Making Cents International

The Alliance for International Youth Development (AIYD) is a community of practice and advocacy coalition of leading U.S.- based youth and community development organizations.
Making Cents International

Making Cents International is a dynamic small, woman-owned social enterprise that has been increasing economic opportunities in developing countries since 1999. We are known as a source of high quality technical services, and a thought leader in the economic growth arena. Our training, technical assistance, and knowledge management activities consistently improve the ability of target populations—especially youth, women, smallholder farmers, and vulnerable populations—to begin and grow businesses, participate in profitable value chains, access finance, and obtain meaningful work. Our services are based on an appreciation of client assets and market needs, local capacity building, and a desire to achieve greater sustainable results. Our success is grounded on core competencies that focus on innovation, quality, teamwork, communication, leadership, and knowledge management.


Making Cents is committed to supporting young people in their efforts to contribute to their families and communities as successful business owners, valued employees, social entrepreneurs, and financially capable members of society. Our strategies focus on developing young people’s skills, knowledge and attitudes so they can successfully manage their finances, build a business or navigate market opportunities. At the same time, we work with organizations of all sectors -- such as financial service providers, youth-serving organizations and formal and non-formal education centers -- to improve the services young people look for to expand their livelihood options. We partner with young people so they can take an active role in the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of these services; and thus help ensure the services are demand-driven. We are dedicated to building and strengthening the field of youth economic opportunities to help programs, projects and policies achieve greater impact, scale and sustainability. Through this collaborative effort, our global community can more effectively increase and improve economic opportunities with and for the world’s young people.


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Expanded and Sustained Access to Financial Services Program (ESAF): With a growing youth population, financial institutions see long-term potential in serving a new and untapped market segment. Yet, many financial institutions have never intentionally designed products that are accessible and attractive to young clients. Under the Expanded and Sustained Access to Financial Services (ESAF) program (2008-2012), Making Cents supported Ryada, the second largest MFI in Palestine, to design and deliver its first ever start-up business loan for young entrepreneurs. The start-up loan is a relevant product for young people in Palestine because it caters to their unique aspirations to make independent choices and contribute to their families. In Gaza, Shadi Warshagha worked as a barber for several years before using the start-up business loan to buy the business from the owner. For 23-year old Shadi, Ryada’s start-up business loan was an opportunity to transition from employee to business owner earlier in his life. These loans allow young people a greater degree of decision making and facilitate their full entry into the economy earlier in their lives.Above, young entrepreneur Shadi Warshagha, 23, used a start-up loan from Ryada to open a barbershop. Under the ESAF program, Making Cents supported Ryada, the second largest MFI in Palestine, to design and deliver its first ever start-up business loan for young entrepreneurs.


Photo credit: Mariko Scavone



Tim Nourse, President
Member Address: 1155 30th Street, NW, Suite 300 | Washington, DC 20007
Phone: +1 202.783.4090