Linking Youth with Knowledge and Opportunities in Microfinance (LYKOM) Project, Morocco: A Youth Livelihoods Program Case Study
This paper describes the "Linking Youth with Knowledge and Opportunities in Microfinance" (LYKOM) project that Save the Children and Fondation Zakoura Microcredit implemented in Morocco. The project aims to extend financial and non-financial services to youth and their households through development programs and inter-agency linkages.Given that traditional, formal sector entry points into the workforce for the youth are limited in Morocco, LYKOM focused on the following areas to support their entry into informal sector employment:
- Building confidence, financial and business literacy, and entrepreneurial life skills;
- Building strategic relationships with post offices to enhance access to savings;
- Encouraging youth to plan for the future;
- Working with families to create support for youth's economic activities and entrepreneurial potential;
- Creating access to credit services.
The LYKOM project faces challenges in terms of appropriate staffing, lack of a strong entrepreneurial and life skills development curriculum, and client retention. Finally, lessons learnt in the project include the importance of family support for project success, emphasis on savings and asset building rather than credit, and the need for flexible loan products.