Mastercard and CARE Vietnam Partner to Launch Strive Women in Vietnam

6:01:40 PM | 3/28/2024

Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth (“the Center”) and CARE, an international humanitarian organization, today announced the launch of Mastercard Strive Women in Vietnam, a new program that aims to strengthen the financial health and resilience of businesses, with a focus on micro and small businesses led by women.

Strive Women, a global program that runs in Peru, Pakistan, and now Vietnam, recognizes that women-led small and micro businesses are critical contributors to economies, communities and households worldwide. The program will focus on strengthening the financial health of these micro and small businesses by working with local partners in each market to deliver tailored financial products and support services, while addressing unique gender barriers that women-led businesses face.

Micro and small businesses are the backbone of the Vietnamese economy. Women entrepreneurs, in particular, are often better credit customers with lower default rates than their male counterparts (IFC report), fast adopters of ecommerce, and proven to reinvest in their households and local communities.

In partnership with local financial service providers, business incubators and fintech partners, Strive Women in Vietnam takes a women-centered design approach to understand the needs of women entrepreneurs and deliver financial products and support services, such as capacity building, digital skills enhancement, and women’s network strengthening.

Additionally, the program innovates in areas such as climate crisis adaptation and childcare support, recognizing their disproportionate impact on women. Over four years, the program aims to reach 2 million entrepreneurs in Vietnam through campaigns, while directly supporting over 90,000 entrepreneurs — the majority being women — to grow their businesses and increase their economic potential.   

Payal Dalal, Senior Vice President, Social Impact, International Markets, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, said, “At Mastercard, women entrepreneurs are seen as critical drivers of the global economy. Adopting a gender intentional lens and women-centered design, Strive Women will get credit flowing into the hands of women and connect them to resources that enhance resilience and spur growth.”

Strive Women builds on the success of the Ignite program, also funded by the Mastercard Impact Fund, which unlocked more than VND 1.5 trillion (US$64.1 million) in loans in Vietnam and directly supported over 47,000 Vietnamese entrepreneurs (99% of them women).  Following the program, 80% of Vietnamese participants increased their sales, and 86% reported increased confidence in running the business.

Luu Thi Hoa, an entrepreneur from Ha Giang province who participated in Ignite, shares her journey commencing with the fact that starting an ethnic minority co-operative, she faced many difficulties in terms of accessing capital, information technology and new knowledge. Hoa also talks about the pressure from family and society to have a ‘stable’ job and spend more time with her baby.

Going through the struggles that Covid-19 pandemic posed, Hoa highlighted the importance of digitalization: “Digital skills are critical these days. People connect online; sales are online. If we don’t change our tactics, we won’t be able to keep up. Digital skills will also help our business grow beyond the territory of Vietnam and expand to foreign markets.”

“Globally, Mastercard is committed to bringing 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. As part of this effort, the organization is providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses,” said Winnie Wong, Country Manager for Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia at Mastercard. “Mastercard and CARE have been partners since 2019, and together have rolled out numerous initiatives such as the Ignite program in Vietnam. The latest Strive Women initiative is part of both organizations’ shared mission to create a more inclusive economy in the country, by providing solutions and support to Vietnamese female entrepreneurs that will help them stay resilient and thrive amidst current economic uncertainties.”

Strive Women joins Mastercard’s portfolio of philanthropic small business support programs, called Mastercard Strive, which helps small businesses thrive in the digital economy.

“With long experience working to support women around the globe, CARE understands that female entrepreneurship is a critical avenue through which we can support women’s economic empowerment. Women also put their profits back into their families, create more jobs and bring greater prosperity for their communities. We’re thrilled to embrace this newly launched Strive Women program to continue fueling the growth engine of women-owned businesses with tools and financial resources that better suit their needs,” said Le Kim Dung, Country Director, CARE in Vietnam.

Women’s entrepreneurship is a core component of CARE’s women economic empowerment program and a crucial tool to fight against poverty and gender inequality through addressing structural and social barriers, decision-making as well as investing in the capability, agency and business opportunities for women to have a sustainable impact on both gender equality and their economic status.

More details on Strive Women in Vietnam are available at

H.N (Vietnam Business Forum)