Mastercard launches the Strive initiative

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With the aim of supporting more than 5 million micro and small businesses around the world struggling to go digital, MasterCard – through the Center for Inclusive Growth – announced on Wednesday September 22 the launch of Strive, a global effort focused on strengthening small businesses and helping them recover and grow. The effort will be funded by an initial volunteer contribution of $ 25 million from the Mastercard Impact Fund, according to the press release.

“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, President and Founder of Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth . “By leading an approach focused on equity and partnership, Strive will meet owners where they are and connect them with the resources they tell us they need to be successful and grow over the long term. “

Strive Community, the first of the outreach initiatives, will help more than 5 million small businesses across Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia to use technology resources to digitize their businesses. operations, streamline financial and back-office services and improve market access. Grants will be reserved for organizations with expertise in working with micro and small business owners.

Mastercard works with regional FinTechs, social impact businesses and charities to ensure small businesses that need it most have access to tools that will streamline cash flow management, customer retention and progress. digital. In Europe, Strive Community will partner from the start with FinTechs to help 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.

The majority of small and medium-sized businesses have recovered from the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic and are now outperforming other businesses, according to a recent report from PYMNTS. In fact, mom-and-pop stores are back to where they were in the first quarter of 2020, while the rest of the U.S. business sector is still struggling to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Read more: New PYMNTS data shows SMEs are adjusting to wage hikes and economic change

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