Mastercard Partners JAN to Empower Young Digital Entrepreneurs

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Ugo Aliogo
Mastercard has gone into a partnership with the Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to help bridge the digital and financial literacy gap among school students and young adults in Nigeria.

A statement by JAN explained that through a series of programmes, the students would be equipped with essential skills to prepare them for future success as digital entrepreneurs.

The statement also noted that JAN is part of Junior Achievement Worldwide, the world’s oldest and largest non-profit economic education organisation operating in 120 countries.

It further stated that the partnership forms part of Mastercard’s global commitments to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy, reach 50 million small businesses and financially include one billion people in the next five years.

It stated that leveraging the expertise of Mastercard employee volunteers, the partnership with JAN would inspire young adults across Nigeria through three unique activations:

“Mastercard Girls4Tech Programme: An inquiry-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programme, Girls4Tech inspires young girls to build the skills they need in STEM to become problem solvers and the leaders of tomorrow, thereby expanding the employment pool for women STEM professionals in the future.

“The programme incorporates Mastercard’s deep expertise in payments technology and innovation, and includes topics such as algorithms, digital convergence and cryptology.

“JA Company Program teaches senior secondary level students how to start and run their own business, develop a product or service, and market their brand. Mastercard employees will volunteer as mentors to the six finalist teams (companies) who emerged from JAN’s Virtual Company of the Year competition, by helping them refine their business proposals as they compete for the National Company of the Year Award.”

It further stated: “Together, Mastercard and JAN will educate over 200 young adults on the future of payments in Nigeria. Participants will range from senior secondary students to National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members. This session will enlighten the next generation on their role in building and driving the digital economy through technology.

“The partnership will also see the first Junior Achievement – Mastercard prize awarded to the most outstanding student company during the virtual edition of the National Company of the Year (NCOY) competition.”

The Director, Marketing Communication, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard, Ifeoma Dozie said creating inclusive, equal opportunities is a key priority for Mastercard.
She also noted that through the partnership with JAN, they are able to broaden their commitment to Nigeria’s next generation of women leaders and young entrepreneurs.

“By encouraging students to embrace subjects and mentoring them through challenges that will prepare them to be part of tomorrow’s workforce, we are collaborating to develop a talented supply of skilled professionals to aid the country’s future economy,” she added.

While commenting on the partnership, the Director of Marketing and Innovation, Junior Achievement Nigeria, Oduolayinka Osunloye, expressed appreciation to MasterCard, while adding that the partnership is a huge step in achieving JAN’s vision of developing 1 million digital entrepreneurs over the next five years.