Mastercard’s financial inclusion programs in Asia are expanding to include a partnership with recovery and aid organization Mercy Corps to connect to thousands of entrepreneurs in Indonesia’s Malang District to build financial services through grassroots outreach and education.

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, an independent subsidiary of Purchase, N.Y.-based Mastercard, will work with Mercy Corps to bring local small-business owners into contact with private sector entities and community business organizations that can help them access financial resources necessary to sustain and grow their operations, Mastercard said in a Friday press release.

Micro-businesses account for more than 95% of all enterprises in Indonesia, employing more than 90% of the country’s labor force, Mastercard said in the release.

Bloomberg News

A first step in the partnership will be conducting research to assess entrepreneurs’ needs toward developing a training and mentoring program for local residents; Mastercard expects that at least 60% of participants will be women, according to the release.

“Too many entrepreneurs, many of them women, remain disconnected from the networks and resources they need to thrive in today’s economy, like financial resources,” said Shamina Singh, president of Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth. “Our partnership with Mercy Corps can help empower these business owners with the tools and training needed to grow their businesses and advance the lives of their families and communities.”

Mastercard and Mercy Corps have previously worked to drive financial inclusion and financial literacy education to farmers in China, Myanmar and elsewhere in Indonesia, Mastercard said.

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