Mastercard has launched Strive, a global initiative focused on strengthening the financial resilience of small businesses and supporting their recovery and growth.
With an initial philanthropic investment of $25 million from the Mastercard Impact Fund, Strive plans to help more than five million micro and small businesses around the world access the tools and resources they need to digitize.
Mastercard points out that micro and small enterprises are important contributors to job creation and global economic development, and represents approximately 90% of business and more than 50% of employment worldwide. However, the pandemic necessitated a rapid shift to digital platforms and processes that have created new opportunities but also pushed many to the brink of failure.
“When small businesses thrive our local communities and economies thrive, but when they struggle, the impact is widespread,” said Michael Miebach, CEO of Mastercard. “What small business owners need right now are partners who will listen to them and develop innovative solutions that will help them grow in the wake of the pandemic. It comes down to an investment in making their success our success. That’s what makes programs like Strive so critical today and tomorrow.”
“This program builds on lessons learned and a body of work developed as part of Mastercard’s long-term focus on financial inclusion,” added Shamina Singh, President and Founder of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, through which the investments are being made. “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.”
As part of the Strive initiative, global platforms will combine with localized programs to address and respond to the unique challenges and opportunities of the most vulnerable small business populations in regions across the world.