CSR: How to Benefit from $20Million Empowerment Commitment By Visa Foundation
Visa Inc. has marked the launch of the newly-incorporated Visa Foundation, which has been established as part of Visa’s larger social impact strategy that will prioritize the growth of micro and small enterprises around the world, enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive.
To mark its inception, the Visa Foundation is making its first financial commitment of up to $20 million to Women’s World Banking.
At the heart of the Visa Foundation is the belief that micro and small enterprises are the backbone of the global economy. In fact, small and medium enterprises account for more than 90 percent of enterprises worldwide, and contribute 50-60 percent of global employment. However, these segments struggle to access the financial tools, capital and training programs required to enable them to fully thrive. The Visa Foundation’s core mission is to support efforts to rectify this imbalance.
“As a brand and a business, Visa has always stood for making a positive and transformational impact on the world,” said Al Kelly, chief executive officer for Visa and Visa Foundation board member. “The Visa Foundation has been established to build on a long history of corporate giving and will accelerate the delivery of our social impact goals. Our intention is to establish a legacy of meaningful contributions by helping millions of microenterprises thrive.”
The Visa Foundation’s first multi-year initiative will be a five-year, up to $20 million grant to Women’s World Banking aimed at supporting millions of women-led small and micro enterprises.
Despite their contribution to both the formal and informal economy worldwide, women-owned micro and small businesses are unserved or underserved financially.
According to the World Bank there is a staggering $300 billion annual credit deficit for formal sector women-owned small and medium sized the businesses. Financial products such as savings, credit and insurance can help low-income women to build their assets, grow their businesses, and ensure economic resilience in challenging times.
With the Visa Foundation’s support, Women’s World Banking will develop sustainable solutions for women entrepreneurs to build their enterprises and establish financial safety nets while also advancing leadership skills and financial capabilities.