Jaipur, July 24, 2019 – The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth today announced it has successfully reached out to over 10,000 micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Jaipur as part of its BuddhiMoney program with ACCESS Development Services. This announcement was made at an event attended by about 300 entrepreneurs who have directly benefitted from BuddhiMoney. Several senior government officials, corporate leaders, and civil society stakeholders were also present to grace the occasion.

Launched in 2017 in partnership with ACCESS Development Services, BuddhiMoney aims to equip MSE business owners with tools and resources to help improve their business and financial acumen, thus increasing their productivity and profitability. The initiative is also in line with Mastercard’s stated objective of empowering 10 million merchants across the country with digital payments acceptance infrastructure.

The BuddhiMoney video series, created by ACCESS, blends technology and innovative training methods for effective message delivery. In the four-part video series, an animated character named BuddhiMoney was used to educate MSE business owners on mobile banking, registering their businesses, using the Internet as a tool, and accessing credit in an easy-to-understand manner. Short messages from BuddhiMoney were also sent to the business owners via social media.

To measure the ground impact of BuddhiMoney, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth recently commissioned a survey among MSE business owners in Jaipur. Some of the encouraging findings from the survey were:

• 90% of direct MSE participants registered their businesses for Udyog Aadhaar, a twelve-digit Unique Identification Number provided by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Government of India, for small and medium enterprises in India. By formalizing their business, entrepreneurs were able to position themselves for growth as they gain access to mentoring, markets, and financing.
• 45% of MSEs applied for a MUDRA loan, a flagship scheme of the Government of India to extend affordable credit to micro and small enterprises.
• 70% of MSEs began using digital banking.
• 66% of MSEs began using a business planner/daily diary to maintain financial records of their day-to-day operations.
• 61% of MSEs registered for Udyami Mitra, a special loan scheme for MSMEs by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)

Ram Mohan Mishra, Additional Secretary & Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India said, “Governments have been giving their best efforts towards financial inclusion, rural development and overall growth for the country but there is still a huge gap in fulfilling these goals. This is where non-Government organizations, social enterprises & corporate partnerships, play a big role through innovative programs like these. High quality content that addresses information and knowledge gaps, in an empathetic and a friendly approach is an important contribution of the BuddhiMoney program.”

Vipin Sharma, CEO, ACCESS Development Services said, “Microenterprises are the foundation of the Indian economy and contribute to high employment potential. However, their abilities to scale up are limited. As a part of its current long-term strategic plan, ACCESS intends to continue creating innovative training and learning content, to help hand-hold microenterprises to grow and scale.”

Rajeev Kumar, Senior Vice-President, Market Development, South Asia, Mastercard said, “MSMEs are the real drivers of India’s economy. Their inclusion in the financial mainstream is essential in driving the country’s agenda to become the world’s fifth largest economy this year. BuddhiMoney is an innovative solution for enhancing digital financial literacy for MSMEs, as it will educate them to better manage their resources, effectively leverage technology, and scale their businesses. Mastercard and the Center for Inclusive Growth are proud to partner with ACCESS in the mission to empower MSME businesses in Jaipur to actively participate in India’s accelerating digital economy.”

The success of BuddhiMoney has further encouraged Government and private sector partners to join the initiative. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), the nodal ministry focused on digital payments and spearheading the expansion of financial inclusion through technology, has shown interest in further disseminating the training content to MSE business owners across the country.

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About ACCESS Development Services
ACCESS is a national livelihoods support organization, with focus on incubating innovations for sustainable livelihoods of the poor. With support from DFID (Govt. of UK), ACCESS was established in March 2006 as a professional new generation agency to contribute to and support poverty reduction in India. ACCESS is uniquely structured to work at all levels of the development sector value chain, from implementing programmes on the ground, working with the Civil Society Organizations, Government Departments, Corporate Sector and Multilateral / Bilateral Agencies, and also supporting policy at the national level.

About The 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.

Mastercard Communications Contact
Latika Taneja, +91 9899010054
Latika.taneja@mastercard.com

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Ashish Kumar, +91 8860548346
ashish@avianwe.com