Empower women entrepreneurs through financial literacy program

Singapore – 17 May, 2017 – Mastercard has announced the 4th phase of its financial literacy program for women entrepreneurs, as part of the company’s regional strategy to empower women and girls across the region with the skills needed to stand on their own feet and support themselves and their families.

The program seeks to provide financial and business literacy education to 15,000 low or no income women in Bangladesh in 2017, bringing the total to 150,000 since 2013. It will also offer training on the efficient use of microfinancing loans for women entrepreneurs nationwide.

Mastercard launched the first phase of its financial and business literacy program in 2013 to mark the opening of their first office in Bangladesh. The second phase followed in 2015 and the third in 2016. In partnership with BURO Bangladesh and Bangladesh Bank, Mastercard has provided financial literacy and business skills trainings to over 135,000 entrepreneurs and Taka10 Account Holders to date.

Shitangshu Kumar Sur Chowdhury, Deputy Governor, Bangladesh Bank inaugurated the ceremony as Chief Guest. Mijanur Rahman Joddar, Executive Director, Bangladesh Bank was presented as special guest. Vikas Varma, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Syed Mohammad Kamal, Country Manager, Bangladesh from Mastercard and Zakir Hossain, Executive Director, BURO Bangladesh.

Shitangshu Kumar Sur Chowdhury, Deputy Governor, Bangladesh Bank said, “I believe what gets in the way of many hardworking and self-determined Bangladeshi women lacking privilege and their success is financial illiteracy. I would like to commend Mastercard and BURO Bangladesh on this long-term project which is now entering its fourth phase on designing a program that provides financial and entrepreneurial training which provides these entrepreneurs with not just the skills but also the confidence to start their own businesses. I think this program will succeed in bridging the gap by allowing them the room to create self-employment.”

Georgette Tan, Senior Vice President, Communications, Asia Pacific, Mastercard also commented, “Despite their competence and diligence, many underserved women across Asia Pacific face challenges in their pursuit of entrepreneurship, due to a lack of business literacy and access to financial services. By equipping these women with key foundational skills through financial and business literacy programs, we strive to provide them with the confidence and opportunity to carve their own paths and achieve financial autonomy. Partnerships with governments and organizations such as BURO Bangladesh are critical to achieving our goal, as we work with them to drive inclusive growth, and further strengthen communities across the region.”

Keen champions of women’s advancement, Mastercard supports a broad range of women’s causes through organizations, scholarships, financial assistance, educational programs and various sustainability programs. Through such initiatives, women around the region are empowered to contribute to their communities and be financially independent.

Besides Buro Bangladesh, Mastercard also partners with other like-minded organizations such as the China Women’s Development Foundation, Hapinoy, Literacy India, Mann Deshi, Mercy Corps, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Shanghai Be Better Education and the Singapore Committee for UN Women, to equip women with skills that can empower them to start and sustain their own businesses.

-End-

About BURO Bangladesh
BURO began in 1990. BURO Bangladesh is a ‘not-for-profit’ organization which specializes in financial inclusion through micro-finance. It offers solutions to tackle poverty, to promote inclusive development and to address the Millennium Development Goals.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP and @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Mastercard Media Contacts
Georgette Tan, georgette.tan@mastercard.com, +65 6390 5971
Andrea Fang, afang@webershandwick.com, +65 6825 8030