Mastercard provides women resources and capital to grow their businesses

The financial provider offers women community engagement, networking, and mentorship opportunities.

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In accordance with International Women's Day, Mastercard announced a new program on Friday that provides female small business owners with capital, resources, community, insights, and mentorships to help them grow their businesses.

The financial provider partnered with Create & Cultivate to develop the program, as well as launched the Women's Business Advisory Council, which is responsible for ensuring the success of the program's initiatives, said a press release.

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"Research shows that when we remove the obstacles for women business owners, their impact on society, on communities, and on economies is priceless," said Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president of marketing and communications for Mastercard, in the release. "This is why we're not just making a commitment to this segment, we're taking action by providing the insights, solutions, and resources they need to thrive as business owners."

Availability of mentorship programs and supportive communities were both cited as the top factors in advancing women entrepreneurs, the release said. Access to funds was the most prominent challenge female small business owners reported.

By partnering with Astia--a worldwide organization committed to leveling the investment playing field for women leaders--Mastercard will tear down bias against investing in female-led businesses, the release said.

Nearly 80% of global organizations don't prioritize women advancing in the workplace, placing women at an automatic disadvantage with their career goals. This new program not only supports women but helps them achieve their business endeavors.

To learn more about how women can take hold of their leadership positions and goals, check out this TechRepublic article.

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Image: iStockphoto/jacolund