Visa has announced the launch of the Visa Foundation with an initial commitment of up to $20 million in support of women-led small businesses and microenterprises around the world.
To that end, the foundation will provide access to the financial tools, capital, and training that small businesses and microenterprises — which account for more than 90 percent of all enterprises and up to 60 percent of jobs globally — need to thrive. The foundation's first initiative will be a five-year, $20 million commitment to global nonprofit Women's World Banking in support of the organization's efforts to develop solutions for women entrepreneurs looking to build microenterprises and establish a financial safety net.
With an initial focus on women in Egypt, India, Mexico, and Nigeria, WWB will work to develop, test, and scale products such as bundled financial services, business continuity insurance, and technology-based solutions that drive positive financial behaviors; expand its network of partner financial service providers to an additional fifty million underserved individuals; and measure the impact of access to improved financial services for women entrepreneurs.
"Women and women-owned businesses continue to be disproportionately excluded from accessing formal financial services, impacting hundreds of millions of individuals with a significant effect on families and communities," said Stephen Kehoe, Visa's senior vice president for global financial inclusion. "By supporting measures to include women, there is a strong multiplier effect in terms of increased financial health for all. For this reason, the Visa Foundation chose to focus its first grant on women-owned enterprises and has selected Women's World Banking as our first grant recipient."