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Women hold up half the sky. This phrase has inspired books, songs, NGOs, and most importantly women throughout the globe. What does it mean? Women represent half of our world. Which means that half of our global population is overlooked when women are not included in financial systems. And the research shows that when women are empowered financially, there is a multiplier effect in terms of social good. Women use their financial empowerment to feed hungry families, educate children, vaccinate against disease, and the list goes on. So when Mastercard invests in organizations that empower African women financially, they are investing in the upliftment of the continent. Women hold up half the sky — and so much more.
Empowerment of women through financial literacy training is essential to Africa’s growth.
By Njideka Harry Statistics show that female entrepreneurs in Africa serve as the backbone of the economy and have the power to drive incredible growth. A Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey indicates that women play a vital role in Nigeria and are proactive in starting businesses, with 41% of early-stage companies in the country being run by females. But what these statistics don’t tell are the stories of these women: of their heart, bravery and determination to make their businesses succeed and improve their own lives and those of their families and wider communities. […]
With focus on supporting the growth and development of women entrepreneurs in Africa, Mastercard has committed to three partnerships that will impact women in Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa. These partnerships will focus on empowering young girls and women through financial literacy training and mentorship, giving them access to a network of women in similar situations.
Supporting these female entrepreneurs is vital to their sustained growth, as they become self-sufficient and better able to provide for themselves and their families. This has a positive impact on their immediate community as well, with knowledge transfer and employment opportunities being created. […]
A key driver of economic growth and development in Africa lies in entrepreneurship. In Africa specifically, this is essential in overcoming challenges such as poverty and financial exclusion. For many women in Nigeria, entrepreneurship is their passport to ensuring a better future for themselves and their families. Mastercard and Mercy Corps are working together in Nigeria to educate young women on financial literacy and entrepreneurship by providing them with the necessary training to start their own business. […]
Entrepreneurship is the life blood of the economy, and in Africa women are turning to this as a solution to secure a better future for themselves and their families. In Nigeria, Mastercard and Mercy Corps have partnered to ensure young girls and women receive the necessary financial literacy and entrepreneurship training required to start their own business. The programme has resulted in many stories of inspiration, and we look at one such story of a young woman determined to change her circumstances. Leaving school at the age of seven after losing her parents, Roshida* was taken in by her aunt and uncle. […]
Mastercard has confirmed their ongoing support of the long standing partnership with Youth for Technology Foundation(YTF) to continue efforts to improve financial literacy, technology and skills-enhancement training for women in Nigeria.Partnerships, such as the one between Mastercard and YTF, are vital to supporting the public sector’s goals of empowering more women and sparking a culture of entrepreneurship, especially in Nigeria. It is here where the spirit of resilience can be seen – where women are empowering those in their community and sharing the knowledge they have gained by attending the YTF training sessions. […]
Akhanni* left school at the age of twelve and lacked the ability to change her circumstances, but it was her father that pushed her to enrol in ASSETS. It was here that she flourished and became a photographer after completing a nine-month photography course. She has also saved money for her very own professional camera to start her own business. The Mastercard-funded Accelerating Savings and Strengthening Entrepreneurship Training and Skills (ASSETS) program, is implemented by Mercy Corps and seeks to improve the lives of young women by connecting them to financial literacy and entrepreneurship training and financial services. […]
According to the World Bank, only 47 percent of women worldwide have access to formal financial services, compared to 51 percent of men. In Africa, this number increases to more than 70 percent of women. “One of UN Women’s main objectives is to increase women’s economic empowerment. The partnership with Mastercard will help pave the way to economic freedom and financial inclusion for women, initially in Nigeria,” says Lakshmi Puri, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Deputy Executive Director. Under the program, Mastercard and UN Women will further explore how and when Nigerians have signed up for the country’s national identity card program. […]
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Afoma Ebri, a female entrepreneur from Imo State in Nigeria, has taken control of her own future and that of her family. She now accepts digital payments and has grown her business, employing 30 people from her community. Her story is one of hope. Highlighting the importance of empowering women by giving them access to financial inclusion.
4 – Programme participants are registered to receive a National eID (NeID) card, which in turn is linked to a mobile savings account. Over 6,000 participants from across Mercy Corps programs have been registered for the multi-functional eID card, and nearly 100 have already received their card.
3 – The MasterCard-funded Accelerating Savings and Strengthening Entrepreneurship Training and Skills (ASSETS) program, is implemented by Mercy Corps and seeks to improve the lives of young women by connecting them to financial literacy and entrepreneurship training and financial services.
2 – Tawa joined the ASSETS programme and learnt hairdressing skills such as washing hair, braiding and making wigs, which has enabled her to save money. She has a dream of owning her own salon and the programme has taught her how to save and spend wisely.
5 – The partnership has made real strides to empower young women by encouraging them to take control of their own future. The reality is that for many young girls school is not seen as a priority, but through the Mercy Corps programme they are able to access the alternative resources they need to learn, grow and build a brighter future.
1 – For twenty year old Tawa*, the prospect of a successful future seemed unobtainable when she was forced to drop out of school at the age of 16 because of the lack of funds for a uniform, or even basic necessities.
Through Mastercard Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, 20 teams of Egyptian females aged between 21 and 27 will be empowered to pursue their dreams and establish their financial independence by launching and growing their business. The intensive business program will run for eight months, wherein participants will be coached by professionals as well as Mastercard officials to provide them with business management and capacity business skills.
Mastercard has extended its support of the Junior Achievement South Africa (JA South Africa) Mini Enterprise Programme for the sixth year, with a R1.4 million donation that sees more than 450 learners, predominantly young women, participate in the organisation’s flagship programme. Focusing on business theory, accounting, cash flow and marketing, the programme helps the learners to develop and market their own product to their community, while building their interpersonal skills and confidence.