Partnership will work with fintechs and financial service providers to improve financial health of small businesses in emerging economies
Accion and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth today announced a renewal of their partnership and a sustained commitment to improve the financial health of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in emerging economies. This announcement builds on their four years of collaborative work to enable digital transformation among small businesses.
A new $15.8 million grant from the Mastercard Impact Fund will help the partnership’s goal of assisting 5 million MSEs, including 1 million women-owned businesses, actively use digital financial services to improve their financial health over the course of the following four years. Over the following four years, it is anticipated that 10.5 million people will receive services under the partnership.
A total of 12.8 million people and more than 5.6 million MSEs will successfully use digital financial services thanks to Accion and Mastercard’s assistance between 2019 and 2022. Research conducted during the partnership revealed that small business owners are likely to be better equipped to survive economic downturns, improve their financial health, and continue offering jobs, goods, and services to their communities when financial service providers create products tailored to the needs of underserved MSEs.
Accion and Mastercard’s ongoing collaboration builds on their previous efforts in digital transformation and acknowledges how thriving small businesses, particularly those run by women, support employment and way of life in developing nations.
The partnership will work with financial service providers, fintechs, and e-commerce and gig-economy platforms in the upcoming phase of the collaboration to offer new products to MSEs, enhancing their involvement in the digital economy and enhancing their financial health. By assisting early-stage fintechs to hasten the adoption of digital tools by MSEs, enabling platforms to offer embedded financial products specifically designed for MSEs, and enhancing the ability of MSE-focused financial service providers to innovate through private sector partnerships, the work will aid in integrating these businesses into a more inclusive MSE ecosystem. Throughout the partnership, research will be done to better understand the main factors that MSEs rely on to remain resilient and grow their businesses, as well as the effects of digital adoption.
Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion, said, “We’re excited to announce this next step in our partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth to connect more micro and small businesses to the digital economy and explore new ways to improve financial health. “Small businesses play a crucial role in developing nations’ economies by giving their local populations necessary jobs, products, and services. More than 12.8 million people have already benefited from the digital transformation thanks to our combined efforts. As we work to build a just and inclusive economy where underserved people have quality financial options and opportunities to improve their economic wellbeing, I’m thrilled to continue our partnership.”
According to the most recent World Bank data, 76 percent of adults now have access to the digital economy, but Shamina Singh, founder and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, said that this is not enough. “We have the chance to make sure that accessibility has an impact and that products benefit consumers by being inclusive from the start. Digital lifelines were created as a result of our collaboration with Accion during the pandemic, validating the theory under the most trying conditions. The following stage will unleash the potential of e-commerce platforms to spur growth and assist fintechs at a pivotal stage in our shared prosperity journey.”
With a pioneering history in impact investing and microfinance, Accion is a global nonprofit organisation dedicated to fostering financial inclusion. For the 1.8 billion people who are underserved by or excluded from the financial sector, we catalyse financial service providers to provide high-quality, affordable solutions at scale. Accion has worked with more than 200 partners in 63 countries for more than 60 years, assisting tens of millions of people. See accion.org for more information.
What the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth is about
The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth promotes global financial inclusion and equitable, sustainable economic growth. While managing the charitable Mastercard Impact Fund, the centre makes use of the company’s core assets and competencies, including data insights, expertise, and technology, to produce independent research, scale global initiatives, and inspire a community of thinkers, leaders, and doers working to advance inclusive growth. Follow the centre on Twitter and LinkedIn and sign up for its newsletter to learn more and receive the latest insights.