MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mastercard is leaning heavily into its insights to support women entrepreneurs with products and solutions that address owner’s daily challenges. Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the world economy. In Latin America, 99%1 of businesses correspond to the MSME sector (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), and 50%2 of these are managed by a woman. However, 87%3 of Latin American women who lead a micro, small or medium business enterprise use a personal means of payment to manage their business. In fact, additional research indicates that there are several more unresolved needs faced by women entrepreneurs in the region.
A Mastercard survey conducted with Kantar in five markets – Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Brazil – took a closer look at the top needs and tools desired by female business owners in Latin America. Based on this study, Mastercard developed a new value proposition that not only benefits women entrepreneurs, but also improves the responsiveness of card-issuing banks.
While all entrepreneurs share common needs such as access to credit and simplification of day-to-day operational management, according to the study, female business owners value concrete solutions for specific areas including health benefits for themselves and their families, continuing education programs, and mentoring. Among other services, this new suite of Mastercard benefits provides access to training programs that Mastercard alongside with various partners designed to enhance their business acumen: the INCAE Virtual Accelerator, Mastercard's Entrepreneur's Odyssey platform, “Todas Conectadas” - where they can perfect their digital skills - , the Strive e-commerce toolkits, and a cobranded platform with MicroMentor, where entrepreneurs can connect with mentors to grow their business.
"With the launch of these dedicated solutions, women entrepreneurs in the Latin America and Caribbean region now have access to services and benefits specifically tailored to meet their needs. With these resources, Mastercard aims to help female business owners address the barriers that still block their full professional development, such as limited access to financing, lack of support networks and the gender gap in business. We are also reinforcing our commitment to supporting small business growth and strengthening economies, which starts with providing businesses of all sizes with the tools they need to thrive,” says Maria Barreiros, Vice President, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Products, Mastercard Latin America and Caribbean.
Key benefits to empower women entrepreneurs
According to Kantar’s survey, 88%4 of women entrepreneurs value a solution tailored to their needs. The Mastercard suite of solutions and benefits offers businesswomen the possibility of accessing financing through business credit cards, as well as specific benefits for companies through the Easy Savings program, which offers travel and operating expense reimbursements through more than 50,000 merchants worldwide, or discounts on digital business services.
This is the first time that female business owners will be able to access tailor-made solutions in Latin America. The suite also offers this segment legal consultancy, as well as a health program that provides psychological, nutritional, and medical assistance. Lastly, as another highly rated benefit, security is also integrated, where businesswomen and their employees will have insurance against cell phone theft and accidents as well as access to the Mastercard Trust Center, which provides free cybersecurity education, resources, and tools to help small and medium businesses improve their cybersecurity.
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. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.
1 Source: Atlantic Council 2022
2 Source: Entrepreneur, Mar 2021
3 Source: Female Entrepreneurs Project, 2020
4 Kantar 2020