Launch of UpUp app – pocketing a pocket money solution!

Getting and managing pocket money from their parents can be a problem for many youngsters. One of CYFI network partners, the UpUp app, with the support of MasterCard, has produced an easy and fun solution for this problem.

Launched on March 1st, the UpUp app will be available in both App Store and Google Play as a free app that can help children ask their parents for pocket money with pictures and comments, discuss the purchases and financial affairs in the interactive chat and instantly make cashless transfers from parent’s card to the child’s card. The app is aimed for both children and parents with the vision to solve translaction issues and increase financial literacy of children, using “learning by doing” method.

The UpUp app, together with the Social Card of Muscovite, were awarded CYFI Banking product endorsement in 2015, that is given to banking products by institutions from CYFI network that comply with the necessary set of Child & Youth Friendly Banking Products Principles, applicable to current and savings banking products. The Social Card of Muscovite is a multifunctional card offered by Bank of Moscow and the Department of Information and Technologies of Moscow city in Russian Federation.

From 2016 the Social Card of Muscovite will also include the UpUp app as additional functionality. The Card targets pupils and students of public and private state-accredited institutions of primary vocational education, secondary, secondary specialized educational institutions and full-time students of higher educational establishments of the city of Moscow.

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Financial Literacy Working Group and Curriculum Integration in Bulgaria

Over 40 institutions and organizations from all sectors of the public life – government, business, NGO, media, academia – have joined a Financial Literacy Working Group organized in Bulgaria in 2015.

The establishment of the working group aims to facilitate dialogue, coordination and information exchange among different stakeholders in the area of financial literacy. One of the main objectives of the group is to develop proposals on how to address the main issues related to the further development of financial literacy policy in Bulgaria, and present them to the relevant authorities. The group includes representatives from Ministry of Finance, National Revenue Agency, National Social Insurance Institute, Economic Institute of Bulgarian Academy of Science, and number of other state institutions. It is coordinated by CYFI network partner Financial Literacy Initiative Foundation (FLI), the only Bulgarian NGO that exclusively focuses its activity on financial literacy.

The group has been created as part of the activities within the project “BG Financial Literacy Map” implemented by Financial Literacy Initiative Foundation (FLI) and funded under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. One of the main goals of the project is to map the financial literacy field in Bulgaria: the “players” and the “available financial education resources”. Youth was identified as the key target group for the Working Group. The findings of the mapping exercise show that only about 4% of financial businesses in the country are somehow involved in financial education activities.

Moreover, from the next school year Bulgarian students will be studying entrepreneurship as obligatory part of the school curriculum. The next school year a new subject– “Technology and Entrepreneurship” – will be introduced, staring with the first grade. The financial education is part of the new subject, and the students will learn the basics of personal finance management. This will be achieved mainly through practical activities in engaging and stimulating way. The new subject was included as an obligatory subject in the school curriculum due to the efforts of NGOs promoting entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and career development like Junior Achievement Bulgaria and Financial Literacy Initiative Foundation.

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Advancing Entrepreneurship Education in Europe

In an effort to provide European youth with a better opportunity to secure a sustainable livelihood, policy makers and youth serving organizations are working together to ensure that education systems allow for the adequate development of entrepreneurship competencies for young people in the region.

The European Entrepreneurship Education Network (EE-HUB) provides a platform for government authorities, civil society organization, academics and private sector representatives to share good practices and work collectively to increase levels of entrepreneurship activity and entrepreneurial learning through all levels of schooling across Europe. CYFI takes an active role in the EE-Hub through our role in the Experts Network, working alongside the EE-Hub partners and Ambassadors from the European Parliament to develop good practice case studies, conduct roundtable discussions and webinars and put forward practical policy recommendations on Entrepreneurship Education to leading national and regional authorities in Europe.

CYFI took part in the Network’s Mid-Term Meeting in Brussels Jan 28-29th. The meeting allowed participants to further solidify the best practice case studies and success factors within the EE-Hub’s five thematic working groups on: National Policy, Teacher Training, Partnerships, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and Impact Assessment. Case studies will be finalized by the end of the first quarter in 2016, at which point they will be promoted to relevant stakeholders throughout Europe to assist them in the design and implementation of programming related to entrepreneurship education. CYFI is primarily involved in the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem working group as it fits closely with our work in promoting collaborative systems change. Under CYFI’s Theory of Change, entrepreneurship education, alongside financial literacy, social education and financial inclusion, are the essential building blocks for sustainable livelihoods and economic citizenship for children and youth.

CYFI will continue to work with the other members of the EE-Hub in 2016 to promote these case studies and policy recommendations throughout 2016, with a number of webinars and roundtables to be scheduled in the latter half of the year. CYFI will aim to have these roundtables align with their own regional events in 2016, including national stakeholder meetings, product development workshops and Ye! Community Boost Camps.

