Under the Patronage of the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation at Government of Jordan: Mastercard and Mercy Corps collaborate to boost entrepreneurship in the Middle East

February 17, 2020 | Amman, Jordan

MicroMentor, a multilingual digital mentoring platform, will help entrepreneurs connect with mentors from around the world to support the growth of their businesses.

Mastercard has collaborated with Mercy Corps, a global non-governmental, humanitarian aid organization, to launch MicroMentor in the Middle East. A free online mentoring platform, MicroMentor will empower entrepreneurs across the Middle East and North Africa, equipping business owners with the tools to drive business growth and employment. The platform was launched today at a special event hosted under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Wissam Rabadi, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation at Government of Jordan.

“Micro to medium-sized enterprises are the most significant engines of global economic development, accounting for more than 90% of businesses and two-thirds of jobs worldwide,” said Anita Ramachandran, Executive Director, MicroMentor. “However, entrepreneurs often operate in isolation, with limited access to business-building resources. MicroMentor democratizes access to mentoring by connecting entrepreneurs with experienced mentors through our easy-to-use social platform.”

As the world’s largest online mentoring community, MicroMentor enables entrepreneurs and mentors to create powerful connections, solve problems, and build successful businesses together. Since 2008, MicroMentor has fostered more than 41,000 connections, and delivered business resources to underserved communities in 179 countries. MicroMentor partners with local stakeholders to engage entrepreneurial communities within their existing ecosystems and deliver access to a global network of resources through the platform’s scalable model.

Suad Jarbawi, Mercy Corps Regional Director, said: “As we look to build lasting employment opportunities, we need to eliminate existing barriers to economic participation, and one of the big opportunities is in mentoring, and we have evidence that building effective personal networks can help create meaningful and scalable businesses”.

With a pilot launch in Jordan, MicroMentor will be available for the first time in Arabic and aims to connect over 3,500 entrepreneurs across the region to mentors, teaching them the soft skills and operational tools to manage and grow their businesses. “The time is right for business mentoring, and MicroMentor is leading the way,” said Ramachandran. “We are excited to be able to offer our platform in Arabic and to support entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Commenting on the announcement, Natasha Jamal, Regional Director, Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth, Middle East and Africa said: “We know that entrepreneurs and small businesses are the backbone of most economies across the Middle East and Africa, and that they have great potential to grow and become engines of job creation. Having access to the right networks – such as the ability to connect to mentors – is critical to their success. Through our collaboration with Mercy Corps’ MicroMentor platform, entrepreneurs will be able to access the knowledge, insight, and expertise from a network of mentors from across the region, and around the world, supporting the long-term growth of the businesses.”

Through partnership with local stakeholders from Jordan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, MicroMentor will provide them access to a global network of mentors and entrepreneurs and is currently aiming to integrate with ForUs and StartGate, two of the leading digital platforms in Jordan.

While ForUs is an online career development platform, that works to empower Jordanian youth to lead successful careers and build better futures, StartGate, an online marketplace that integrates accelerators, incubators, funds and investors, is optimized to guide entrepreneurs through the start-up journey and help them to connect with the right stakeholders at every stage of development.

With the government’s 2025 vision identifying Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and entrepreneurs as key to achieving the country’s long-term economic goals, there is a strong need to provide business owners today with the adequate level of support to help them scale up. As a leading technology partner to businesses in the region, Mastercard continues to invest in strategic partnerships that positively impact their development and equip them with the tools they need to succeed.