Through its Center for Inclusive Growth, Mastercard has launched Strive; a worldwide effort focused on bolstering small businesses and aiding their recovery and growth, intending to support more than 5 million micro and small businesses worldwide struggling to transition digital.
According to a press release, the payment giant will fund the effort with an initial benevolent contribution of $25 million from the Mastercard Impact Fund.
“This program builds on lessons learned and a body of work developed as part of Mastercard’s long-term focus on financial inclusion,” said Shamina Singh, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth president and founder. “By leading with an equity-intentional lens and partnership-driven approach, Strive will meet owners where they are and connect them to the resources they are telling us they need to succeed and grow over the long-term.”
Strive Community, the first of the outreach initiatives, will assist more than 5 million small businesses across Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia in using technology resources directed towards digitizing their operations, streamlining financial and back-office services, and enhancing market access. Grants will be set aside for organizations with expertise in working with micro and small business owners.
Mastercard is partnering with regional FinTechs, social impact firms, and charitable organizations to ensure small businesses with the greatest need have access to tools that will streamline cash flow management, customer retention, and digital progress. In Europe, Strive Community will, at the outset, partner with FinTechs to assist small businesses in Spain and France.
By 2025, Mastercard hopes to bring 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy, according to the announcement.