Program will expand capacity and access to financing for smallholder farmers with a focus on vulnerable groups

To tweet this news, copy and paste: #MasterCard & @mercycorps partner 2 drive #entrepreneurship in rural China http://news.mstr.cd/1XzMsak 

Beijing, 18 March 2016MasterCard today announced a partnership with global humanitarian and development organization Mercy Corps to implement a business literacy program named “Rural China Enterprise Development Initiative,” which will promote entrepreneurship to fuel economic growth and income generation in the Ya’an prefecture in Sichuan Province.

Building on MasterCard’s partnership with Mercy Corps in other parts of Asia, the program will be tailored to rural China and focused on expanding access to financing and business literacy training for smallholder farmers and cooperatives. Participants will receive capacity building and training focused on entrepreneurship, business management skills, and financial literacy provided by Mercy Corps and local NGOs. Training will initially be provided to at least 150 participants, benefitting a total of 1,000 families and cooperative members.

“Lack of business literacy and access to financial services is a major barrier for smallholder farmers in growing their income, particularly for minority communities living in remote mountainous areas. We are delighted to cooperate with Mercy Corps to help Chinese farmers and entrepreneurs develop the knowledge and skills needed to grow their businesses. This is in line with our long-term commitment to promoting financial inclusion through entrepreneurship, to helping people improve their lives and build better futures,” said Dennis Chang, Division President of China, MasterCard.

“Mercy Corps is grateful to MasterCard for their long-standing support and partnership to promote inclusive and equitable economic growth around the world. Through this latest program in China, together we’re building a stronger tomorrow for smallholder farmers by connecting them to the business and financial training they need,” said Elena Buryan, Director of Programs, Mercy Corps China.

After their training, participants will have the opportunity to submit business plans and apply for microloans. Funding through loans and grants will be provided for high-value agricultural production as well as non-agricultural businesses. The program will also help farmers access new market opportunities and sales channels, including e-commerce platforms, and connect entrepreneurs to mentoring support for starting up new businesses.

Within Asia Pacific, MasterCard and Mercy Corps have also provided business and financial literacy training to female farmers in Myanmar and Indonesia, enabling close to 4000 female farmers to grow their businesses, thereby improving the health and well-being of their families.

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action – helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. For more information, see mercycorps.org.

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’s 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.

About CSR at MasterCard

MasterCard believes all people should have an opportunity to participate in the global economy. However, millions of people around the world lack access to the most basic financial tools. They don’t have secure places to save money, reliable ways to transfer it, or safe ways to transport it. Our payment innovations, such as prepaid and mobile solutions, as well as our philanthropic and consumer education programs, bring the benefit of finance to the unbanked and underbanked, helping them build a stronger future for themselves, their families and their communities.

Media contacts
Huanyu Wu, MasterCard (8610) 8519 9304, Huanyu_wu@mastercard.com
Adrian Yao, Edelman (8610) 56768714, Adrian.Yao@edelman.com