How Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth is Empowering MSMEs
BuddhiMoney is helping small business owners across India
BuddhiMoney is helping small business owners across IndiaImage: Mastercard India

How Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth is Empowering MSMEs

The local kirana shop that we run to everyday, that chai ki tapri where we discuss pressing issues of our country with friends and colleagues, the pan wala who takes care of our daily indulgences - our lives would be quite incomplete without this ecosystem around us that rests on convenience, interdependence and mutual trust. That's a snapshot of our economy that thrives on 50 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that account for 37% of the country’s GDP. This percentage could be higher, if 97% of the Indian retail transactions were not conducted in cash, like they currently are.

Extensive research has shown that use of digital financial services has many advantages over cash – it leads to higher reserves and business output. This means, small business owners in India could be more profitable if digital payments were more widely used. Yet only 6% of Indian merchants accept digital payments, according to USAID and the U.S. Global Development Lab.

Getting small business owners to transition from cash to digital payments is a continuous process which can accelerate only through financial skill training and extensive support. Enter BuddhiMoney, an iconic animated character that is designed to empower small business owners who grapple with cash transactions, informality, access to credit, and bookkeeping. BuddhiMoney, a youthful, omnipresent superwoman, is sharp, energetic, and offers solutions to millions of micro and small business owners who need support to expand their profitability.

The first of the four-part series has been launched by Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, in partnership with ACCESS Development Services and J-PAL South Asia.

Watch the first video to learn more.

Growing a business is a powerful way for an individual to take control of their economic future and tools like BuddhiMoney are a welcome initiative to bring more and more people into the formal economy.