The SEEP Network

African Women and Youth Finance Directory

The SEEP Network is a global network of 130 international practitioner organizations dedicated to combating poverty through promoting inclusive markets and financial systems. Members are active in 170 countries and support nearly 90 million entrepreneurs and their families. SEEP’s strength lies in its global reach. Its institutional members work in 170 countries and SEEP’s learning initiatives have the potential to impact millions of micro-entrepreneurs around the world. Members include 66 associations, 57 NGOs, and 5 for-profit institutions. Our members’ collective outreach includes 4,260 microfinance institutions, over 99 million micro-entrepreneurs, and an outstanding loan portfolio of US$ 31 billion. 

In Africa, there are 20 SEEP Network members active in 18 countries: 

Central Africa East Africa North Africa Southern Africa West Africa
Democratic Republic of Congo Burundi
Ethiopia (2)
Kenya (2)
Sudan Malawi Mozambique Zambia Benin
Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Cote d’Ivoire

A key initiative of the SEEP Network is the Youth and Financial Services Working Group: The Youth and Financial Service Working Group – SEEP recognizes the variety of themes and challenges that working in the microfinance and microenterprise development industry entails.  In this working group,  SEEP engages practitioners and shares experiences with the goal of identifying the successes, challenges and trends in offering financial and non-financial services for youth.  The group focuses specifically on access usage and sustainability of the products and services.

For the purposes of this working group, SEEP uses the United Nations definition of youth which states that youth are “those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years.”  As a group, SEEP understands that youth is not solely defined by age, but also by life stage and that, more broadly-speaking, youth may include individuals or groups outside of the 15 – 24 bracket.  Further, youth within the bracket may be further disaggregated to reflect the nuances such as gender, urban/rural split, employment status, marriage status, education level and/or life stage. The working group acknowledges that youth are not a homogenous group and that the definition used is functional and widely accepted. 

Other SEEP initiatives include the Gender Working Group, the Financial Services Working Group and the Innovations in Youth Financial Services Practitioner Learning Program. 

Visit the SEEP network website for more information