About Visa Foundation
Approach and strategy
In April 2020, Visa Foundation launched the Equitable Access Initiative, a five-year, $200 million strategic commitment to support gender diverse and inclusive SMBs around the world. As a part of the initiative, we will provide $60 million in grants and $140 million in impact investments with a gender and diversity lens.
Visa Foundation believes that creating a capital continuum for SMBs is crucial for their sustainability and growth. As such, Visa Foundation aims to increase equitable and efficient access to capital at different stages of business growth, support gender diverse and inclusive small businesses, and promote inclusive economic growth. An additional goal is to influence the sector broadly to help move gender lens investing from niche to the mainstream.
Through its grantmaking, Visa Foundation partners with organisations that provide capital, capacity building and support services to gender inclusive and diverse SMBs. Additionally, Visa Foundation uses grant funding to unlock barriers that prevent the flow of investment capital from reaching gender diverse SMBs.
Visa Foundation’s commitment to investing $140 million into intermediaries and funds globally is mainly focused on emerging markets, with a gender lens across the entire portfolio from SMB borrowers up to venture capital partners. The goal is to increase the number of women who control capital, the number of women entrepreneurs who can access that capital, and the number of women who benefit from those businesses as employees or customers.
Programmes and partnerships
Financially empowering millions of women-led micro and small businesses (SMBs) globally.
Over 5 years, the programme aims to develop, test and scale financial services to SMBs across a global network of partners while driving learning and insights to advance economic stability for women and their families. Since the start of our partnership in 2018, Women’s World Banking has reached 1.15 million women with a financial solution and expanded their global Network in 32 countries, reaching 69 million women.
Creating employment opportunities for rural youth in Africa by designing a network of innovative and integrated agribusiness hubs to build entrepreneurial capacity and technical/managerial skills.
The envisaged outcomes include creating decent youth employment opportunities with a focus on green jobs, realising policy shifts, and enabling other development actors to scale up wholly or parts of this model.
Running accelerators to close the financing gap facing underserved entrepreneurs in Latin America, with a focus on food and agriculture innovation.
This programme will build on Village Capital’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Acceleration Initiative, a collaboration between the International Finance Corporation, the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, and the World Bank Gender Innovation Lab.
A racial equity and entrepreneurship initiative launched by producer and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams, partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The initiative will provide Black and Latinx entrepreneurs with access to capital, mentors and resources. Prizes will be awarded each year at a national event.
Providing global insights and trends for structured private equity, venture capital and private debt vehicles with a gender lens.
Project Sage seeks to understand the state of the gender lens investing field. The report is a tool for investors, fund managers and individuals moving capital to align with their commitment to women. Project Sage is researched and published by Wharton Social Impact Initiative and Catalyst at Large.
Strengthening the gender diversity of local farmer cooperatives and their institutional capacity to make them resilient to economic shocks.
Over the three-year initiative, TechnoServe has increased the revenues of farmer cooperatives in India by 113% by providing women with critical business skills, creating market linkages and introducing alternative income generating activities.
Accelerating investment into diverse emerging fund managers in the United States.
VC Include drives returns for investors while also shaping a more equitable and empowered world. The VC Include BIPOC Fellowship for First-Time Fund Managers, the first of its kind, supports the next generation of high performing, Black, LatinX, Indigenous and women-led venture capital and impact funds to drive economic growth in new markets.
Other partners include
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Visa Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.