Mastercard, Grab launch programme to boost entrepreneurship

  • Includes courses for Grab drivers, delivery partners
  • Aims to support small businesses to digitise operations

Mastercard, Grab launch programme to boost entrepreneurshipMastercard and Grab have launched the “Small Business, Big Dreams” regional programme to digitally upskill gig economy workers and small businesses in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. 

In a joint statement, both companies said the collaboration is part of Strive Community, a global philanthropic initiative developed by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Caribou Digital. 

This community aims to support the resilience and growth of five million small businesses around the world, they added.

The “Small Business, Big Dreams” regional programme includes the launch of two online business courses for Grab’s driver and delivery-partners aspiring to start new businesses, and small business owners seeking to grow in a competitive digital economy. 

The companies said the programme aimed at enabling small businesses to reach their full potential by supporting them to digitise their operations, unlock their access to financial services and more effectively participate in the digital economy.

Cheryl Goh, group head of marketing and sustainability at Grab, “Through our partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, we hope to give gig workers and small businesses a boost to get started,.

“Our “Small Business, Big Dreams programme will equip them with business knowledge and practical skills through a structured learning journey tailored to their needs and interest areas,” Goh said. 

Payal Dalal, senior vice president of Social Impact for International Markets at Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, said, "Mastercard is delighted to work with Grab on this initiative that will boost digital capacity and inclusion among aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses post-pandemic.

“The company has globally committed to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025,” Dalal said. 

She added that this announcement follows on the success of Mastercard Academy 2.0 in Indonesia, Business Cell in Philippines, and BSR’s HER Project Digital Wage in Cambodia, and Care Ignite in Vietnam.  

Small businesses play a vital role in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, contributing up to 60% of the GDP of these economies, both parties said.

Despite 80-90% of small and medium-sized enterprises in Southeast Asia losing income due to Covid-19 lockdowns, many were able to skirt this hit by going digital, with online businesses’ profits rebounding more quickly,  they added.

This resilience is what this micro-learning programme seeks to bring to an abundance of small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs across the region, they said.

The two new online courses, namely the Driver Entrepreneurship Toolkit and the Small Business Toolkit were created based on survey insights from over 34,000 driver-partners and 600 small businesses in the region. 

To meet these aspirations, Mastercard and Grab have engaged leading local small business experts, such as Tumbu, WISE, and Bayan Academy, to jointly develop the online courses.

The courses, which comprise 20 short video lessons each, provide practical steps to address the challenges frequently faced by small businesses and first-time entrepreneurs.

“Research has found that during the pandemic, digital commerce adoption among micro-small businesses increased by only about 5%, while 44% of medium and large businesses reported selling online,” said Dewi Meisari, chief executive officer of Tumbu Accelerator.

The training videos are available free of charge to all Grab Partners on GrabAcademy, via the Grab Driver and Merchant superapps. Driver-partners will receive certificates of completion upon completing each module.


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