Championing financial inclusion for women entrepreneurs in Fiji
ygap is excited to announce a new partnership that is working towards greater equality for women in business in Fiji.
We know that when done right, business can be an incredible force for good in the world. We’ve spent over a decade seeing the change that comes from people championing their own economic independence through entrepreneurship. Over the last few years, our work has shifted and changed to mean that we don’t just support entrepreneurs running businesses that are making a positive social or environmental change in their community — that’s only one part of the picture. Now, we’re also working to try and dismantle some of the barriers that mean some entrepreneurs get more support to start and run a business than others.
That’s why we’re so happy to announce an exciting new partnership — together with Fintech Pacific, Mastercard® and the Australian Government, ygap is part of a consortium of partners supported by the Business Partnerships Platform that are working to champion better inclusion for women business owners in Fiji.
The idea is simple — provide an easy to use, accessible mobile wallet to small vendors who are usually cash-based so they can accept card payments from tourists; no need for eftpos terminals, merchant accounts, or even a bank. This technology will open them up to more trade opportunities through the changing domestic market, and the contactless majority of international trade from visitors that Fiji’s economy relies on so heavily.
Despite the crucial and multiple roles they play in the community, women often receive less resources and support to start and run businesses. A more financially inclusive market means that Fiji has an incredible opportunity to build a future where there is greater equality in entrepreneurship and within the wider society. The technology is for the community — but it’s also from the community: everything about the platform — from design to delivery — has used a process of locally-led engagement to make sure it fits the needs of the community and can be easily adapted to everyday life in the Fiji context.
This is a first-of-its-kind technology for Fiji, and will help propel the small vendors and business owners of the island nation further into the global economy. Having been so hard hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19, this is the perfect time for Fiji to plan for a future market that is more financially inclusive, especially for its women-led businesses.
We’re so excited to be working on the project with this consortium of partners, especially acknowledging Mastercard and the Australian Government for choosing to work with ygap and Fintech Pacific, a lean international non-profit and a small Fiji-based tech startup respectively, and for putting their faith in the quality of our work. With Mastercard’s technological prowess, Fintech Pacific’s innovative platform, ygap’s locally-led design and delivery process and the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting the economic recovery of the Pacific Islands from COVID-19, this is a partnership that is sure to see some incredible outcomes. We look forward to keeping you updated on its progress.
To learn more about this project, head to www.ygap.org/bpp