CARE and Mastercard to launch Strive Women in Vietnam

March 26, 2024 | 16:17
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New programme will focus on women-led micro and small businesses as it aims to reach two million entrepreneurs in key regions of Vietnam over four years.

Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth and CARE, an international humanitarian organisation, announced the launch of Mastercard Strive Women in Vietnam on March 26, a new programme that aims to strengthen the financial health and resilience of businesses, with a focus on micro and small businesses led by women.

CARE and Mastercard to launch Strive Women in Vietnam

Strive Women builds on the success of the Ignite programme, also funded by the Mastercard Impact Fund, which unlocked more than $64.1 million in loans in Vietnam and directly supported over 47,000 Vietnamese entrepreneurs, 99 per cent of them women.

Thanks to the programme, 80 per cent of Vietnamese participants increased their sales, and 86 per cent reported increased confidence in running their businesses.

Winnie Wong, country manager for Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia at Mastercard, said, “Mastercard and CARE have been partners since 2019, and together have rolled out numerous initiatives such as the Ignite programme in Vietnam. The latest Strive Women initiative is part of both organisations’ shared mission to create a more inclusive economy in the country, by providing solutions and support to Vietnamese female entrepreneurs that will help them stay resilient and thrive amidst current economic uncertainties.”

Strive Women joins Mastercard’s portfolio of philanthropic small business support programmes, called Mastercard Strive, which helps small businesses thrive in the digital economy.

“With long experience working to support women around the globe, CARE understands that female entrepreneurship is a critical avenue through which we can support women’s economic empowerment. Women also put their profits back into their families, create more jobs and bring greater prosperity for their communities. We’re thrilled to embrace this newly launched Strive Women program to continue fueling the growth engine of women-owned businesses with tools and financial resources that better suit their needs,” said Le Kim Dung, country director of CARE in Vietnam, shared.

Women’s entrepreneurship is a core component of CARE’s women economic empowerment programme and a crucial tool to fight poverty and gender inequality through addressing structural and social barriers and decision-making. as well as investing in the capability, agency and business opportunities for women to have a sustainable impact on both gender equality and their economic status.

CARE and Mastercard to launch Strive Women in Vietnam

Strive Women, a global programme that runs in Peru, Pakistan, and Vietnam, recognizes that women-led small and micro businesses are critical contributors to economies, communities, and households worldwide. The programme will focus on strengthening the financial health of these micro and small businesses by working with local partners in each market to deliver tailored financial products and support services, while addressing unique gender barriers that women-led businesses face.

Micro and small businesses are the backbone of the Vietnamese economy. Women entrepreneurs, in particular, are often better credit customers with lower default rates than their male counterparts (IFC report), fast adopters of ecommerce, and proven to reinvest in their households and local communities.

In partnership with local financial service providers, business incubators and fintech partners, Strive Women in Vietnam takes a women-centred design approach to understand the needs of women entrepreneurs and deliver financial products and support services, such as capacity building, digital skills enhancement, and network strengthening.

Additionally, the programme innovates in areas such as climate crisis adaptation and childcare support, recognising their disproportionate impact on women. Over four years, the programme aims to reach 2 million entrepreneurs in Vietnam through campaigns, while directly supporting over 90,000 entrepreneurs-the majority being women-to grow their businesses and increase their economic potential.

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By Thai An

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