Since 2019, CARE and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth have been working together to support micro and small enterprises, especially those led by women, to grow their businesses. With a $9 million investment from the Mastercard Impact Fund, the partnership was renewed and re-launched under ‘Strive Women’ in November 2023, with a goal of directly supporting more than 300,000 small businesses in Pakistan, Peru, and Vietnam to strengthen their financial health and resilience. The program aims to reach 6 million entrepreneurs through campaigns.
Strive Women builds on the success of the Ignite program, a partnership between the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and CARE, which ran from 2020-2023. Through the Ignite program, more than 150,000 entrepreneurs were supported with loans, critical support services, and training. The program unlocked $154.9 million in loans from the initial grant of $5.26 million. 79% of female program participants increased their sales and 89% reported an increased confidence in running the business.
The partnership also extends to Strive Czechia, a program which unleashes the power of micro and small enterprises in the Czech Republic to succeed in the digital economy and runs from 2022-2025. Strive Women and Strive Czechia are part of Mastercard Strive, a global portfolio of philanthropic programs aimed at helping small businesses around the world thrive in the digital economy.