Mastercard Announces Partnerships to Provide Financial Inclusion Support to Women, Entrepreneurs and Smallholder Farmers

October 21, 2019 | Washington, DC, | By Casey Stavropoulos

Today, Mastercard announces partnerships with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and CARE USA, which will create new models and tools to financially include women, micro-entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers across the world.

Today’s announcement will:

    • Expand Mastercard’s commitment to the U.S. Government’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), the first whole-of-government effort to advance global women’s economic empowerment;
    • Launch a new partnership with Mastercard and CARE USA, with a grant of $5.26 million;
    • Introduce a new partnership with Mastercard and USAID’s Bureau for Food Security designed to leverage digital platforms for smallholder farmers.

The announcement comes alongside the inaugural Global Inclusive Growth Summit, a one-day event co-hosted by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and The Aspen Institute that brings together more than 300 purpose-driven leaders from the private, public, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to advance equitable and sustainable economic growth through action-oriented partnerships.

“The digital economy has enriched the lives of millions of people around the world but the benefits have not been equally shared,” said Shamina Singh, President, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “When we empower women, it can have an exponential impact on the financial security and quality of life for families and their communities. We’re committed to closing the persistent inequality gaps through innovation, funding and powerful partnerships.”

“We know that investing in women builds countries that are resilient and self-reliant,” said Mark Green, Administrator for USAID. “That is why the W-GDP Initiative will accelerate the achievement of these goals by leveraging the collective resources and expertise of the U.S. Government to unlock the full economic potential of women around the world. Private enterprise is the single most powerful force for lifting lives, strengthening communities and accelerating self-reliance and that is why it is a priority for USAID to partner with them in achieving our development priorities.”

Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative

The White House-led W-GDP Initiative, spearheaded by Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, was launched in February 2019 and aims to economically empower 50 million women by 2025.

In support of that, over the next three years, Mastercard is committed to working with USAID to reach half a million women in developing countries around the world.

Together they will focus on unlocking tools for women entrepreneurs to improve their livelihoods and well-being by increasing access to and usage of digital and financial services, markets, capacity-building and mentorship. Mastercard will invest in this partnership by providing resources and expertise drawn from various parts of the organization.

Today’s expanded commitment to the W-GDP initiative builds on the existing partnership between Mastercard and USAID. USAID and Mastercard began their partnership in January 2018 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) by announcing the Smart Communities Coalition, a public-private consortium comprising 40 organizations of donors, NGOs, social enterprises, and private sector businesses, to address the needs of refugees and host communities.

Mastercard and CARE USA Finalize $5.26M Partnership

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and CARE USA have finalized a three-year partnership that will equip 3.9 million micro and small businesses in Peru, Pakistan and Vietnam with tools, training, education, products and services to formalize and grow. At least 50% of the businesses reached will be women-owned or operated. This new partnership, funded with a grant of $5.26M from the Mastercard Impact Fund, reaffirms Mastercard and CARE USA’s commitment to women’s economic empowerment.
“CARE has long been a recognized leader in women’s economic empowerment, with a proven track record of successful and innovative public-private partnerships,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE. “We’re thrilled that this latest chapter in our history includes a partnership with Mastercard. Together, we will help empower entrepreneurs with tailored business tools and financial resources to reach their goals while also helping to lift up their employees, families and communities.”

USAID Bureau for Food Security and Mastercard Formalize Partnership for Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa

Mastercard is also partnering with USAID’s Bureau for Food Security (BFS) to launch a new program designed to promote financial inclusion for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa through the use of digital platforms. This partnership allows Mastercard and BFS to work together and support inclusive financial ecosystems and increase market linkages to help lift marginalized people out of poverty. Through this partnership, Mastercard and BFS will use farm and farmer data (crop and livestock sales, demand for services) to understand smallholder farmer profiles, improve the effectiveness of USAID programs, and expand private sector engagement to support smallholder farmer income, security, resiliency, and productivity.


About the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth 

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth focuses on promoting equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. As a subsidiary of Mastercard, the Center leverages the company’s data insights, expertise and technology, along with administering the Mastercard Impact Fund’s philanthropic investments, to empower a community of thinkers, leaders and innovators on the front lines of inclusive growth.  For more information and to receive its latest insights, follow the Center on Twitter @CNTR4growthsubscribe to its newsletter and visit

Visit our Digital Press Kit to find out more about the announcements coming out of the Global Inclusive growth Summit.

Casey Stavropoulos | +1 914 414 5291