Mastercard has partnered with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to help bridge the digital and financial literacy gap amongst school students and young adults in Nigeria. Through a series of programs, the students will be equipped with essential skills to prepare them for future success as digital entrepreneurs. JAN is part of Junior Achievement Worldwide, the world’s oldest and largest non-profit economic education organization operating in 120 countries.
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 1 billion people in the next five years.
Leveraging the expertise of Mastercard employee volunteers, the partnership with JAN will inspire young adults across Nigeria through three unique activations:
- Mastercard Girls4Tech Program: An inquiry-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program, 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 program incorporates Mastercard’s deep expertise in payments technology and innovation, and includes topics such as algorithms, digital convergence and cryptology.
- Mentoring participants of the JA Company Program: 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.
- Digital Payments Literacy Webinar: 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.
“Creating inclusive, equal opportunities is a key priority for Mastercard,” said Ifeoma Dozie, Director, Marketing and Communications, Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard. “Through this partnership with Junior Achievement Nigeria, we are able to broaden our 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.”
While commenting on the partnership, the Director of Marketing and Innovation, Junior Achievement Nigeria, Oduolayinka Osunloye, expressed her gratitude to Mastercard adding that the partnership is a huge step in achieving JAN’s vision of developing 1 million digital entrepreneurs over the next five years.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with Mastercard to develop young digital entrepreneurs. It took us 20 years to reach our first million students but with technology and the support of organizations like Mastercard, we are determined to equip and empower another million digital entrepreneurs over the next five years. We are certain our efforts will help our beneficiaries own their economic future, as JAN is committed, more than ever to build conscientious business leaders leading a vibrant economy.”
JAN has built a record of accomplishment over the past 20 years by delivering high quality entrepreneurial, financial literacy and work readiness programs to secondary school students and out-of-school youths across Nigeria and recently hit a major milestone of one million students reach.