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Young people matter: A case study from FCMB in Nigeria

Young people matter: A case study from FCMB in Nigeria

​​​​​​​​​​Scale2Save partner empowers youth through financial education programme​


 >> The incredible journey of #FCMBFlexxterns

 >> Sights and sounds from the #FCMBFlexxtern 'Meet and Greet'​

 >> Dare2Dream Kinabuti Talenthunt, Benin​

 >> About Scale2Save




BRUSSELS, 12 August 2020 — ​​​​​​​​Nigeria can best be described demographically as a youth country, with a rich culture of young people who are agile and highly ambitious, however, that youthful population faces a lot of financial insecurity, expensive educational degrees, and unemployment. Given this, FCMB saw vast opportunities with this population and, developed in 2016 the “Flexx” programme. The goal was to make financial matters – and understanding concepts around them – as interesting as possible, addressing the uncertainties of the future with a sound financial and investment knowledge that will impact people’s futures.


Younger​ market grows in importance:

A report published in 2018 by EFINA, a financial sector development organisation,  shows that the youth segment defined by them –  between the age of 18-35 – numbered 56.7 million, with only 21.5 million having a bank account. That means 62% had no bank account and 38.7% were financially excluded. FCMB knows this youth segment cannot be ignored, and aim to attract young people to FCMB.

FCMB's Executive Director, Retail Banking, Mr Olu Akanmu said: “It's always best to keep up with the times by targeting a younger, more technologically savvy demographic that can bring many benefits to FCMB. Those benefits include an active drive for innovation, the "humanisation" of banking procedures and operations and the goodwill of a growing market."​ ​​

Image: Dare2Dream Kinabuti Talenthun event in Benin City​​

​Teenagers and young adults: 

The “future" looking someday for a place to bank their money 

Teenagers and youth adults today, but eventually, they become valuable and active members of the economy and digital world. To be able to attract them to FCMB, the microfinance bank had to come up with the “Flexx" programme that presents the bank in the right way, with a youthful brand identity and by taking part in driving financial Inclusion by becoming a more friendly and accessible bank.

To succeed in a market that will be dominated by Millennials and Gen Z-ers, FCMB had to be more "sociable" and seen as approachable. Knowing this group of people were digital natives, FCMB had to go in deep and meet them on their turf – in cyberspace.​​


Youth understand the value of money, will try to save it

Gaining consciousness just at the time when the financial crisis struck, and seeing the effects of the economic downturn everywhere – loss of jobs and university degrees hanging in the balance – money became a prime concern for this generation of FCMB customers. We have the unique opportunity to help reach out and be seen as a "partner" to help them navigate through the financial woes. 

Image: FCMB Flexxtern Meet and Greet.​


First in addressing the needs of financial inclusion we had to remove the barriers to entry and opening a bank account, this we developed the Easy Account which enables the youth to have a basic entry bank account with just their mobile phone number (>>See related video), then we had to ensure the youths understand simple money matters by creating a digital savings platform that enables them to save towards a goal and plan on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The aim is to let them inculcate a healthy savings and investment habit. And lastly, a digital zone was created to constantly keep them engage with contents that are germane to them.


Youths have pushed FCMB to innovate ahead of competitors

FCMB have been catering to the youths who are more technology-proficient than their predecessors, through various digital engagement which include the following:

  • Flexx zone with over 130,000 visits and Flexx Mobile App with 17,329 users.

  • Dare to Dream talent hunt in 10 campuses and over 15,000 participants in the three-year span.

  • Flexx your creativity that had close to 20,000 digital reaches; this was a digital showcasing of their creative art.

  • Flexxtern in partnership with Lagos State Government, corporate and SMEs, providing internship opportunities to youth in structured organisations.

  • YEEP- Youth Entrepreneurship Programme for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), with the participation of over 20,000 corps members in the last two years.

  • Youth Entrepreneurship Masterclass which has provided the opportunity for young entrepreneurship to acquire more knowledge and mentorship in various field.

  • National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp engagement in at least 20 states for the last four years reaching more than 300,0000 corps members in orientation camps.

  • Weekly campus activation to engage young people in different institution of learning on the need to save during and after school. This provides an opportunity for financial inclusion and enlightenment.


Image: FCMB meet with young people who are contestants in a youth competition ​


Scale2Save, partners celebrate International Youth Day
International Youth Day on 12 August presents an opportunity for Scale2Save partners like FCMB in Nigeria to showcase their stories. That includes how partners serve and empower youth and young people through their projects. Project partner share stories from real people who benefit from their efforts to raise awareness around the need to mobilise savings among – and strengthen the resilience of – low-income populations, which includes financially excluded youth and young people.

The campaign matters because interest exists within governments, NGOs and international bodies to learn more about how financial institutions address the needs of youth, young people and young adults. For example, financial inclusion features in eight of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. This year's International Youth Day theme, “Youth Engagement for Global Action", seeks to highlight ways in which engagement of young people at local, national and global levels enriches national and multilateral institutions and processes, the UN says. It also draws lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be boosted.


WSBI, Scale2Save and youth research

WSBI's Scale2Save programme conducts research on youth and young people in Africa. To learn more visit the Scale2Save website.

>> Learn more about Scale2Save | >> See UN International Youth Day 2020 site | >> See Scale2Save Youth research





Scale2Save; Microcredit; Microfinance; Financial inclusion; Financial education