Visa Launches New Global Initiative to Support Women-Owned Small Businesses

Visa announced on Tuesday the launch of its new global initiative, She’s Next, Empowered by Visa, to champion women-owned small businesses everywhere. Through the initiative, women small business owners are able to build, sustain, and advance their businesses.

According to Visa, She’s Next, will be supported by the Female Founder Collective (FFC), which is a network of businesses led by women, supporting women that launched in 2018 and has more than 3,000 members. From streamlining payment methods to linking women small business owners with like-minded peers and experts, Visa and FFC will together offer unmatched resources and opportunities for female entrepreneurs. Speaking about the initiative, Suzan Kereere, Global Head of Merchant Sales and Acquiring at Visa, stated:

“Starting and growing a business can be both incredibly rewarding and daunting. That is why Visa is committed to empowering women business owners through a year-long program of education, cutting-edge digital payment technology and a powerful peer network. There is never enough time or enough resources, but when we work together to support each other, amazing things can happen.”

Visa reported that over the course of 2019 it will create pop-up events around the world that offer a range of practical tools, resources, insights and networking opportunities for female entrepreneurs, including the following:

  • Interactive Workshops: Beginning with an inaugural event in Atlanta on January 30, alongside Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, Visa will host a series of interactive workshops to tackle business challenges specific to each community. Future events are planned for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ and beyond.
  • Access to Experts: Each workshop will include experts from Visa, local and national subject matter experts, and partners to maximize benefits to female business owners. Specifically, at the inaugural workshop in Atlanta, leaders from Visa, Square, and Yelp will bring their own expertise and innovation to the workshop.
  • New Research: Initial insights from a forthcoming survey commissioned by Visa of U.S.-based female small business owners will help to inform the issues that matter most to women entrepreneurs. Select findings include:
    • Key Motivators: The top three things women cite as motivators in starting their own businesses are: pursuing their passion (48%), having financial independence (43%) and having flexibility (41%).
    • Money Matters: Nearly three-quarters of women (73%) report that it was difficult to obtain the funding they needed to start their own business. In fact, six in ten (61%) self-funded their business.
    • Digital First: When asked to identify top workshop topics they would like to learn more about, respondents said improved social media and digital marketing skills to promote and grow their businesses.
  • Advertising Campaign: In 2019, Visa will launch phase two of its multi-million dollar Money is Changing marketing campaign in the U.S., building on its millennial women focus and featuring real-life female business owners. Visa will feature a diverse spectrum of women in the campaign who will highlight the practical steps they have personally taken to change the game and challenge existing taboos when it comes to money.

Rebecca Minkoff, founder of Rebecca Minkoff and the Female Founder Collective, then added:

“As women, we have the power to shape and transform our communities—through our purchasing power and also through the leadership and employment opportunities we offer as business owners. By joining forces with Visa, we will help build awareness of women-owned businesses, provide them with more opportunities and invest in women across the socioeconomic spectrum around the globe.”

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