MasterCard Employees to Contribute Time and Talent to Help Students Achieve Success

PURCHASE, N.Y., Jul 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) –

MasterCard Worldwide today announced a $1 million grant to the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) to support entrepreneurship education programs geared toward middle and high school students in low-income communities across the United States.

The MasterCard grant will support NFTE’s core U.S. school-based youth entrepreneurship program that provides hands-on learning and classroom lessons on mathematics, analytical skills and management and planning. MasterCard employees will also have an opportunity to get involved as volunteer educators, helping to create digital “master classes” that teachers across the world can access on-demand to supplement their daily lessons.

MasterCard’s commitment also extends to supporting the NFTE University, a comprehensive suite of technical assistance and professional development programs to equip teachers to be more effective. This includes support for NFTE’s digital teacher network and in-person events, as well as NFTE’s annual Global Enterprising Educators of the Year Awards.

“Our support of NFTE and its inspiring programs expands MasterCard’s commitment to empower today’s youth to realize successful futures through entrepreneurship and educational empowerment,” said Patricia Devereux, group head, Corporate Philanthropy & Citizenship at MasterCard Worldwide. “NFTE teaches students the fundamentals of becoming financially independent by keeping them on a path to high school graduation and, in some cases, running their own businesses. We are delighted to help fuel their path to success.”

Building a Foundation for Students’ Future Success

NFTE is a global 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a pioneer in using entrepreneurship education as a key lever for unlocking the potential of at-risk youth in low-income communities. As the centerpiece of NFTE’s program, students create and present an original business plan based on their own special interests and talents. As students progress through the course, they participate in a variety of activities, including field trips to local businesses, buying/selling events, competitions and mentorships with local community business people.

Over the past two decades, more than 350,000 NFTE graduates have been taught the fundamentals of becoming financially independent by running their own businesses.

“In its daily business activities and corporate philanthropic commitments, MasterCard is uniquely positioned to support our mission to promote the entrepreneurial spirit in America’s youth,” said Amy Rosen, president and CEO of NFTE. “Through the generous contributions of corporate partners, we can encourage more of today’s youth to not only stay in school, but recognize business opportunities and go after their dreams.”

Moving from Vision to Action

As part of the grant, MasterCard will sponsor NFTE’s sixth annual National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, including 11 regional youth business plan competitions, in addition to other research and evaluation initiatives. The grant will also support teacher training and professional development programs as part of NFTE’s Certified Entrepreneurship Teachers accreditation initiative.

During the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, the top two students from each region will compete at the national level, applying lessons learned from their hands-on training in the class room and from the development of their original business plans. The top three finalists divide a prize pool to be applied toward advancing their entrepreneurial endeavors or furthering their education.

Making a Positive Impact Locally and Globally

In addition to its domestic activities, MasterCard is also working with NFTE in Europe to foster employee support and contributions toward financial literacy and entrepreneurship-focused programs.

In its corporate philanthropy programs, MasterCard is committed to making a positive impact on the local community by focusing on financial inclusion, entrepreneurship and financial literacy efforts that help ensure that individuals have access to opportunities to achieve financial independence and realize their potential.

About MasterCard Worldwide

As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Worldwide prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere. MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide. In 2010, $2.7 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 23 billion transactions each year and has the capacity to handle 160 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 130 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability. MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R), and Cirrus(R); its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass(TM) and MasterCard inControl(R). MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at www.mastercard.com. Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.

About the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship

Too many young people today drop out of school and struggle to break the cycle of poverty. Since 1987, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has been inspiring young people to pursue educational opportunities, start their own businesses, and succeed in life. By providing entrepreneurship education programs relevant to the real world, NFTE empowers students to own their educations in and out of the classroom and to find their own path to success. Hundreds of thousands of students have discovered opportunity all around them through entrepreneurship via thousands of certified educators worldwide. NFTE supports active programs in 18 states and 9 other countries through our network of program offices and licensed partners. Entrepreneurs are a powerful driver of economic growth and NFTE sows the seeds of innovation in students worldwide. For more information, visit www.nfte.com.

SOURCE: MasterCard Worldwide

NFTE
Jamie Plaxo, 312-546-3512
jplaxco@mww.com
or
Dan Delany, 917-281-4303
dan.delany@nfte.com
or
MasterCard Worldwide
Dwain Schenck, 914-249-4199
dwain_schenck@mastercard.com