News Brief

International filmmaker competition shines light on small business ingenuity to reimagine local high streets

June 25, 2021

The entrepreneurial spirit sees opportunity in every day to refresh and reinvent; to reconsider traditional ways of doing business and emerge stronger than before. We believe in those who take risks, chase dreams and put it all on the line – the job creators, innovators, community cornerstones, commercial hubs for local High Streets and so much more.

After the turmoil and incredible obstacles small businesses have faced over the past 18 months, we owe them a moment of gratitude and a platform to share their stories and inspire others with their resilience. Pivoting from cash-only to accepting online payments or shifting from corner shop to curbside pickup, local businesses did what they did best – connected with the needs of the communities they served during this difficult time. We want to applaud their ingenuity by asking filmmakers from around the world to show us stories from their communities – to celebrate the achievements and ideas that will build future prosperity and community recovery.

We are collaborating with Pollinate, a global fintech that partners with banks to help business customers succeed and grow, who is launching an international crowdsourced filmmaker competition called “Ingenious” to share these stories of resilience. The competition will highlight the ingenuity of small business owners around the world by showing how they have used technology to adapt their business during the pandemic.

To support the small businesses featured in these films, we will provide free access to tools, education and insights to empower them to thrive beyond the pandemic through the Mastercard Digital Acceleration Program. Filmmakers that enter also have the chance to win one of six international prizes for the best films, ranging from USD $1,000 to $10,000, and four $3,000 prizes for the films that best showcase the themes of Get Paid, Get Capital, Get Digital, and Loyal to Local. The overall winner will be featured on

The competition will run between June 25 – August 6, 2021 in 31 countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. This is only the beginning of our shared journey to shine a light on the ingenuity of entrepreneurs around the world.


“Small business owners have been role models throughout the pandemic, showing us what it looks like to get knocked down, to struggle, to pivot and to persevere – and for some, they are emerging stronger than before,” says Andrea Gilman, Global SME Segment Lead, Mastercard. “We are thrilled to continue demonstrating our commitment to this vital community and collaborate with Pollinate to empower small businesses everywhere to learn from and be inspired by each other’s stories of resilience.”

“We’re extremely passionate about SMEs and proud to work with banks and partners that feel the same way,” says Alastair Lukies CBE, CEO and Founder, Pollinate. “Small businesses are the beating heart of our economy, and it’s been incredible to watch them quickly switch course and continue to thrive despite being some of the worst-hit businesses by the pandemic. The entrepreneurial spirit is so central to SMEs around the world and we continue to see it transformed and reimagined every day. Our collaboration with Mastercard has created a powerful alliance that is committed to empowering every small business, and we’re excited to be working on this campaign together to celebrate both that collaboration, and the amazing small businesses that fuel their local communities.”

Media Contacts

Jen Langione, Mastercard
+1 (914) 318-2111 |