MasterCard has announced the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth to conduct and support academic research and provide strategic philanthropic investments that further sustainable and equitable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. More than a billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.5 billion adults lack access to formal financial services. While progress is being made, inclusive growth can be the difference, especially for emerging markets, between a volatile economy and one that’s sustainable and sensible in its growth over time.
“MasterCard is launching the Center to provide a focus on delivering the research and philanthropic investments necessary to advance inclusive growth,” said Walt Macnee, Vice Chairman of MasterCard.
“With more people from more countries participating in the global economy than even before, MasterCard believes that inclusive growth is key for economic and social progress.”
“Today, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to define the future more evenly and more equitably, and in a way that’s more sustainable and prosperous,” said Macnee. “We look forward to continuing a dialogue with all interested stakeholders through the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth.”
The Center will work with government agencies, academic institutions, non-profits, foundations and private corporations to create and curate relevant knowledge assets and convene a global knowledge network. As a first step, the Center has created an Academic Advisory Council comprised of thought leaders and innovative thinkers on economic growth and financial inclusion from around the world. Serving as Senior Fellows, they provide strategic counsel and inform the Center’s annual research agenda. The Center’s Senior Fellows include: Fan Gang, Robert Lawrence, Guntram Wolff, Martyn Davies, Ricardo Hausmann, and Suman Bery.
The Center will also focus MasterCard’s strategic philanthropic investments on programs and initiatives that advance financial inclusion through entrepreneurship and economic development. Investments will include a particular focus on empowering women and youth who comprise a large share of those currently excluded from formal financial services.