Mastercard and USAID Extend Relationship to Support Women Entrepreneurs

W-GDP Effort Builds on Existing Commitments and Programs to Fuel
Personal and Economic Growth

THE HAGUE, Netherlands–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Women are a driving force for increasing global economic growth and
security, representing more than half of the world’s population and 80
percent of household buying decisions. They are critical to ensuring
that growth is inclusive, extending these benefits to everyone,

To further unlock access to the tools that advance women’s economic
potential, Mastercard
today broadened its relationship with the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) in support of the White House’s
Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP).

In this partnership, Mastercard will accelerate efforts to promote
women’s economic empowerment in developing countries and to improve
women entrepreneurs’ access to formal financial services through
targeted programs:

  • Skills Training – including regional programs to increase
    awareness and use of financial services and financial literacy programs
  • Business Development – increasing access to global markets
    through digital solutions, capital, and secure payment networks
  • Advocacy – addressing barriers that block women from freely and
    fully accessing financial services

“It’s quite simple. When women work, economies grow,” said Ann Cairns,
vice chairman, Mastercard. “Efforts like this can drive real change,
particularly in a world where no one player alone can solve the world’s
challenges. Bringing the public and private sectors together will truly
empower women and support them as catalysts for growth, innovation and
social change. Their ambitions to build successful businesses can fuel
stronger, more sustainable economies.”

The announcement comes alongside the ninth Global Entrepreneur Summit, a
two-day event that brings together businesses, governments, investors
and innovators to support the growth engine of the world’s economy and
transform ideas into action.

“At the U.S. Agency for International Development, we know that
investing in women builds resilient, self-reliant, and prosperous
societies,” said Mark Green, USAID Administrator. “USAID’s partnership
with Mastercard will accelerate the achievement of these goals by
leveraging the collective resources and expertise of the U.S. Government
to unlock the full economic potential of women around the world.”

Fundamental fairness and exclusion are two of the biggest barriers to
women’s prosperity and inclusive growth. The private sector can take
steps to address the challenges around identity, education, employment,
treatment in the workplace, and economic empowerment that are impacting
women around the world.

Mastercard has already committed significant resources to several
initiatives that aim to drive growth by empowering women entrepreneurs,

  • Developing and extending products and services that deliver the
    benefits and access that help manage and grow businesses of all sizes
  • Engaging
    with business owners to understand and address a wide range of issues
    and challenges they face locally and globally
  • Identifying and cultivating entrepreneurs through programs like Start
    , which connects later stage global start-ups with established
    businesses to scale and grow their solutions
  • Building the digital infrastructure to connect marginalized
    communities and individuals to everyday services such as healthcare,
    agricultural markets, and humanitarian aid
  • Fueling women-led businesses with access to capital and training
    through efforts like Jaza
    and Kionect
    which uses merchants’ purchase history to provide microloans and
    secure the inventory they can sell and not just what they can afford.
    Previously, women have accessed less than 12 percent of credit
    facilities across the financial sector

The company’s efforts in support of W-GDP will continue to extend and
enhance these activities. Earlier this spring, Mastercard joined with
advisor to the President of the United States, Ivanka Trump, in a USAID
delegation to Ethiopia where they met with local businesswomen to
discuss the challenges facing women entrepreneurs in Africa.

This new commitment builds on Mastercard’s existing partnership with
USAID. In 2018, the two organizations launched the Smart
Communities Coalition
, a public-private coalition that delivers
infrastructure for more than seven million refugees living in camps or
settlements, including energy, connectivity, and digital tools.

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),,
is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global
payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions,
merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and
territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce
activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and
managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for
everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews,
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Mastercard Communications Contact:
Seth Eisen,,

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