportunities, according to a new research released today from the YouthSave Initiative.

The Initiative — led by Save the Children in partnership with the New America Foundation’s Global Assets Project, the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) — released six papers today detailing how teens in poor countries, an often-ignored but potentially lucrative market segment, can benefit from developing formal savings habits early on in order to get out of poverty and on a path to financial independence.

The papers will be presented at an event at 2 p.m. today at the New America Foundation. For more information, to RSVP, or to watch the live webcast, please click here.

“Contrary to popular belief, the latest data coming out of YouthSave tell us that youth – a massive and vulnerable segment we have been ignoring for so long – have money and want to use it wisely," said Jamie Zimmerman, director of the Global Assets Project at the New America Foundation. "We now face an incredible opportunity to create the access and tools necessary to enable positive financial behaviors and, ultimately, sound financial futures for the next generation of productive citizens."

Key findings from the six papers include:

Teens in poor nations have small amounts of money they are routinely saving, but many would like a more secure place to put the funds.
“What Do Youth Savers Want? Results From Market Research in Four Countries” — Save the Children

A case study in Ghana shows most teens save informally, but only 3 percent had saved with a bank or MFI.
 “Youth saving patterns and performance in Ghana” — The Center for Social Development

Helping youth create savings habits early in life can help them build assets to finance their future economic needs and give them a more hopeful outlook on life.
“Creating Creatures of Habit: Nudging Saving in Youth” — Global Assets Project, New America Foundation

Youth savings offer a new and unique opportunity for policymakers to promote asset building and increase the gross savings rate, and a potential avenue for financial service providers to gain lifetime customers.
“Emerging Perspectives on Youth Savings” — CGAP (available by request)

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Clara Hogan.

About YouthSave
Supported by The MasterCard Foundation, YouthSave investigates the potential of savings accounts as a tool for youth development and financial inclusion in developing countries, by co-creating tailored, savings products with local financial institutions and assessing their performance and development outcomes with local researchers. The project is an initiative of the YouthSave Consortium, led by Save the Children in partnership with the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, the New America Foundation, and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).