Mastercard today announced its partnership with the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) for the first time to jointly promote financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills in China through the CDRF’s “Win the Future” initiative.

“Win the Future” comprises a series of experimental pilot programs targeting China’s vocational education system. These include training for secondary vocational school principals, lectures from senior technicians, as well as scholarships, teacher awards and an online training and service system for secondary vocational education.

One of the programs – “Win Chances” – will also provide start-up classes for secondary vocational school students to meet the need for training in starting a business. Mastercard is well placed to contribute its expertise in financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills to the course, as a leader in payments technology with a track record of cultivating startups worldwide.

The announcement comes as China begins its new 13th Five-Year Plan, which emphasizes the cultivation of vocational education, entrepreneurship, and innovation to support China’s economic restructuring.  The National Economic and Social Development plan particularly highlights ‘senior secondary education and training’ as one of its priorities, which the Mastercard-CDRF partnership will directly address.

The initiative is also aligned with Mastercard’s broader mission to extend financial inclusion in China, as it has done for over 200 million people worldwide through over 500 initiatives in over 50 countries.

Lu Mai, Secretary-general, China Development Research Foundation said: “The objective of the ‘Win the Future’ initiative is to nurture the next generation of skilled talents. One of the programs – ‘Win Chances’ – will focus on harnessing entrepreneurial skills and improving self-confidence; skills that will be vital for the future workforce as China transits into an innovation-driven economy. As part of our broader efforts in driving China’s vocational education system development, the Foundation has piloted several programs covering nutrition for expectant mothers, early parenting, and education programs for children of all ages, among others. We appreciate Mastercard’s long-term support, and look forward to further cooperation in the near future.”

Commenting on the partnership, Shawn Zheng, Senior Vice President of Account Management in China Mastercard said: “Ensuring people have access to vital financial knowledge and services in today’s connected world is critical to a country’s successful, inclusive development. We are delighted to work with CDRF to narrow China’s financial inclusion gap by revitalizing secondary vocational education with innovative pilot programs that provide youths with professional skills and knowledge that are essential in the modern economy. Mastercard’s involvement in this initiative also underlines our commitment to supporting China’s development priorities where we can add most value as it transitions into the ‘new normal'”.

The CDRF collaboration is the latest in a series of CSR initiatives Mastercard has supported in China, in line with its commitment to promoting financial inclusion and entrepreneurship globally. These include sponsorship of a program run by the U.S.  aid agency Mercy Corps that provides business training to pig farmers in Sichuan Province; launching Mastercard’s global Girls4Tech™ program to support girls in pursuing STEM careers in partnership with Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and Shanghai Be Better Education; and introducing the inaugural Mastercard Start Path China program earlier this year to give Chinese startups the chance to participate in the global Start Path program.

The “Win the Future” initiative is being piloted in Guangdong, Sichuan, and Guizhou Provinces initially – areas with an especially strong need for high quality vocational education due to their large migrant worker populations. Other partner organizations include the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), China’s Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, JP Morgan Chase & Co., HSBC Bank (China), Schneider Electric SA (China), Robert Bosch GMbH (China), BHP Billiton, Anglo American, and other agencies.

1st September 2016

Press Release Credit: Mastercard Asia