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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

Five Minutes to Change the World

It happened over breakfast early this year. I met with Trina Liang, President of UN Women Singapore to discuss MasterCard’s corporate alliance with UN Women in the APMEA region.

One discussion led to another and before we knew it, we were working out the details to a collaborative effort to jointly celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, and MasterCard’s ’25 Years in Asia’.

Entitled “Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World”, the concept is simple – a year-long social media-driven initiative which reaches out to the young consumer segment (18-35 years), inviting them to submit a videoclip pitching their ideas of what CSR project they would undertake if they had US$25,000. The program is open to entries globally, but the projects have to benefit women and girls in the APMEA region. The 10 shortlisted candidates will come together in Singapore in August to present their pitch to a panel comprising MasterCard and UN Women executives.

Trina brought the concept to the UN Women’s Council in Singapore, and they loved it,… much so they offered to put up a separate prize of US$10,000 specifically for the winning pitch around increasing financial literacy amongst women and girls in the region.

The 2 winners of the US$25,000 and US$10,000 grants will have to commence execution of their projects this year, and publicize their efforts via social media.

The program was pulled together in 4 weeks, during which we launched the “Project Inspire” page on the UN Women’s website, secured 3 supporting organizations – an academic partner(INSEAD), a media partner(ChannelNewsAsia) and a consulting firm (Bain).

“Project Inspire” was launched last week, and already there’s been considerable media and public interest. We’re hoping the initiative really takes off and we get lots of entries from around the world.

You can help – please spread the word and tell your friends to log on to for details of how to participate.