The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth has announced the latest beneficiaries of the Mastercard Strive Innovation Fund, allocating nearly $2 million in grants globally. This initiative underpins Mastercard Strive’s commitment to nurturing early-stage solutions that can significantly impact small businesses, particularly in sustainability, digitalization, and community lending.
The Strive Innovation Fund, managed by Caribou Digital and DAI, is set to bolster 11 organizations worldwide. Seven of these are dedicated to advancing digital solutions that support small businesses in environmental sustainability and market access through data. In the United States, Strive USA will fund four organizations focused on strengthening the small business ecosystem through innovative digital and data-first strategies.
Shamina Singh, founder and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, emphasized the role of digital advancements in fostering small business growth and resilience. “Every day, digital advances are creating new opportunities for small business growth and resilience. Mastercard Strive helps provide the necessary funding to develop and scale ideas and solutions that meet the needs of small businesses today and for the future. This is key as we work toward an economy and society that promises opportunity for everyone, everywhere,” Singh stated.
Strive represents a global suite of philanthropic programs aimed at empowering small businesses in the digital economy. Through targeted grantmaking and local partnerships, Strive seeks to build more resilient enterprises with greater growth and success opportunities.
The recipients of the Strive Innovation Fund grants include:
- Vested Impact: Developing an automated impact assessment portal for small businesses, focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Targets.
Small Business Deals
- Alner (Indonesia): Implementing a reusable packaging system with a digital app to empower small businesses as resellers.
- SkyEye (Samoa): Offering an e-commerce platform that aids Samoan small businesses in accessing local and international markets.
- SoBanHang (Vietnam): Providing a business management mobile app for small businesses to enhance digital sales and operations.
- Tern Eco Ltd (UK): Aiming to help retailers build brand-owned circular models for sustainability and revenue growth.
- Datasketch (Colombia): Democratizing data science for small businesses in developing nations with accessible data tools.
- Africa 118 (Ethiopia): Supporting small businesses in leveraging digital platforms and social media for marketing.
- Accessity (California, U.S.): Enhancing small business loans and resources through AI-enabled tools.
- Aeris Insight (U.S.): Accelerating capital flow to CDFIs for underserved small businesses and communities.
- California Farmlink (California, U.S.): Integrating capital tools and digital solutions for Latino farmers and climate-smart agriculture.
- Scale Link & LoanWell (U.S.): Piloting a digital marketplace for small business lending with a network of CDFI lenders.
The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth continues to advance equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion worldwide. By leveraging data insights, expertise, and technology, the Center conducts independent research and scales global programs. It also empowers a community of thinkers, leaders, and doers at the forefront of inclusive growth.