22 January 2024

Mastercard Gives Away $2 Million in Grants Worldwide

By Ronald Smith

Wow, guess what? Mastercard just handed out a whopping $2 million in grants all around the world! And you won’t believe why they did it – they want to help people make a positive impact. How cool is that?

Let me tell you more about it. See, Mastercard launched this fantastic program called the Strive Awards. And this year, they went all out and awarded grants to inspiring projects all across the globe. Talk about making a difference!

Now, you might be wondering, What exactly are these grants for? Well, they’re meant to support projects that tackle important issues like climate change, gender inequality, and poverty. Mastercard believes in making the world a better place, and they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is!

But hold on, it’s not just any projects that got these grants. No, no, no. Mastercard carefully selected projects that are driven by individuals who are truly passionate about creating a positive impact. They believe in the power of everyday people to change the world, and they’re here to lend a helping hand.

I know what you’re thinking – How did they choose these amazing projects? Trust me, they didn’t have an easy job. They received hundreds of applications from people all over the world. But they had a rigorous selection process involving experts who took the time to review every single application thoroughly. It was no small task!

In the end, though, they managed to find the most innovative and impactful projects out there. And now, these lucky recipients have been given the support they need to bring their ideas to life. How incredible is that?

So, in a nutshell, Mastercard just gave away a massive $2 million to incredible individuals who are passionate about making a positive change in the world. They believe in the power of regular folks like you and me to create a brighter future, and they’re putting their money behind that belief.

How inspiring is that?

Mastercard Gives Away $2 Million in Grants Worldwide

I am pleased to announce that the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth has chosen a new group of organizations to receive funding from the Mastercard Strive Innovation Fund. This amazing initiative has allocated nearly $2 million in grants to support small businesses around the world. It reflects Mastercard Strive’s dedication to nurturing early-stage solutions that can have a significant impact, especially in the areas of sustainability, digitalization, and community lending.

The Strive Innovation Fund, which is managed by Caribou Digital and DAI, will provide support to 11 organizations across the globe. These organizations are committed to advancing digital solutions that promote environmental sustainability and improve market access for small businesses by utilizing data. In the United States, Strive USA will fund four organizations that are focused on enhancing the small business ecosystem through creative digital and data-driven strategies.

I’m Shamina Singh, and I founded the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. I want to talk to you about how digital advancements are changing the game for small businesses, helping them grow and thrive. Every day, new digital advances are opening doors for small businesses, giving them more opportunities to succeed.

That’s where Mastercard Strive comes in. Strive is a program designed to support and empower small businesses in the digital economy. We provide funding to help develop and scale innovative ideas and solutions, so that small businesses can meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Our goal is to create an economy where everyone, no matter where they are, has the chance to succeed.

Strive isn’t just about providing financial support. We also work with local partners and invest in targeted grant programs. We want to help small businesses not only survive, but thrive. We want to build enterprises that are resilient and have the potential for growth and success.

I want to tell you about some awesome projects that received grants from the Strive Innovation Fund. Here’s the list:

  • Vested Impact: They are working on creating a special website to measure the impact small businesses have, especially when it comes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Now let’s talk about the projects happening in the Asia Pacific region:

  • Alner from Indonesia: They are creating a system where businesses can reuse packaging, and they also have a cool app to help small businesses sell their products.
  • SkyEye from Samoa: They made an online marketplace that helps small businesses in Samoa connect to customers locally and around the world.
  • SoBanHang from Vietnam: These guys have made a mobile app to help small businesses manage their sales and operations more easily.
  • Tern Eco Ltd from the UK: They are helping retailers create sustainable business models that are good for the environment and profitable too.

I want to tell you about some amazing organizations that are doing great work to support small businesses in different parts of the world. Let’s start with Datasketch in Colombia. They are passionate about making data science accessible for small businesses in developing nations. They provide tools that make it easier for these businesses to navigate the world of data and use it to their advantage.

Next, let’s talk about Africa 118 in Ethiopia. They are focused on helping small businesses use digital platforms and social media for marketing. They understand the power of these tools and want to make sure that small businesses have the knowledge and resources to make the most of them.

Now, let’s move on to North America. There are some impressive organizations here too! One of them is Accessity in California. They use artificial intelligence to enhance small business loans and resources. With their help, small businesses can access the financial support they need to grow and thrive.

Another organization in the United States is Aeris Insight. They are passionate about accelerating capital flow to CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions) that serve underserved small businesses and communities. By doing this, they are helping to create more opportunities and economic growth in these areas.

California Farmlink is another organization in California that is doing great things. They focus on supporting Latino farmers and promoting climate-smart agriculture. By integrating capital tools and digital solutions, they are making it easier for these farmers to succeed and contribute to a sustainable future.

Lastly, we have Scale Link LoanWell, also based in the United States. They are piloting a digital marketplace for small business lending. This marketplace connects small businesses with a network of CDFI lenders, making it easier for them to get the funding they need to grow and succeed.

These organizations are truly making a difference in the world of small business. They are using innovation and technology to level the playing field and provide support where it is needed most. I am inspired by their work and the impact they are making.