Mastercard and CARE partner to support 1,000 women entrepreneurs

08:59 | 15/05/2020 Companies

(VEN) - As businesses and communities in Vietnam emerge from the Covid-19 social distancing, Mastercard, along with Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, is collaborating with the non-governmental organization CARE to provide direct assistance to some of those on the frontlines of the country’s economic recovery - Vietnam’s women entrepreneurs.

As part of the collaboration, Mastercard and CARE will be providing both funds and expertise that will enable 1,000 women microentrepreneurs in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to drive a robust recovery followed by sustained long-term inclusive growth.

Women-led micro and small enterprises playing a major role in the Vietnamese economy

Part of the funds will be disbursed in the form of emergency cash and electronic transfers to help small, informal businesses kickstart their operations as the economy reopens, while giving women flexibility to support their families financially. In addition to providing women entrepreneurs with near-immediate assistance, the partners will be working together to bolster these businesses moving forward, creating stability and employment opportunities that will benefit their communities in the future.

To provide support to Vietnamese businesses in the long run, Mastercard will leverage its banking and business networks, cybersecurity expertise, payments technologies and solutions, and vast data and market intelligence, while CARE will work with Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship (WISE), financial-inclusion fintech Canal Circle and VP Bank to tailor financial services and products that better suit the needs of women business owners.

According to the most recent Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, women-owned businesses make up a sizeable proportion of all enterprises in Vietnam, and the country scores well on a number of indicators such as equality in entrepreneurial activity, and access to financial assets and knowledge. At the same time, the index found relatively high rates of “fear of failure” among female entrepreneurs in Vietnam, pointing to the existence of potential underlying vulnerabilities that may be preventing progress - vulnerabilities which are likely to have been amplified by recent instability.

“With success and resilience, Vietnam has overcome the health implications of Covid-19. However, the journey to economic recovery is possible but it needs to start with the hardest hit section of the market - small business owners. With our partner Mastercard, we will re-ignite 1,000 women microentrepreneurs’ businesses, helping them to recover from the pandemic’s economic effects. Together we will deliver assistance now, and rebuild better, more equitably and inclusively,” said Le Kim Dung, Country Director, CARE International in Vietnam.

“Mastercard understands the benefits of supporting women to become more economically empowered, as well as how these benefits trickle down to positively impact families and communities more broadly. Through this partnership with CARE, Mastercard will be able to fulfil its commitment to unlocking the full economic potential of women entrepreneurs in Vietnam and create a financially inclusive society for the digital age. Moving forward, Mastercard is committed to working with banks, businesses, consumers, and government partners in Vietnam to ensure a strong recovery,” said Winnie Wong, Country Manager, Vietnam, Mastercard.

This initiative is the latest step in a long-term relationship between Mastercard and CARE in Vietnam, which sees the partners working closely with local banks and fintech businesses to drive women’s entrepreneurship, aiming to reach over 1 million women across the country. More broadly, Mastercard has made a worldwide commitment to financial inclusion by pledging to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.