Mercy Corps and MasterCard partner in Myanmar to empower small farmers and entrepreneurs

Program will provide much needed business and financial literacy skills to women and small businesses

PORTLAND, Ore. – The global humanitarian and development organization, Mercy Corps, and global technology and payments industry leader, MasterCard Worldwide, are announcing a partnership in the newly democratic country of Myanmar.

Mercy Corps, MasterCard’s first NGO partner in Myanmar, will implement a business literacy program called Business and Financial Literacy for Success, which will educate small farmers and households on basic business skills and money management practices, with MasterCard’s support.

Currently undergoing rapid political and cultural shifts, Myanmar has seen intense political changes. As a result, its historically poor populace is gaining access to markets and entrepreneurial endeavors. Mercy Corps’ business and financial literacy program aims to educate these communities on how to succeed in business and manage personal and business assets.

The curriculum for this program will be adapted from Mercy Corps’ existing courses currently in use in other Asian countries. The training will include basic business and financial literacy topics including marketing, market assessment skills, cash-flow analysis, petty cash management, book keeping and basic accounting.

With MasterCard’s partnership, the training module will target 1000 beneficiaries – both entrepreneurs and small farmers – with a particular emphasis on women. Mercy Corps already works with these populations in Myanmar, supporting small businesses and farmers and providing agricultural training, tools and seeds, allowing the beneficiaries to grow their own food and sell excess produce for supplemental income. This empowers women entrepreneurs, supports income generating opportunities and improves food security and family nutrition.

“With Myanmar opening up at such a fast pace, there is a real urgency to prepare citizens to participate in the many economic and livelihood opportunities this offers. At MasterCard, we believe that business and financial literacy are the building blocks for this — we are passionate about working with Mercy Corps to help farmers and fledgling entrepreneurs develop the management skills needed to grow their businesses. This is another example of how we advance our global commitment to financial inclusion through entrepreneurship, helping communities better their lives and embrace the future,” said Antonio Corro, country manager and chief representative, Indochina, MasterCard Worldwide.

Globally, MasterCard supports a variety of organizations and programs that help create and sustain entrepreneurs around the world by not only supporting business and financial literacy programs for entrepreneurs but also helping small businesses thrive and grow by supporting programs that provide them with education, training and technology.

MasterCard has already blazed an impressive trail in Myanmar. In September of 2012, MasterCard became the first international payments network to issue a license to a bank in Myanmar, allowing branded global cards to be issued and accepted in the country.

Additional Resources

Read more about our work in Myanmar

Learn more about Mercy Corps' economic development programs around the world

Download the press release

About Mercy Corps:
Mercy Corps helps people turn the crises they confront into the opportunities they deserve. Driven by local needs, its programs provide communities in the world’s toughest places with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives. Mercy Corps works in over 40 countries, improving the lives of 19 million people.

About the MasterCard:
MasterCard (NYSE: MA) is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.

About CSR at MasterCard:
MasterCard believes all people should have an opportunity to participate in the global economy. However, millions of people around the world lack access to the most basic financial tools. They don’t have secure places to save money, reliable ways to transfer it, or safe ways to transport it. Our payment innovations, such as prepaid and mobile solutions, as well as our philanthropic and consumer education programs, bring the benefit of finance to the unbanked and underbanked, helping them build a stronger future for themselves, their families and their communities.

Filed by: Sylvia Stofko-Ross
Senior Communications Officer