Mastercard Innovates with Inclusive AI for Global Small Business Mentorship

Mastercard has announced the development of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool, Mastercard Small Business AI, aimed at providing real-time, personalized mentorship to small business owners worldwide. This initiative recognizes the essential role of small businesses in the global economy and the transformative impact of mentorship on their success.

Bridging the Mentorship Gap with AI

With the overwhelming influx of data in today’s digital era, small business owners are often pressed for time while grappling with the need to adapt and evolve. Considering that 80% of small businesses operate without employees, and 88% recognize the importance of mentorship, there’s a clear demand for accessible and tailored guidance.

“Operating a small business is a point of immense passion and pride for entrepreneurs, but it’s certainly not easy,” notes Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. “Mastercard Small Business AI aims to create mentorship at scale, offering always-on advice from an inclusive set of sources. This is a testament to our commitment to the small business community and to innovations that lift people up.”

The AI tool, developed in collaboration with Create Labs, a social venture aimed at technology access for underserved communities, is designed to minimize biases and address a variety of entrepreneurial needs. It promises a conversational experience using Generative AI, ensuring a user journey that is as diverse as the small business community itself.

A Coalition for Change

Mastercard is not alone in this endeavor. A global media coalition, including Blavity Media Group, Group Black, Newsweek, and TelevisaUnivision, will contribute business-related content, ensuring a rich and varied pool of resources. This partnership underscores a commitment to inclusivity and the empowerment of minority entrepreneurs.

Bonin Bough, Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of Group Black emphasizes, “Uniting for a common goal of inclusivity holds incredible power. Through collaboration, we are looking to combine diverse resources to enhance a tool designed for all small-and medium-sized business owners.”

A Legacy of Supporting Small Businesses

This initiative is a continuation of Mastercard’s commitment to integrating small businesses into the financial mainstream. Recognizing time as a crucial asset for entrepreneurs, Mastercard has consistently developed solutions that focus on operational efficiency and ease of use. The Mastercard Small Business AI tool is set to be a significant addition to this suite of services, enhancing the company’s role in supporting the digital economy’s growth and resilience.

Scheduled for a pilot launch in the U.S. later this year, with plans for international expansion, Mastercard Small Business AI stands as a testament to the power of technology in fostering business growth and inclusivity. This initiative marks a significant step towards a future where every small business owner has access to personalized mentorship and support, regardless of their location or background.

Image: Mastercard

This article, “Mastercard Innovates with Inclusive AI for Global Small Business Mentorship” was first published on Small Business Trends