Mastercard, SMU set up new financial inclusion program

MasterCard and Singapore Management University (SMU) have announced their partnership in a new Social and Financial Inclusion Programme spanning over two years to catalyse research on social entrepreneurship, innovation and financial inclusion.

It also features an annual Forum, a seminar series, funding towards student projects, as well as the establishment of the MasterCard Professorship of Social Entrepreneurship and Financial Inclusion, where a designated SMU faculty member will provide academic leadership for the Programme alongside Professor Howard Thomas, the Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) Distinguished Term Professor of Strategic Management and Director of SMU’s Academic Strategy and Management Education Unit.

With an emphasis on the Southeast Asia and South Asia regions, the Programme’s research focus will include identifying scalable and sustainable social entrepreneurship and innovation business models; advancing financial inclusion for marginalised communities and micro-entrepreneurs among others.

The research outcomes will be presented at an annual MasterCard-SMU Forum, the first of which will be held in mid-2016.  Under the Programme, SMU students also stand to benefit as they will be able to tap on MasterCard’s funding towards their student consulting projects.

This new initiative is just the latest collaboration between MasterCard and SMU.  Over the last five years, MasterCard has supported 13 postgraduate students in the SMU MBA programme as part of the MasterCard MBA Scholarships for Women.

[Photo: MasterCard and Singapore Management University (SMU) establish new two-year Social and Financial Inclusion Programme. (L-R) SMU President, Professor Arnoud De Meyer and MasterCard Co-President, Asia Pacific, Ari Sarker.]


Ari Sarker, Co-President, Asia Pacific, MasterCard, said, “By partnering with SMU to establish a Social and Financial Inclusion Program, we hope that new, innovative solutions will be discovered that will help us bring the benefits of products and services to Asia Pacific’s unbanked population.”

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