Photo credit: EE-Hub

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CYFI Partners on European Youth Event

CYFI is very excited to be a partner for the YO! Fest at the European Youth Event 2016!

This year marks the 7th edition of YO!Fest, the political youth festival organised by the European Youth Forum in cooperation with the European Parliament. Unleashing young people’s creativity by combining politics, culture, education and fun in a multicultural festival atmosphere, YO!Fest aims once again at mobilising young people and youth organisations across Europe.

Following the great success of the 2014 edition, the YO!Fest will be once again organised in the framework of the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – EYE2016 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. On 20th – 21st of May, 7000 young people will gather from all over Europe to meet with their peers, policy-makers and high- level speakers to exchange ideas on youth-related issues and debate under the motto “Together we can make a change”.

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Promoting financial inclusion through financial literacy

CYFI Regional Advisor for Eastern Europe & Central Asia participated as one of key international speakers at the international conference on promoting financial inclusion through financial literacy that took place in Minsk, Belarus on December 10, 2015.

The conference was organized by CYFI partner National Bank of the Republic of Belarus and Republican Microfinance Center, with the support of USAID. The conference featured presentation of the best practices in advancing financial inclusion and financial education from many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, discussions of recent studies and the role of data in policy-making, and the role of microfinance networks in fostering financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

CYFI presented its research on available youth banking savings products in the region, as well as on its flagship programs and initiated campaigns like Global Money Week and SchoolBank.

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BCGE helps Ye! to support young entrepreneurs!

Helping to pave the way for the next generation of young entrepreneurs, The Swiss Bank of Geneva (Banque Cantonale de Genève - BCGE) has offered to provide valuable pro-bono services to Ye! Community, to support youth in finding their feet in the business world.

Ye! Community is an initiative of Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), to provide young entrepreneurs with the help they need the most. With a growing community of over 4500 young entrepreneurs from 70 countries, the Ye! Team supports young entrepreneurs so they can continue to address key global issues through their innovation and smart solutions.

A universal bank since 1816, the BCGE provides diversified and high-quality banking services to private and institutional customers: everyday banking facilities, private banking and asset management, pension planning, mortgages, lending to the private and public sectors, trading, financial engineering, corporate finance and global commodity finance services.

The BCGE Group operates a number of its services in Switzerland (Lausanne, Zurich) and representative offices abroad (Dubaï, Hong Kong). Its subsidiary, Banque Cantonale de Genève (France) SA, offers company finance and property services to companies and individuals, in addition to wealth management for private clients. With its headquarters in Lyon, BCGE (France) SA also has branches in Paris and Annecy.

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CYFI South-Eastern European Regional Working Group for Youth Financial Education and Financial Inclusion

First meeting of the SEE Working Group will take place in Sinaia, Romania, 2nd & 3rd of November 2015, kindly hosted by the National Bank of Romania!

South-Eastern European Regional Working Group for Youth Financial Education and Financial Inclusion will serve as the place for sharing best practices, exchanging experiences, identifying technical assistance opportunities to support action plans development and implementation by Child & Youth Finance International Secretariat and CYFI network members, and coordinate the regional initiatives and plans in the field of financial education and financial inclusion for children and youth.

The initial discussion on the formation of this Working Group on child and youth finance issues took place in October 2014 in Skopje during the Third CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe & Central Asia, organized by the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia, where representatives of the financial regulatory authorities and relevant ministries expressed a strong motivation for them to form a working committee to build a collaborative dynamic between institutions in the region.

The first meeting of the SEE Working Group will take place at the Training Center of the National Bank of Romania in Sinaia. The meeting will have the following objectives:

  • Defining the final structure of the Working Group;
  • Sharing experiences and best practices of countries and institutions of the region;
  • Identifying and discussing potential twinning arrangements between countries in the region;
  • Presenting CYFI tools and programmes to support financial education and inclusion initiatives in the countries;
  • Discussing challenges and opportunities in drafting and implementing a national strategy for financial education;
  • Identifying the annual work plan of the Working Group.

The meeting will feature representatives of financial regulatory authorities, ministries of education and ministries of finance from 7 countries of the region and external experts on national financial education and inclusion policies.

Member institutions of the Working Group are:

Albania

  • Ministry of Education and Sports of Albania

Croatia

Macedonia

  • The Regulatory Body for Financial Education for Macedonia

Moldova

Montenegro

Romania

Serbia

Slovenia

  • National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia
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Latvians gradually change their financial habits

10 June 2015, Riga - Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) together with collaboration partners have summarized annual results regarding implementation of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy in Latvia 2014-2020. The first year shows good progress in performance of almost all indicators.

