Mastercard and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have partnered to support women entrepreneurs in Colombia and launch Start Path Empodera.
Launched in 2014, Mastercard’s award-winning Start Path program has built a global portfolio of elite startups, with a number of female-led ventures. These women have collectively raised over $1B in capital to grow their businesses.
Start Path Empodera seeks to advance womenʼs economic opportunities and foster a more inclusive digital economy through a program designed to support early-stage, female-founded ventures and inspire a new generation of female entrepreneurs in Colombia.
Start Path Empodera is a platform to support visionary women, with the initiative to innovate and think big, who lead early-stage companies with great growth potential in the financial technology, financial inclusion, and commerce sectors.
Through a pitch competition selection process, women entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to join Start Path Empodera, a business accelerator with customized curriculum providing access to skill-building, mentorship, technical assistance, and network-building support. Start Path Empodera cohorts will receive direct mentorship from Mastercardʼs network of experts to expedite company growth and leadership development, as well as a small monetary award to support program participation.
What are the steps?
- CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
- PITCH COMPETITION
- AWARD OF GRANT
- FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
- WINNERS ANNOUNCED
- 4-MONTH SPECIALIZED PROGRAM
We are looking for entrepreneurs with the following criteria:
- Female-founded with a Colombia-based team
- Company demonstrates financial viability, technical feasibility, and a scalable business model
- Large target market with potential for high growth in one of the following areas:
- Scaling fintech solutions – Leveraging innovative tech solutions to enhance the access and use of digital financial services
- Driving financial inclusion – Increasing digital financial literacy and access to digital financial services, across any sector or application
- Scaling commerce – Digitizing and optimizing the buying and selling of goods and services, across any sector, retail or online