The ambitious initiative seeks to coach, connect and certify more than 100,000 women entrepreneurs in the Americas by 2021

Lima, April 12, 2018 – Mastercard today announced it will join the #100kChallenge, an ambitious initiative seeking to coach, connect and certify more than 100,000 women entrepreneurs in the Americas by 2021. The challenge was launched today on the 3rd CEO Summit of the Americas, by the President of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno.

Through the ConnectAmericas for Women platform, the IDB and partner companies will help strengthen the digital and business skills of women entrepreneurs using innovative training tools. They will also promote the participation of women-led businesses in regional and global value chains, facilitate procurement opportunities, increase their participation in business forums, and promote training programs for certification of their products, services or processes.

Connect Americas for Women is a B2B online platform that connects women-owned business to private and public procurement and trade opportunities, and helps strengthen their management and export capabilities. Launched in 2016 by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the platform has been disseminated in collaboration with strategic partners and a growing network of public and private business support organizations committed to enhancing women’s economic empowerment in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Since last year, Mastercard has been collaborating with the IDB in developing a payment solution to enable cross-border transactions for the Connect Americas platform. It is a natural move for Mastercard to join forces with the Connect Americas for Women to support the development of women entrepreneurs. They not only make up a large portion of the members of Connect Americas, but represent an important area of focus for Mastercard.

“Inclusion, opportunity and empowerment are global priorities at Mastercard. We are committed to working toward a gender equal society, which enables all participants to flourish, develop and grow to reach their full”, says Gilberto Caldart, Mastercard president for Latin America and Caribbean region.

Mastercard’s commitment to gender equality

Over the last years, Mastercard has invested in different programs aiming to promote gender equality in Latin America & Caribbean region.

Last October, Mastercard and INCAE Business School announced a strategic alliance to support the LEADS Women joint initiative. LEADS (which stands for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Advancement, Development and Sustainability) is a project aimed at empowering small and medium-sized enterprises led by women in Central America.

By combining their experience and scope, INCAE and MasterCard seek to foster economic growth and to attain progress toward the specific objective of women’s empowerment. The LEAD program  provides women with the training and tools required to develop their business skills and creative thinking, and to solve business challenges.

Mastercard’s relationship with IDB

Mastercard’s relationship with IDB started in 2014, when the company became a donor of the organization’s Transparency Fund. Recently, Mastercard has extended the relationship with IDB, being one of the focus areas the work with Connect Americas reaching over 150,000 subscribers that are engaged in cross-border trade.

Since last year, Mastercard has been collaborating with the IDB in developing a payment solution and tools to enable cross-border transactions for the Connect Americas platform

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects 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 @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.