Mastercard and USAID Launch 'Project Kirana' for Women Entrepreneurs

Mastercard and USAID Launch 'Project Kirana' for Women Entrepreneurs

Mastercard and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have partnered under the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) to launch Project Kirana.


Project Kirana will work to increase revenue streams, expand financial inclusion and digital payments adoption of kirana shops that are owned or operated by women. The two-year program will be implemented by DAI and ACCESS Development Services in select cities of Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi. The program will focus on:


Building financial and digital literacy skills on topics such as banking, digital payments, saving, credit and insurance; Improving basic business management skills including inventory management, accounting, budget management and customer loyalty; and Addressing cultural and other barriers to women becoming successful kirana entrepreneurs; including outreach to men, family members, and the community.


Alison Eskesen, Vice President, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth said, “Creating equal opportunities for women in business is not only a question of gender equality but also an economic priority. At Mastercard, we believe in levelling the playing field for women entrepreneurs. We work towards democratizing access to financial and digital services and establishing and broadening networks among small business owners. It becomes imperative to help women unlock their potential, strengthen their skills and enhance their participation in business.”


Karen Klimowski, Acting USAID/India Mission Director said, “This partnership between USAID and Mastercard is a great example of the U.S. Government’s commitment to collaborating with the private sector in achieving sustainable development outcomes, such as the global women’s economic empowerment. USAID will leverage our technical expertise and convening power in India to help bring more women into the formal economy, especially the digital economy, as we believe economically empowered women reinvest in their families and communities, spur economic growth, and ultimately help communities in our partner countries to progress on their journey to self-reliance.”


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