Mastercard has announced the 4th phase of its financial literacy program for women entrepreneurs. The program seeks to provide financial and business literacy education to 15,000 low or no income women in Bangladesh in 2017, bringing the total to 150,000 since 2013.
In line with Mastercard’s global focus of harnessing entrepreneurship in women and children, the new program offers training to ensure the efficient use of microfinancing loans for women entrepreneurs nationwide.
Mastercard launched the first phase of its financial and business literacy program in 2013 to mark the opening of their first office in Bangladesh. The second phase followed in 2015 and the third in 2016. In association with BURO Bangladesh and Bangladesh Bank, Mastercard has provided financial literacy and business skills trainings to over 135,000 entrepreneurs and Taka10 Account Holders.
Shitangshu Kumar Sur Chowdhury, Deputy Governor, Bangladesh Bank inaugurated the ceremony as Chief Guest. Mijanur Rahman Joddar, Executive Director, Bangladesh Bank was presented as special guest. Vikas Varma, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Syed Mohammad Kamal, Country Manager, Bangladesh from Mastercard and Zakir Hossain, Executive Director, BURO Bangladesh.
Shitangshu Kumar Sur Chowdhury, Deputy Governor, Bangladesh Bank said, “I believe what gets in the way of many hardworking and self-determined Bangladeshi women lacking privilege and their success is financial illiteracy. I would like to commend Mastercard and BURO Bangladesh on this long-term project which is now entering its fourth phase on designing a program that provides financial and entrepreneurial training which provides these entrepreneurs with not just the skills but also the confidence to start their own businesses. I think this program will succeed in bridging the gap by allowing them the room to create self-employment.”
Speaking on the occasion Vikas Varma, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Mastercard said, “In Asia Pacific, Mastercard aims to provide entrepreneurial opportunities to more than 400,000 women and girls by 2020. We are proud to have more than a quarter of that goal come from the work with our partners in Bangladesh. The training will equip participants with the knowledge and skills to create their own opportunities and pursue their dreams, resulting in long-term benefits, not just for themselves, but also their families and society at large.”
Mastercard supports a number of organizations and programs that help create and sustain entrepreneurs around the world through business and financial literacy programs.