VISA

Visa Kicks Off Women’s History Month With Empowering Partnerships

woman entrepreneur

Visa is kicking off Women’s History Month in March with two nonprofit partnerships — Hand In Hand International and IFundWomen — that support the company’s devotion to female economic empowerment, Visa announced on Tuesday (March 3). 

Hand In Hand International and IFundWomen will collaborate with Visa to bring information and capital for female entrepreneurs worldwide. There are over 250 million female entrepreneurs around the world. Women-owned businesses have been on the upswing and have surpassed male entrepreneurs. 

“Women power economies around the world and increasingly are a driving force in the creation of new businesses,” said Visa CEO and Chairman Al Kelly. “Visa is committed to using the full power of our network, brand and financial resources to put a spotlight on this growing economic force and help female entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.”

IFundWomen is a platform offering educational resources and access to capital through grants and crowdfunding. Women also get the advantage of expert coaching and networking with other female entrepreneurs.

Visa’s $2.4 million, three-year partnership with the global nonprofit Hand in Hand International supports the company’s mission to help women in business economically flourish. The organization targets developing economies in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. Visa will offer business education and expanded access to financial services to 10,000 micro-businesses in Kenya. A minimum of 75 percent of those businesses is female-owned. 

“In an increasingly digital world, businesses need to constantly adapt to shifting consumer preferences. But keeping up is challenging, especially for a small business. The women entrepreneurs I have met echo a need for more access to capital to fund, run and grow their businesses,“ said Suzan Kereere, global head of merchant sales and acquiring, Visa. “We are excited to help level the playing field through more access to tools and grants this year, and will continue to champion women in all facets of life in the pursuit of an inclusive digital society.” 

Visa also announced on Tuesday (March 3) that the initial results are tallied for its second annual Visa 2020 State of Female Entrepreneurship Report, conducted by Logica Research. The annual study surveyed 400 female small business owners in February 2020 to understand the goals, aspirations and challenges that female entrepreneurs face. Among the key findings? Funding remains a top challenge — 66 percent reported they had trouble finding the necessary funding. However, 79 percent of women entrepreneurs “feel more empowered” now compared to five years ago.

More so than in many other industries, women have taken command of cannabis commerce, a retail sector that by all accounts was dominated by men when marijuana was mostly a black-market product.

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