Visa, the global leader in digital payments, has pledged $1 million to United Way Mumbai (UWM), to empower women-owned and women-focused businesses over the next three years. The project will be implemented in a total of 170 villages and towns across four states—Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, and Karnataka will focus on creating sustainable, long-term skills for entrepreneurship among participants. The project aims to train over 8,500 women and connect them with financial services relevant to their enterprises and communities.
Announcing the commitment, Sandeep Ghosh, Group Country Manager India & South Asia, Visa, said, “At Visa, we have strongly advocated and supported the growth of small businesses particularly those focused on women. Our partnership with United Way Mumbai will impart financial and entrepreneurship skills to women from communities that do not enjoy the same access and privileges as many others. As women get empowered, so do the communities they represent. We look forward to this partnership making meaningful contributions to deserving communities in times to come.”
The Visa-UWM project will target three core impact areas: access to knowledge and services for financial inclusion, Entrepreneurship development and formation of sustainable Self-Help Groups
Commenting on the partnership, George Aikara, CEO, United Way Mumbai, said “We at United Way Mumbai, strongly believe that India’s growth story is incomplete without the equal participation of women. Our efforts aim to address the barriers that exist to women’s participation in the social and economic spheres. We are elated to work with Visa as they share our commitment to democratizing the financial ecosystem by bringing women into it and we look forward to the support of this partnership in bringing that to fruition.”
With its iFundWomen grants programme, Visa has empowered women-owned businesses in India previously as well. Recent initiatives include upskilling women micro-entrepreneurs across the country after the pandemic and committing to help 50 million small and medium-sized businesses globally to get online and future-proof their businesses. As part of Visa’s goal to enable businesses to thrive, the company partnered with Hand in Hand International to provide $2.4 million over three years to 75% of women-owned businesses. Additionally, Visa launched its women-owned small business initiative in 2019 called ‘She’s Next’ to empower women entrepreneurs.