In 2014, like in other developed countries, involvement of Latvian residents in using the basic financial services has been traditionally high: 94% of residents have bank accounts, moreover, more customers make use of electronic solutions: 70% of total residents already use internet banking services (in 2013 – 65%), 11 800 new endowment insurance contracts entered into, nearly 15 000 more residents joined private pension funds, as well as confidence in the financial service providers has increased reaching 50% on the average (in 2013 – 44%).

"This year we can observe several positive trends in conformity with the three defined strategic goals: tradition of planning and making savings, integrity of the financial sector and financial sustainability of households. It is obvious that residents use more diverse and modern services, more precisely define a plan for the present day, more contemplate making savings for future and act accordingly to have them. The households' borrowing/savings rate has become more proportionate in Latvia, as loans-to-deposits rate was 110/100 at the end of 2014. These all are encouraging signals. Thus the partners must continue efforts as regards improvements in the general education content, support for further education of teachers, provision of consultations and training tools on the internet for everyone." FCMC Chairman Kristaps Zakulis

In accordance with the performance of financial literacy indicators the number of households that regularly plan their budget has increased (58%), moreover, previously residents planned their household budget from memory but now they more often record the budget figures in writing or in their own established electronic system. In 2014, total household savings grew by nearly one billion euro and showed a 8.1 billion euro increase, while an increase in risk insurance premiums written by residents was higher than the planned maximum of +9.8%, and reached 134 euro per capita, and it was more than in the life insurance so far, the share of life insurance in the insurance market overall has increased up to 24%. Please visit the FCMC's website to see the performance of financial literacy strategic objectives: Financial Literacy of Latvia's Residents: 2014 at: www.fktk.lv/attachments/article/5149/INFOGRAFIKA_ST.pdf

Implementation of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy in Latvia 2014-2020 has been carried out acting in concert with partners – FCMC, the Bank of Latvia, Ministry of Education and Science, National Centre for Education, BA School of Business and Finance, Consumer Rights Protection Centre, Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia and Latvian Insurers Association.


For Further information, please contact:
Ieva Upleja
Head of Working Group
for Implementation of National Financial Literacy Strategy
Chief Public Relations Specialist
Communications Division
Financial and Capital Market Commission
Telephone: +371 67774807; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Startup Europe Summit: Connecting Young Entrepreneurs

Taking place in one of Europe’s entrepreneurial hubs, the Startup Europe Summit was hosted in Berlin by the Factory on the February 12-13, 2015. Attended by some of Europe’s leading startups,a1sx2_300_2015-02-18_Startup-Europe-Summit-Berlin.jpg European policymakers, venture capitalists, corporations, and startup accelerators, the discussions focused on the future of European entrepreneurship. Big name attendees included GoEurope, Blablacar, Günther Öttinger, Andrus Ansip, Neelie Kroes of the EU Commission (and the Dutch Special Envoy for Startups), Index Ventures, Startup Bootcamp, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Google.

The Startup Summit provided a space for entrepreneurs and policymakers alike to learn about the evolutions and opportunities for startups and young entrepreneurs in Europe. Child & Youth Finance International’s Innovation Coordinator, Philip Harris, who is currently running Ye! – an online platform for young entrepreneurs - launch and pitching events, attended the Summit.

The main theme which emerged from the discussions was the importance of increased connection and collaboration at a European and global level. These trends are picking up on two levels:

  • Startups: greater connectivity is needed between key players in the startup industry, especially the entrepreneurs themselves and the financial providers. Modern startups are almost immediately international thanks to the global connections offered by the Internet, but there remains a lack of international communities to make these international connections easier. There are a host of online and mobile platforms perfectly suited to this: for instance through WhatsApp and Facebook or through online communities such as Ye!

  • Ecosystem: startup accelerators, incubators, bootcamps, government schemes, business model trainings set up by corporations, competitions, etc. There are a growing number of local and international programs which aim to give startups the boost they need to take their businesses to the next level; and while cross-sector collaboration is catching on, more needs to be done to connect the different types of organizations supporting youth enterprise, such as during the Startup Europe Summit. The European Union recognizes this, and the Commission in particular is increasingly active in setting up European-level programs such as Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. This is also why the European Economic and Social Committee is hosting the Ye! European Launch & Pitching Event on March 16, 2015, in Brussels, where different stakeholders will attend to discuss greater collaboration in the future, as this will offer young entrepreneurs holistic and effective support and positively impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Connecting-platforms such as Ye! are a necessity for startups and young entrepreneurs around the world. The fact that Ye! is only 3 months old and has gained worldwide support for the networking, funding and resource sharing opportunities it offers young startups across the globe is testament to this.

If you would like to learn more about Ye! and take part in building a global community of youth enterprise, please visit Ye! or contact CYFI's Innovations Coordinator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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