New program seeks to help micro and small businesses overcome barriers to growth

Jakarta, 5 May, 2017 – The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth today announced a partnership with Mercy Corps to help entrepreneurs in Malang City and Malang District overcome barriers to growth, join the formal economy and build more resilient and sustainable businesses.  These entrepreneurs are critical to helping the Government of Indonesia achieve its National Strategy for Inclusive Finance and to boost equitable growth.

Today, micro and small businesses account for over 95% of all enterprises in Indonesia and employ more than 90% of the country’s labor force, but face a number of significant barriers.

  • They lack the knowledge and skills necessary to optimize and grow their businesses;
  • Few banks serve the remote or isolated areas where these businesses are located;
  • Operating informally makes it difficult to access financial resources; and
  • They are unable to expand their operations due to limited understanding about market demands.

“Too many entrepreneurs, many of them women, remain disconnected from the networks and resources they need to thrive in today’s economy, like financial services,” said Shamina Singh, president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.  “Our partnership with Mercy Corps can help empower these business owners with the tools and training needed to grow their businesses and advance the lives of their families and communities.”

The partnership seeks to increase access to the products and services of formal financial institutions and other resource providers, and to link these entrepreneurs to private sector entities and community business organizations to enhance their market access.

The Mastercard Center and Mercy Corps will first conduct a needs assessment to identify the constraints to and opportunities for micro and small businesses’ growth. This research will inform the development and deployment of a training and mentoring program, and at least 60% of the participants will be women. Mercy Corps will also leverage their experience in strengthening agricultural value chains and unlocking access to finance to support off-farm businesses that have a propensity to grow.

“Mercy Corps is excited and proud to partner with Mastercard on this initiative to promote inclusive and equitable economic growth for entrepreneurs and vulnerable populations in Indonesia and ultimately to help people to triumph over adversity and to build stronger communities,” said Jared Rowell, Mercy Corps Regional Manager of South and East Asia.

Mastercard and Mercy Corps have a long history of engagement and partnership in the region, most recently having worked together to provide business and financial literacy training to smallholder farmers in China, Myanmar and Indonesia.

Across the globe, Mastercard has been working with governments, banks, NGOs and others to empower the marginalized and deliver the benefits of financial inclusion. The company already has over 750 programs in more than 80 countries and has connected 310 million people to formal financial services as part of a broader commitment to reach 500 million by 2020. Mastercard also seeks to connect 40 million micro and small merchants to our payments network, because these are the places the underserved frequent, and so far has added 5.5 million.

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. 

About Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth
The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth focuses on promoting equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. As an independent Mastercard subsidiary, it combines data, expertise and technology with philanthropic investments to empower a community of thinkers, leaders and innovators on the frontlines of inclusive growth.  Follow us on Twitter @CNTR4growth and subscribe to receive our latest insights.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, 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 join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau. 

Media contacts
Georgette Tan, +65 6390 5971,
Dini Arista, Weber Shandwick, +62 21 5292 1874,