Mastercard: Supporting the Growth of European Businesses

Mastercard's Strive EU Innovation Fund is dedicated to accelerating the development of solutions to assist small European firms on their digital journeys

Mastercard has a long history of empowering fledgling business ventures in their early growth stages. 

One such example is the Mastercard Impact Fund, a private foundation administered by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth which is aimed at improving the financial resilience and growth of micro and small businesses.

By committing US$320 million in grants to 172 organisations, the fund has given 25 million small businesses access to financial services. 

This theme is continuing through the Strive EU Innovation Fund, an initiative dedicated to accelerating the development of solutions to assist small European firms on their digital journeys.

Strive fund helping firms go digital

Entities of any size – from startups to those more established – can access equity-free grants of up to €500,000 from the Strive EU Innovation Fund, provided they are soliciting innovation that helps Europe’s small business community to do the following:

  • Unlock working capital and credit through embedded finance
  • Go digital safely by bolstering cybersecurity
  • Navigate evolving consumer preferences & regulatory expectations around environmental sustainability
  • Harness AI to save time and make money

"Digital advances have the potential to serve as a bridge to ensure that everyone, particularly small businesses that power our economies, has the tools to grow and build their businesses and remain resilient,” says Payal Dalal, SVP Social Impact, International Markets at Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

Payal Dalal, SVP Social Impact, International Markets at Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

“We look forward to taking our learnings from our Strive programmes so far and extending our reach and scale across Europe.”

Mastercard focuses in on Europe

The Strive EU Innovation Fund is the latest development of Mastercard’s global Strive scheme – and the first dedicated activity for Strive EU, which was launched in November and is being implemented by Caribou Digital.

Initially launched in 2021 and supported by the Center for Inclusive Growth, Strive is a portfolio of philanthropic programmes aimed at helping more than 10 million small businesses around the world to thrive in the digital economy.

Through Strive EU, Mastercard aims to further boost the resilience and growth of Europe’s small business community by supporting new innovations across the EU that help small businesses access capital, go digital and gain networks.

The application window for the fund is now open, with up to 20 projects from EU member states set to benefit from financial backing, technical assistance and any mentoring they may need to accelerate the development of their solutions.

Mark Barnett, President at Mastercard Europe

“Small businesses are the backbone of the European economy, and now, more than ever, it is critical they receive the support they need to join the digital economy,” says Mark Barnett, President at Mastercard Europe

“We are excited to open the application window for the Strive EU Innovation Fund and to hear about some of the best projects coming from Europe’s most innovative minds over the coming months.”

******

Check out the latest edition of FinTech Magazine and sign up to our global conference series – FinTech LIVE 2024

******

FinTech Magazine is a BizClik brand.

Share

Featured Articles

Capital One's Takeover of Discover: All you Need to Know

Capital One's proposed US$35.3bn acquisition of Discover Financial would bring together two of the largest credit card companies in the US

Sustainability LIVE Net Zero: Sustainable Finance Insights

Financial services and banking executives have the opportunity to hear from the world’s biggest sustainability leaders discussing the future of Net Zero

EPAM: 96% of Consumers Happy With AI in Banking

EPAM Continuum has conducted its 2024 Consumer Banking Report, suggesting that 96% of consumers are happy with banks adopting AI

Bitcoin Reclaims US$1tn Valuation; the Bull Market is Here

Crypto

COMING SOON: Top 100 Women in FinTech 2024

Digital Payments

FinTech LIVE Dubai: Linoy Kidd, CIO at HSBC

Financial Services (FinServ)