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Mastercard and USAID Partnered under W-GDP to Launch Project Kirana for Women Empowerment

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Mastercard, USAID join hands for Project Kirana to empower women through financial inclusionOn November 19, 2020 Mastercard and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) entered into partnership under the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) Initiative to launch Project Kirana. Project Kirana is a 2 year economic empowerment program for women that drives small business growth through digital financial inclusion.


The programme will be implemented by DAI and ACCESS Development Services in the selected cities of Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi.

Purpose of the Project– To address the gender equality gap that limits the potential of women-owned businesses’ to launch, grow, and thrive.


i.The Project Kirana is an extension of the commitment of mastercard to empower and enable through an array of commercial products, partnerships and philanthropic giving.

ii.Mastercard with the partnership with USAID, aims to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and also support the aspirations of women entrepreneurs in India.

Gist about Project Kirana:

General Info

i.Project Kirana will help to boost the revenue streams, expand financial inclusion and women owned or operated kirana stores to adopt digital payments.

ii.It is strategically designed to support women with  skills and knowledge in order to enhance their access to financial services and bring them into the formal economy.

Focus of the Program

i.To build financial and digital literacy skills on topics like banking, digital payments, saving, credit and insurance;

ii.To improve basic business management skills that includes inventory management, accounting, budget management and customer loyalty;

iii.To address cultural and other barriers that setback women from becoming successful kirana entrepreneurs, including outreach to men, family members, and the community.

About W-GDP Initiative:


Donald Trump, president of the United States established the W-GDP Initiative in February 2019. It is the 1st whole-of-government approach to economic empowerment of women.


It aims to increase the opportunities for women to participate meaningfully in the economy and promote prosperity and national security.


It targets to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025.

3 pillars 

It focuses on 3 pillars namely,  Women Prospering in the Workforce, Women Succeeding as Entrepreneurs and Women Enabled in the Economy.

Additional Info

i.USAID has a global network of over 186 gender advisors working to accelerate gender work of USAID across the world.

ii.Recently, Mastercard has announced a commitment of Rs 250 crores (US$33 million) to help restart Indian SMEs and enable business recovery amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

iii.As part of the commitment, Mastercard has launched multiple initiatives in India to help  small businesses go online, to drive inclusive growth and to empower women entrepreneurs.

Recent Related News:

i.On 17th October, 2020 Uttar Pradesh (UP) Governor Anandiben Patel launched “Safe City Project” – a women’s safety campaign in Lucknow, UP. “Safe City Project” is a 180-day-long campaign under which police and other departments will work towards strengthening the security of women in public places.

ii.On September 17, 2020, Mukhyamantri Mahila Utkarsh Yojana (MMUY), a scheme of providing interest-free loans of Rs 1 lakh to women’s groups was launched in Gujarat by its Chief Minister (CM) Vijay Rupani.

About Mastercard: 
Headquarters – New York, United States
President and CEO-Elect– Michael Miebach
Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Ajay Banga(Michael Miebach will take over as CEO by January, 2021)

About United States Agency for International Development (USAID):
Acting Deputy Administrator- John Barsa
Headquarters– Washington D.C, United States of America