The Entrepreneur Africa

Mastercard, Vconnect aim to empower MSMEs across Nigeria

Global Payment and Technology Company , Mastercard has partnered with Vconnect , Africa’ s online business listing service , to empower Micro , Small , Medium Enterprises ( MSMEs ) as part of a shared commitment to drive financial inclusion and literacy in Africa .
Nigeria will be the first market to benefit from the partnership, which will be rolled out over a three year period . Vconnect will work closely with Mastercard and its partners to provide MSMEs with Mastercard ’ s mobile payment solution , Masterpass QR . Additionally merchants will have access to an array of digital tools that will help to enable their online presence , ensure effective business management and provide access to finance.
Vice President and Area Business Head, West Africa , Mastercard , Omokehinde Adebanjo, said : “With access to Masterpass QR , these merchants will be able to accept fast and secure digital payments , removing the need for cash. Additionally merchants will be given access to skills that have the potential of helping the business owner to develop a sustainable business . ”
Vconnect currently has a community of over one million MSMEs registered on its database. These businesses play a pivotal role in the growth of the economy .
Head of Growth and Partnerships at Vconnect, Naveen Luthra , added, “ We are thrilled to partner with Mastercard to ensure we are working together to support Africa ’ s growth. This collaboration represents what is possible when we combine global capabilities with firsthand experience . ”
According to the World Bank, MSMEs make up approximately 60 per cent of employment and 40 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP ) in emerging economies , indicating the vital role in economic development . In Nigeria MSMEs comprise about 96 percent of the country’ s businesses .
However , these business owners often battle to access finance, with approximately 70 percent of smaller businesses in emerging economies lacking access to credit loans. Combined with a lack of critical financial literacy skills and gaps in infrastructure, many businesses fail .
“ Through this partnership, we aim to bring about improvement in the way these businesses operate to drive growth and new opportunities , ” said Adebanjo .

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