6.1 The MasterCard Foundation

Established by MasterCard Worldwide in 2006, The MasterCard Foundation promotes youth learning and microfinance with a specific focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. It is an independent, private foundation with over $4 billion in assets; the average grant size is $5 million. In the area of microfinance, the Foundation’s strategies include: scaling access in Africa, pioneering youth-inclusive access, and increasing transparency. Its youth learning strategies include: enabling post-primary learning, facilitating entry into the workforce, and supporting entrepreneurship. The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals and undergoes extensive due diligence to ensure that co-designing programs with potential partners will be successful.

Research Spotlight: The MasterCard Foundation Advances Innovation in Youth Learning, Earning, and Saving

The MasterCard Foundation advances the following innovative research and programming initiatives around the world:

  • TechnoServe (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda): Provide training and create employment opportunities for disadvantaged young people in rural communities throughout agricultural value chains.
  • Fundacion Paraguaya (Tanzania): Establish and demonstrate a financially self-supporting secondary school model.
  • Swisscontact (Uganda, Tanzania): Expand a nonformal skills training model for out-of-school youth.
  • CAP Foundation (Kenya): Transform technical and vocational training systems.
  • University of Minnesota (Global): Develop a common evaluation framework across programs to track learning, earning, and savings behaviors.