MEDA is partnering with Cuso International to improve financial inclusion for youth in Nigeria. The project titled Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Access and Development (YouLead) works with young women and men in Cross River State, Nigeria.

Following MEDA's detailed institutional assessment of financial sector in Cross River State, five financial inclusion partners were selected for capacity building support. Subsequently, an assessment of Youth Financial Needs was undertaken in May-June 2015. This blog documents the key findings of this assessment.

Why was the assessment needed?

  1. To understand the financial behavior and needs of youth in Cross River State;
  2. To develop and make recommendations for youth oriented products and services; and
  3. To identify capacity building opportunities for the partner microfinance institutions.

How was it done?

A series of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and individual questionnaires with 99 young people (57% male and 43% female) within the18-35 age group.youlead

What did we find?


More specifics include:

High level of formal savings - 90% have accounts:

Desire for products and services:other services products

Strong entrepreneurial culture and desire to start and/or expand business:

Decision Making:

Life Satisfaction:standards of living satisfaction by fender


The current financial services market needs to improve its financial inclusion efforts, as respondents noted they are not satisfied with their current standard of living and see increased products and services as opportunities to improve their conditions. The findings demonstrate a market primed and ready for more financial services and products; to not just start new businesses, but also develop and expand existing businesses.

What are the next steps and recommendations?

Recommendations to the financial service partners include increasing their capacity to serve the growing youth market by putting more resources into developing, modifying and marketing more youth-oriented services and products. As well, adding more non-financial services, such as business development counseling and advisory services, to their offerings. These provide more education and awareness that will result in better business decisions and financially responsible clients. Over the course of this project, MEDA will work with its financial service partners to address these recommendations.

Stay tuned for more interesting updates on our journey with financial inclusion for youth in Cross River State!