Mastercard and Boost Capital announce partnership to support over 10,000 small businesses in the Philippines

May 3, 2024 | Manila, Philippines
  • With a focus on women-led enterprises, the partnership will enable their access to digital financial services and impart financial literacy.
  • It is set to scale Boost Capital’s proven technology for financial service providers in the Philippines to better meet the needs of underserved small businesses.


Mastercard today announced a philanthropic partnership with technology provider, Boost Capital, with the aim of unlocking access to digital financial services for over 10,000 small businesses, especially women-led enterprises, in the Philippines. This new partnership – supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth – will leverage technology to enable access to capital, knowledge and resources for Filipino small enterprises.

The program follows a previous partnership between the two organizations in Cambodia that showcased how digital onboarding channels, paired with greater financial literacy, can de-risk and expand lending to small businesses. This program in the Philippines will leverage learnings and insights from Cambodia and facilitate financial service providers to broaden access to digital financial services by improving merchant onboarding and extending financial literacy training to their small business customers.

“The results from our partnership in Cambodia clearly demonstrated the value that pairing credit with capacity building can have on unlocking capital for underserved small businesses. By building on that work, our aim is to empower more small businesses in the Philippines and facilitate their transition to the digital economy,” said Shamina Singh, Founder and President of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

Boost Capital’s award-winning, white-labeled tech platform onboards small businesses leveraging familiar channels such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and WhatsApp, which Filipino entrepreneurs are already using. Integrated with AI, the company’s chat-based technology allows service providers to onboard more small business customers digitally. Once onboarded, small businesses can access financial services 24/7 from their smartphones. The entire process is automated, from product selection, through AI-driven verification, to contracting and disbursement.

With funding from Mastercard Strive, an initiative under the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Boost Capital will collaborate with financial service providers in the Philippines to use this technology to bring more female small business owners into the formal financial ecosystem and provide them with services to support and grow their businesses.

In addition to broadening access to financial services, the program will build the capacity of small business owners to support their long-term financial health through chat-based financial education interwoven throughout their financial service lifecycle. Previous work in Cambodia demonstrated that small businesses who received financial education were 8 percent more likely to repay loans on time.

“We are excited to be working with Mastercard Strive to unlock and expand credit for Filipino small businesses. This new grant will extend our technology to a wider set of partners and de-risk its adoption by smaller financial service providers, who might otherwise be hesitant to go digital. Encouraging them to explore new client onboarding channels will unlock access to a wealth of digital financial services to support small business growth,” said Lucinda Revell, Co-Founder of Boost Capital.

Mastercard Strive is a portfolio of philanthropic programs aimed at helping small businesses worldwide thrive in the digital economy. Collectively, they aim to support more than 10 million small businesses globally.

“Micro and small businesses are vital engines of economic growth across the world, including in the Philippines. By fostering digital inclusion – one of the country’s strategic development priorities – this partnership with Boost Capital will provide much-needed support to Filipino small businesses and empower them to thrive. Further, by focusing on women-led enterprises, this partnership can help address the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs, enabling them to unlock their full potential. This latest collaboration deepens Mastercard’s commitment to the Philippines, driving social impact in a locally relevant way, while supporting the country's efforts to digitizing and growing small businesses, and advancing inclusive growth,” said Simon Calasanz, Country Manager for the Philippines, Mastercard.

Mastercard’s efforts have positively impacted over 1 million micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines. Globally, Mastercard is committed to bringing 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. As part of this effort, the organization has provided 27 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses since 2020, surpassing its goal of 25 million by 2025.

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Background: The micro- and small business landscape in the Philippines

The Philippines is one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia, and the Philippine financial services sector is experiencing steady growth, driven by a rising population, increasing disposable income, and positive government initiatives promoting financial inclusion. However, the sector still faces challenges including a large unbanked small business population, and limited access to financial products, especially in rural areas.  Micro and small enterprises in the Philippines make up about 99 percent of businesses operating in the Philippines and contribute to around 58 percent of the country’s total employment [1].  Despite their significant role, small businesses in the region continue to face challenges in accessing credit due to high transaction costs and insufficient credit information [2]. Yet across the board, from regulators to large commercial banks to small rural banks and fintechs, financial service providers want to address the financing needs of underbanked small businesses.

Media Contacts

Nipoan Chavigny Chheng, Boost Capital
+855 69 60 61 87 |
Ilona-Jade Errington, Mastercard
Danielle Lambo, Greenbulb Communications
+63 939 913 6233 |

About Boost Capital

Boost is an award-winning, white-labelled tech platform that allows financial service providers (FSPs) to serve customers via popular chat platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Whatsapp, without an app download.  Boost offers the best possible funnel for new applicants to onboard loans, credit cards, savings, and merchants through their FSP partners. Boost is active in Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, and India, and has enabled over 2 million applicants and merchants through its innovative chat-based technology.



About the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. The Center leverages the company’s core assets and competencies, including data insights, expertise, and technology, while administering the philanthropic Mastercard Impact Fund, to produce independent research, scale global programs, and empower a community of thinkers, leaders, and doers on the front lines of inclusive growth. For more information and to receive its latest insights, follow the Center on LinkedIn, Instagram and subscribe to its newsletter.


About Mastercard Strive

Mastercard Strive is a global philanthropic initiative — developed by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Caribou Digital — supporting the resilience and growth of over five million small businesses around the world. The initiative enables these small businesses to reach their full potential as catalysts of inclusive growth by supporting them to digitalize their operations, unlock their access to financial services and more effectively participate in digital markets. By partnering with the private sector, civic, and government organizations from all over the world, Mastercard Strive employs a digital and data first approach, supporting small businesses to increase their use of digital technology and boost their economic potential. Mastercard Strive is funded by the Mastercard Impact Fund. The Fund is administered by the Center for Inclusive Growth which advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world.



About Caribou Digital

Caribou Digital delivers fund management, learning partnerships, and research, advisory, and measurement services, supporting organizations worldwide to build more inclusive and ethical digital economies.


About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.