Mastercard launches 'Secret Sauce' campaign in support of women-owned small businesses

October 11, 2022 | Toronto

New campaign bolsters Mastercard’s commitment to deliver solutions that address Canadian small business owners’ daily challenges and empower them to thrive

Today, Mastercard launched its new “Secret Sauce” small business campaign to elevate the visibility of women small businesses owners in the culinary space and help equip them with the support, funding, and resources they need to grow their businesses. The initiative will kick-off with a national ad campaign highlighting three women who have overcome unique challenges to maintain and grow their businesses.

The campaign includes a funding program in partnership with Pier Five to help women small business owners further grow their businesses. It also promotes the use of a Google Maps feature that allows people to identify, shop and support women-owned small businesses as a way to drive meaningful impact in the community.

This campaign builds off Mastercard’s pledge, announced in 2020, of $250 million USD in financial, technology, product, and insight assets over five years to small businesses across the globe, including Canada. The funds will support the financial security, vitality of businesses and their workers, as well as their online expansion.

“In Canada small businesses serve as the foundation of our economy and are the pillars of communities, but many Canadian women who start their own business make less than their male counterparts1,” said Nishant Raina, Small Business Lead, Mastercard in Canada. “Women-owned small businesses need access to support and resources that will empower them to thrive. This campaign does just that – it gives women-owned small businesses a platform to connect with customers and creates a powerful community of peers and mentors to learn from and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

From cash flow to operational efficiency, small businesses are often overstretched for resources. This issue is only compounded with the fact that 80 per cent2 of food service businesses have taken on new debt over the last two years with women-owned small businesses in Canada taking nearly two times3 as long to recover.

“Being a catalyst for the small businesses community, means supporting all small businesses – especially groups facing a greater set of challenges,” said Raina. “The power of connection is at the core of what can drive change and make small businesses successful. By building a community of entrepreneurs and showcasing their stories, we’re helping create a wealth of knowledge and experiences that owners can analyze, apply key learnings, and ultimately prosper from.”

Pier Five x Mastercard Small Business Fund

Mastercard is partnering with Pier Five, a platform that uncovers creative entrepreneurs and helps tell their stories, to highlight, fund and support women-owned small businesses in Canada. To help further develop their businesses, Mastercard will provide five women-owned small businesses with $10,000 CAD in funding. From October 11 until the end of the month, Canadian women small business owners across all sectors can apply at

All five business owners will also be invited to a Priceless Experience that will bring women from across Canada together for a once-in-a-lifetime community-building event. They will be given the opportunity to connect and learn from their peers and Mastercard Executives to further develop their businesses.

Shop and Support Women-Owned Small Businesses

To help communities shop and support locally, Mastercard is encouraging women-owned small businesses to register on Google Maps as “Women-Led”. The tag enables consumers to easily search, discover and shop at women-owned businesses in their community.

Mastercard Support for Small Businesses

Mastercard has a proud history of supporting small businesses in Canada, providing tools, insights and resources to support this critical part of the Canadian economy. Some of these efforts include:

  • Easy access to capital and cash flow management tools to ensure small businesses have the funds they need to operate with efficiency
  • Free cybersecurity tools to help Canadian small businesses protect their environments from financial and digital threats
  • Access to vital tools and resources through partnerships with Digital Main Street, Salesforce, Startup Canada, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and others

By empowering small businesses with access to capital, digital payment solutions, data insights, cybersecurity solutions and the tools to run their enterprises more efficiently and securely, Mastercard is committed to helping entrepreneurs in Canada. These solutions are readily available and easily deployable to quickly address the pain points and immediate needs for small businesses.

Through visitors can learn more about these efforts, as well as where to shop and support women-owned small businesses.


1 17+ Inspiring Small Business Statistics for Canada in 2021 (

2 Restaurants need sector-specific support to survive devastating pandemic debt - Restaurants Canada

3 Women-Owned Businesses Taking Twice As Long To Recover From (

Media Contacts

Cory Fisher, Manager, Communications, Mastercard

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.