Mastercard partners with LSETF, aims at driving digital financial inclusion 

Mastercard partners with LSETF, aims at driving digital financial inclusion 

To address unemployment and embrace skill gathering and entrepreneurship, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) was set up in 2016 to benefit its residents — having attended to more than 70,000 entrepreneurs to date. Furthering its aim to enable digital financial inclusion, it has partnered with global payments platform, Mastercard.

The duo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday to enable access to digital payment solutions and training tools for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The partnership will serve as a catalyst for MSMEs’ business growth as well as support the fintech community in Lagos.

Under the terms of the MoU, LSETF will leverage Mastercard’s technology, expertise, partnerships, training, and cyber intelligence solutions to improve the business environment via entrepreneurship, employability, skills development, and financial inclusion.

The alliance will also provide SME-in-a-Box – a new low-cost payments solution that enables small business owners to launch their businesses online while they accept digital payments from their customers.

Per guidance and technical support from Mastercard, business owners will gain access to a wide range of financial services and payment options (contactless and QR payments) quickly and easily through a single intuitive app compatible with all NFC-enabled devices.  In addition, through its Simplify Commerce offering, Mastercard will equip SMEs with a plug-&-play e-commerce store builder with instant online checkout.

MSMEs will also be provided with access to virtual cards, as well as other payment solutions and global entrepreneurship training content from the Mastercard Academy, including the Entrepreneurs Odyssey.

“Nigeria, like most developing countries, contends with unemployment, and entrepreneurship remains a viable option to empowering residents with jobs and wealth creation opportunities. Our collaboration with Mastercard will have a significant impact on the way MSMEs operate, equipping business owners with innovative tools and knowledge. Not only will this assist our vision to achieve digital financial inclusion for MSMEs, but also help us foster the adoption of innovation within the vibrant Lagos business ecosystem,” Executive Secretary LSETF, Teju Abisoye said.

Also commenting on the partnership, Country Manager & Area Business Head, West Africa, of Mastercard, Ebehijie Momoh said MSMEs in the country are affected by problems ranging from skill acquisition, formal credit, infrastructure deficit etc. Upon this premise, the partnership was brought to fruition.

“The MoU fosters multiple growth opportunities for MSMEs and ultimately equips them to become active participants in the digital economy by providing technologically innovative environments for fintech startups and multiple opportunities to leverage Mastercard’s assets”,