Visa has recently established a new philanthropic platform for giving, called the Visa Foundation, which focuses on helping micro and small enterprises thrive through access, growth and resilience. Our goal is to empower these enterprises and improve their livelihoods—ultimately lifting up their communities.
At the heart of the new social impact focus is the belief that micro and small enterprises are the backbone of the global economy, accounting for more than 90 percent of enterprises worldwide and contributing 50 to 60 percent of global employment¹. However, many of these businesses struggle to access the tools, resources and training to help them fully thrive. The new social impact strategy, including the core mission of Visa Foundation, is to support efforts to fix this imbalance.
Multi-year grant will empower 2 million enterprises by 2022
As part of its debut, the Visa Foundation is making its first financial commitment with a grant of up to $20 million to Women’s World Banking (WWB). The support, to be provided over five years, will help develop sustainable solutions for women entrepreneurs to build their enterprises and establish financial safety nets while also advancing leadership skills and financial capabilities.
Why this investment?
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 businesses². Financial products such as savings, credit and insurance help low-income women build their assets, grow their businesses and ensure economic resilience in challenging times. Also, when women earn and manage their own income, they reinvest in ways that can produce long-term, inter-generational change: education for their children, better housing and healthcare for themselves and their families.
Women’s World Banking Summit
The inaugural grant of the Visa Foundation to Women’s World Banking was announced at WWB’s third international summit, taking place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where Stephen Kehoe, Visa’s SVP, Financial Inclusion, shared news of the grant with 300 global leaders from financial services, consumer products and technology industries, investors, philanthropists and government, along with Women’s World Banking global footprint of 49 member institutions from 32 countries.
About the Visa Foundation
The Visa Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Visa, works with charitable organizations to support underserved people and communities. As its central focus, the Visa Foundation is committed to helping low-income, financially underserved micro and small enterprises around the world to thrive and prosper. The Foundation, registered in the U.S. as a 501(c (3) entity, also supports broader community needs as well as humanitarian responses in times of crisis.