Five startups join inaugural Mastercard Start Path Small Business cohort to uncover joint innovation opportunities and scale solutions that drive simple, secure digital experiences for SMEs globally.
Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of our economies and the cornerstone of our communities. Yet with the accelerated shift to digital and evolving customer needs, there are increasing pressures on SMEs to keep pace with changing expectations. Technology is ushering in a new era of choice, simplicity and personalization, and changing the way businesses pay and get paid.
From making and receiving payments and getting access to working capital to digitizing their business and maintaining accessible, safe data, SMEs require digital payment solutions and innovative tools to run their enterprises efficiently and securely. Mastercard is welcoming the first cohort of fintechs dedicated to SME innovation to its global startup engagement program, Start Path, to discover opportunities that will help address the broad range of SME needs on their digitalization journey.
The following startups have been selected for the program, as they demonstrate strong synergies with Mastercard’s approach to helping entrepreneurs grow their business and provide solutions beyond payments that will help SMEs thrive:
• Cumplo (LAC): Connects Latin American SMEs with global capital markets to accelerate their growth
• DigiAlly (AP): Builds trust in small and medium enterprise lending through AI-enabled scoring
• PayGoal (LAC): Helps companies in Latin America build their acceptance value proposition for merchants
• Tribe Fintech (AP, EU): Enables banks to leverage an integrated ecosystem of digital business tools, pathways and networks that help SMEs digitize their businesses, make better business decisions and improve their financial health
• Uome (EU): Enables seamless integration and customization for sole traders and small business owners through a flexible, API-driven platform
Throughout the four-month program, these startups will have the opportunity to leverage Mastercard’s expertise and global network of customers and partners to uncover product partnerships and opportunities that will ultimately help deliver simple, secure and trusted solutions for SMEs at scale. Each startup will receive access to curated programming and a dedicated mentor who will help them identify innovation opportunities as well as provide forums to pitch their products and solutions to prospects. To date, 360 companies from 49 countries have participated in Start Path.
“Embracing digital transformation is no longer a luxury for small businesses – it’s a necessity in today’s digital age,” said Jane Prokop, executive vice president, Small and Medium Enterprises at Mastercard. “The newest cohort of startups joining Start Path are providing cutting-edge solutions, tools and services to help small business owners unlock their full potential in the digital world and collaborating with Mastercard to help bring SMEs everywhere into the financial mainstream.”
For decades, we’ve been leveraging our network, insights, technology and partnerships to support small businesses. Over just the past few years, we have provided 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their business through our commercial and philanthropic efforts, including the women-founded and -led companies in the Start Path program. We will continue to focus on supporting women entrepreneurs through Start Path and beyond as we work toward our broader financial inclusion goals of bringing one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.