Mastercard has launched a campaign, with an initial commitment of $ 25 million, to strengthen the financial resilience and growth of businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.
The initiative, called Strive, aims to help more than five million micro and small businesses across Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, access tools and resources they need to embrace digital technologies in the post-pandemic era, the company said.
âWhen small businesses thrive, our communities and local economies thrive, but when they are struggling, the impact is widespread,â said Michael Miebach, Managing Director of Mastercard.
âWhat small business owners need right now are partners who will listen to them and develop innovative solutions that will help them thrive in the wake of the pandemic. It comes down to investing in making their success our success, âsaid Miebach.
Strive builds on Mastercard’s $ 250 million pledge to support small business financial security made last year.
Micro and small enterprises are key contributors to job creation and global economic development. They represent almost 90 percent of businesses and over 50 percent of jobs worldwide.
The pandemic has required a shift to digital platforms and processes that have created new opportunities but also pushed many people to the brink of failure.
The International Monetary Fund expects the global economy to grow 6% in 2021 after falling into a deep recession last year. The volume of world merchandise trade, which fell 5.3% in 2020, is expected to increase by 8% in 2021, according to World Trade Organization estimates.
âTo cope with the digital transitionâ¦ Efforts have been focused on building the financial resilience of small businesses and supporting their recovery and growth,â the New York-based fintech company said. .
As part of the Strive initiative, global platforms will partner with local programs to address the challenges of the most vulnerable small business populations in regions of the world.
With support from Caribou Digital, the program will help businesses use technological resources that will digitize their operations, streamline financial and administrative services, and improve market access.
âBy partnering with a wide range of interconnected organizations, the program will provide valuable resources for digitization and foster innovation, while enabling us to make impact at scale,â said Chris Locke, Founder of Caribou Digital, a company based in Farnham, UK. research firm focused on helping the development of inclusive digital economies.
Update: September 24, 2021 3:00 a.m.