New Mastercard Podcast Shows How Financial Inclusion is Creating an Equitable Future for All

  • Mastercard is shining a spotlight on the significance of financial inclusion in addressing some of the world’s most pressing socioeconomic challenges in a new  podcast ‘Journey to One Billion’ 
  • ‘Journey to One Billion‘ charts Mastercard’s journey to deliver on its commitment to financially include one billion people into the digital economy alongside 50 million small businesses and 25 million women entrepreneurs by 2025 
  • Mastercard experts, business leaders and entrepreneurs from the Middle East, Africa and around the world spotlight the innovations and partnerships that build a sustainable digital economy where people and the planet can thrive  

After announcing its commitment to financially include one billion people into the digital economy by 2025, Mastercard is bringing awareness to some of the world’s most critical issues through an innovative podcast series ‘Journey to One Billion’.

Hosted by award-winning journalist and news anchor Fifi Peters, ‘Journey to One Billion’ features Mastercard experts, business leaders, community champions and entrepreneurs from across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and around the world, who are working together to build a more inclusive and sustainable digital economy where people and the planet can thrive.  

The ‘Journey to One Billion’ podcast charts Mastercard’s ten-year journey to bring 500 million excluded individuals into the digital economy – a goal that was achieved in 2020 – and then raised during the height of the pandemic with a new pledge to include 500 million more – making a total of one billion people by 2025.  Alongside this commitment the company will focus on empowering 50 million small businesses and 25 women entrepreneurs to growth their businesses.

The nine-part series spotlights the innovative partnerships, inspiring stories and technological advancements behind the ambitious goal, and offers solutions and insights around the key building blocks needed to create an inclusive digital economy.

“Financial inclusion is at the heart of Mastercard’s ambition to build a better a more inclusive world for everyone everywhere.  In addition to being an impactful medium for storytelling, podcasts help to spark connection and conversation in new and meaningful ways. Through the insightful stories shared in this podcast, we are looking to build a deeper understanding of the innovations and inspiring partnerships that are driving financial inclusion forward, supporting small businesses and helping to build a more connected and equal world,” said Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President Marketing and Communications MEA, Mastercard. 

In episode one “Building a more inclusive and sustainable digital economy” we hear from Ajay Banga, Mastercard’s Executive Chairman, who took up the role after an 11-year tenure as Mastercard’s CEO. Hear his perspective on the power of the digital economy as a force for good in the world.

In episode two “Unleashing the power of the digital economy in the Middle East and Africa” we hear from Raghu Malhotra, Co-President of International Markets, Mastercard, who is responsible for the growth strategies of more than 200 countries and territories. Raghu is passionate about financial inclusion and sees it as the pathway to levelling the playing field and creating opportunities for all.

In episode three “Unlocking the female economy and empowering women entrepreneurs” we hear from Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chair, Mastercard and Sarah Beydoun, Founder and Creative Director of Lebanese fashion house and social enterprise Sarah’s Bag.

In further episodes, the podcast will also look at the impact of environmental sustainability, how Mastercard’s Priceless Planet Coalition is fighting climate change by planting 100 million trees in Kenya, Australia and Brazil. The acceleration of digital transformation, product innovation and marketing all play a part in helping to advance inclusion within the digital economy to ensure an equitable future for all, as subsequent episodes will show.

‘Journey to One Billion’ is available from today on all platforms, including Apple podcasts and Spotify and on the MEA Newsroom here.

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