Mastercard Opens Applications to Small Businesses for Start Path Program

Mastercard recently announced an expansion of its commitment to small and medium-sized businesses in the form of a new program in its award-winning global start-up engagement program, Start Path.

Mastercard Opens Applications to Small Businesses for Start Path Program

Start Path is specifically designed for companies supporting the digital needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The selected start-ups will need to have demonstrated an approach to assisting entrepreneurs around the world similar to Mastercard, helping such small business owners grow and thrive.

Mastercard’s Shared Vision of Empowerment

Mastercard are particularly looking for start-ups that empower fellow entrepreneurs with the likes of digital payment solutions, data insights, and innovative tools to run their enterprises more efficiently and securely.

Since 2014, Mastercard has engaged with over 350 start-ups from more than 40 countries through the Start Path program, with many of them now entering the public market and reaching unicorn status.

mastercard opens applications to start path program

Small Business Collaboration

The vice president of Global Startup and Venture Partnerships at Mastercard, Sabrina Tharani, said: “With SMEs accounting for 90 percent of all global businesses and representing $50 trillion in annual spend, it’s critical that we collaborate to address their diverse challenges and different priorities across industries and regions.

“Collaboration is in our DNA, and we are seeking start-ups to join the Start Path Small Business program that are finding innovative ways to address critical SME needs – from making and receiving payments, getting access to working capital, digitizing their business, acquiring customers, and maintaining data that is accessible, safe and secure.”

On the Mastercard website, the company also explained the Start Path program in greater detail, saying: “The Start Path Small Business program welcomes start-ups that are innovating across a range of digital services for SMEs, including accounting software, ecommerce solutions, lending platforms, payment technologies, digital banking and more. During the four-month program, startups will have the opportunity to leverage Mastercard’s network and SME expertise to uncover product partnerships, scale their companies, and power solutions that drive safe, secure and simple experiences.

“Each company will receive bespoke access to Mastercard’s customers and partners along with curated programming and a dedicated mentor who will help them identify and uncover collaboration opportunities. They will also have opportunities for technology collaboration and forums to pitch their solutions to prospects.”

The website also reveals many of the successful Start Path alumni that have gone on to build strong working relationships with Mastercard. They include Aper who build marketplace and e-commerce experiences for financial institutions to help them remain digitally relevant while fostering safe and easy shopping for consumers. There is also Finpro who assist small and medium enterprises in forecasting their financials, as well as collaborating and helping them achieve company objectives through real-time analytics and dashboards.

Another Start Path alumni, upSWOT, provide software for analyzing key data and behaviors for real-time forecasting which helps businesses proactively manage and mitigate any cash flow challenges.

Start Path Application Details

If you are an owner of a small or medium-sized business and are interested in applying for the Start Path program, then you can apply here and also find out more details on the process.

Image: mastercard

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".