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BRUSSELS, 8 October 2020 – A just-released video from Scale2Save captures a deep dive into the lives of young people and their livelihoods made through self-employment, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 30-minute conversation by financial inclusion experts on recently conducted research around young people and youth in Africa features a case-study exchange with Ehiakhumen Destiny, a university student and budding music producer from Benin City, Nigeria. Destiny shares with the panel researchers how he balances university studies with his quest to become a successful music industry professional.
Experts pose questions to 20-year-old Destiny on different aspects of his daily life, including use of digital banking services for personal and professional use. He tells researchers during the webinar how he starts and finances his music business (04:23). His insights highlight just how much digital channels matter during a pandemic like coronavirus, as young people in Africa navigate their future, how they earn money, spend it, save and grow their business or form a household.
Case analysis follows the interview, with a look at pre-Covid-19 research on young people, starting with analysis of data at micro and macro levels (08:25). The panel then looks at what happens when a shock like Covid-19 happens (09:20). Participants also explore how external shocks can affect gender roles (18:01) as well as financial diaries and intra-family cash flows in times of shocks. (24:30). The video concludes with a talk on capabilities and support needed for youth and young people in a digital age (27:38).
Five experts took part in the webinar: Weselina Angelow, Programme Director, Scale2Save Programme; Guy Stuart, Executive Director, Microfinance Opportunities; Anne Marie van Swinderen, Managing Director, L-IFT; and independent consultants Lise Paaskesen and Stephen Peachey. Research conducted under the Scale2Save programme includes subgroups of young people and youth.
Seminar researchers define mid-teens as 15-17 years of age, youth between 18 to 24, while young adults 25 to 30.
Video featured at Global Youth Economic Opportunities (GYEO) Summit
The Scale2Save-produced video features at this year's GYEO Summit as technical content under the Building a Foundation track. The track focuses on the unique combination of skills that young people need to be resilient and achieve long-term social and economic success in a changing world of work. Focused on effective models and approaches for supporting social and emotional learning in youth, the track includes four concurrent breakout sessions that explore how approaches are being re-thought, accelerated, or applied in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people.
>> See GYEO track
Recent ScaleSave-commissioned research: Youth saving, spending during Covid-19 pandemic
Recent Scale2Save research tracks young people's financial activity in Nigeria, finding that they do not save by spending less, they save by earning more. That finding appears in a NextBillion website guest article that presents new research under the Scale2Save programme that observes spending, earning and savings habits of young people in Nigeria during the Covid-19 pandemic. Written by Mahlet Alemayehu a programme manager at L-IFT, a Scale2Save research partner, she shares how the research tracked 117 young people living in the market town of Uromi and in Benin City to keep record their savings through saving diaries. Data harvested from those diaries as well as interviews with the young people once every week over a three-month period confirmed income-savings relationship. Young people within the study earned from own sources, but also received financial support from family members that ended up spent. The diaries data unpacked the relationship between income, spending, support and saving, to see what young people did with the money they earned and the money they were given.
Research on African young adults, parents & Covid-19
A separate piece of Scale2Save-commissioned research highlights that close family ties can help both young adults and their parents, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Also published on the NextBillion blogsite as part of a three-part series, the research conducted by Microfinance Opportunities' Guy Stuart is titled "Giving and Receiving: Understanding the Financial Flows Between Young People and Their Parents".
Both NextBillion pieces add to a trove of findings from a 45-page study by Scale2Save on young people published in lat e 2019. That research concludes that if banks seek to speed up financial inclusion in Africa, they should focus on young people. That means grasping better how they live as well as their needs to offer them appropriate and tailored services. This conclusion and others appear in the report that explores how three young age groups among the population in Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal manage their income, expenditure, and savings.
Why ScaleSave programme research matters
Scale2Save is a partnership between WSBI and Mastercard Foundation to establish the viability of small-scale savings. The programme commissions studies on youth and young people to understand better the needs of unserved and underserved young people in Western and Northern Africa. Lessons from the studies can help financial institutions, financial inclusion experts from NGOs, intergovernmental organisations and academia, as well as policymakers tackle the challenge of bringing new generations of savers into mainstream savings accounts.
Scale2Save started a journey in 2018 with the research team from L-IFT, Lise Consultancy and Microfinance Opportunities to understand and investigate young people's savings, income and spending behaviour. They conducted research in three Scale2Save project countries – Morocco, Nigeria, and Senegal.
>> Discover: Scale2Save youth research
>> Read: blogpost on Nigeria
>> See: 'Giving and Saving' blogpost