The new suite of benefits offers access to training programs that Mastercard and its partners designed to enhance business acumen. These include the INCAE Virtual Accelerator, Mastercard’s Entrepreneur’s Odyssey platform or the Strive e-commerce toolkits, which help entrepreneurs connect with mentors to grow their businesses.
The measure is meant to reflect and support the entrepreneurial environment in the LAC region. According to Atlantic Council, in 2022, 99.5% of firms in the region were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), accounting for 60% of employment. Around 50% of these were being managed by a woman at the time.
Important step forward for Mastercard in the region
Maria Barreiros, vice president of Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Products at Mastercard Latin Marica and Caribbean, welcomed the move.
“With the launch of these dedicated solutions, women entrepreneurs in the Latin America and Caribbean region now have access to services and benefits specifically tailored to meet their needs”, Barreiros said.
“With these resources, Mastercard aims to help female business owners address the barriers that still block their full professional development, such as limited access to financing, lack of support networks and the gender gap in business. We are also reinforcing our commitment to supporting small business growth and strengthening economies, which starts with providing businesses of all sizes with the tools they need to thrive”, she continued.
The latest move follows Mastercard’s attempts to bring together one billion people, 50m micro and small businesses, and 25m women entrepreneurs into the digital sector by 2025.
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In November 2022, the company partnered with SPENN to enable digital payments in Africa. SPENN is a digital banking solution seeking to bridge the gap between unbanked people and financial institutions.