Launch of Mastercard Strive India aims to enable small businesses to succeed in the digital economy

August 10, 2023 | New Delhi, India

The program aims to reach 500,000 small businesses in India by 2025.

Mastercard today announced the launch of Mastercard Strive India, which will bring together an existing body of philanthropic work and take it forward, aiming to enable 500,000 small businesses to succeed in the digital economy by 2025. Leveraging collaborations with trade associations, non-profits, and government agencies, Strive India will focus its efforts on micro-enterprises, women-owned and led businesses and agri-entrepreneurs. This program will seek to reach India’s small businesses to encourage the adoption of new digital tools and enable access to markets and digital financial services.

Mastercard Strive India joins a portfolio of philanthropic programs – supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth – aimed at helping small businesses worldwide thrive in the digital economy. Additional Strive programs include those in the U.S., the U.K., Mexico, Czechia, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

“Small businesses are poised to become India’s largest employer, can help make inclusion a cornerstone of the country’s journey to becoming a $5 trillion economy,” said Subhashini Chandran, vice president, Social Impact, Asia Pacific at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “Small businesses need broad support — from capacity building to wide-ranging access to tools, new markets and credit — to truly benefit from digital transformation and growth. We are committed to helping people around the world achieve long-term prosperity and will continue to work to meaningfully connect India’s small businesses to the digital economy.”

“Mastercard is committed to strengthening entrepreneurship and enhancing the innovation ecosystem in India,” said Gautam Aggarwal, division president, South Asia at Mastercard. “Programs like this reflect Mastercard’s dedication to unlocking the full potential of entrepreneurs. We are keen to be a supportive partner in the work to building thriving economies that enable small businesses to flourish.”

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth has been present in India since 2014. In 2020, it strengthened its efforts to foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the country with a five-year commitment to empower Indians to succeed in the digital economy, including partnerships with local non-profits, an industry association and a government agency. To date, the Center has launched three key digital inclusion programs including: Digital Saksham, implemented by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII); Rural Women Chamber of Commerce, implemented by Mann Deshi Foundation; and Mainstreaming Agricultural Networks & Development Initiatives (MANDI), implemented by ACCESS Development Services.

Mastercard Strive India also complements other commitments made by Mastercard in India to help small businesses go digital, get capital and gain knowledge, including the $100m credit facility launched in partnership with HDFC Bank, DFC and USAID, and Mastercard’s commitment of INR 250 crores ($33M) to support small businesses in India.

“After joining the Rural Women Chamber of Commerce and availing of the business support services provided by Mann Deshi Foundation and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, I was able to hire more employees, use ecommerce platforms to sell more product and start exporting my organic turmeric to Switzerland,” said Ranjana, small business owner and member of the Rural Women Chamber of Commerce, Mann Deshi Foundation. “The Rural Women Chamber of Commerce has helped me grow my business and become more confident.”

As part of its deep engagement in India, Mastercard Strive India will host the first edition of the Asia Inclusive Growth Forum on August 25th in New Delhi. The inaugural forum will convene over 100 influential cross-sector leaders for candid, impact-driven dialogues that aim to build a stronger global south ecosystem.

Media Contacts

Tarun Nagrani, Mastercard

About the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. The Center leverages the company’s core assets and competencies, including data insights, expertise, and technology, while administering the philanthropic Mastercard Impact Fund, to produce independent research, scale global programs, and empower a community of thinkers, leaders, and doers on the front lines of inclusive growth.

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. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.