Mastercard and Microfinance Centre seal new partnership to support 300,000 microbusinesses and microfinance institutions in Europe and Central Asia

March 29, 2021 | By Philipp Bruchert
The partnership will enable micro-finance institutions to pivot, adapt and embrace digitization.

London & Warsaw, 29 March 2021, The Microfinance Centre (MFC) and the Mastercard Center For Inclusive Growth will partner on a new international support programme for small businesses and microfinance institutions in Europe and Central Asia. This innovative partnership will provide support to 90+ microfinance institutions (MFIs) and 300,000 small businesses across Europe and Central Asia, help them deal with the impact of the pandemic and bolster their economic resilience.

As the pandemic continues to spread globally, many small enterprises and microfinance institutions struggle to keep their businesses running. The financial resilience of both groups has been affected, and small businesses’ ability to access much needed capital, including working capital, bridge loans, and credit to support business model adaptation has become very challenging. At the same time, many microfinance institutions have limited their lending, causing further distress to microenterprises across the region.

In collaboration with the Mastercard Center For Inclusive Growth, MFC will support and enable microfinance institutions to digitize their operations and develop training modules for microenterprises to become more digital. It will engage in action research programmes to recommend business model adjustments that will allow for a new generation of microfinance institutions to emerge that is more resilient to economic crisis and better equipped to serve microenterprises. Through a mentoring programme, MFC will also empower microfinance CEOs to lead the digital and green transformation, design new products and drive social impact. Mastercard will provide additional pro-bono advisory services based on data analytics, in full compliance with existing data protection legislation, to the leading microfinance institutions in the region.

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with such a reputable institution like MFC to help microfinance institutions and small businesses mitigate some of the harshest consequences of the current crisis. This partnership will address a host of challenges that the microenterprise and microfinance sectors are currently facing, including loss of income, disrupted supply chains and business unpredictability.“ said Payal Dalal, Senior Vice President, Social Impact, International markets at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

“We are most excited about the collaboration with Mastercard and their support to the MFC. It will enable us to provide much needed guidance and tools to European and Central Asian microfinance institutions and small businesses searching for ways to deal with the impact of the pandemic” said Grzegorz Galusek, CEO of MFC “The project findings will also serve as a useful resource for policy makers to design relief measures for small businesses and microfinance programmes”

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Philipp Bruchert, Communications Public Affairs & Regulatory

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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. For more information and to receive its latest insights, follow the Center on Twitter, @CNTR4growth, LinkedIn and subscribe to its newsletter.

About MFC

MFC is an international, social finance network uniting 114 institutions from 40 countries in Europe and Central Asia.  MFC supports the development of the alternative social finance to indirectly empower people, especially those who are under-privileged and marginalised. MFC achieves this by linking new technology to the vast bank of accumulated research and knowledge. The results help our partner members create solutions that guarantee equality and fairness. Subscribe for the MFC newsletter and follow MFC on LinkedIn and Twitter

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. 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.

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