Visa, the world’s largest digital payment service, has teamed up with the FIFA Women’s World Cup to introduce a groundbreaking initiative aimed at supporting women-owned small businesses (WSMB).
The collaboration will provide a total grant funding of $500,000 across the 64 matches and potentially 32 qualifying countries.
Visa and FIFA Plans
In an unprecedented move, Visa plans to extend the coveted Visa Player of the Match athlete award to benefit women entrepreneurs.
Throughout the tournament leading up to the final match, Visa will award 64 grants to women-owned small businesses from the home country of the Woman of the Match award winner.
Regardless of whether it’s a debutant nation like Panama or a seasoned champion like the United States, a woman small business owner will be granted funds to support her aspirations.
Mr. Andrew Uaboi, Vice President and Head of Visa West Africa, expressed enthusiasm about this milestone initiative, stating, “Visa understands that equity requires action and resources.
We’re thrilled to leverage the world’s biggest stage for women’s sports to bring about positive change by supporting women-owned businesses in each game’s Player of the Match home country.”
In Nigeria’s case, for instance, if Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala secures any of the awards, a woman business owner in Nigeria will be the beneficiary.
The Grant Funding Categories
The grant funding ranges from $5,000 for the 48 first-round matches up to $50,000 for the Women’s World Cup final. The winning small businesses will be announced during the athlete trophy presentation.
Mr. Uaboi further emphasized the significance of this initiative for Nigeria, stating, “Nigeria is one of the leading African countries with the highest number of female entrepreneurs.
We are passionate about using this initiative to create a positive impact on society and to foster the growth of women-owned small businesses in our region.
We also see this as an opportunity to inspire young girls to dream big and pursue their passion for the beautiful game.”
The Visa Player of the Match trophy is presented at each of the 64 Women’s World Cup matches to the standout performer, as voted by fans.
During this year’s tournament, scheduled to take place from July 20 to August 20, viewers will not only celebrate remarkable women on the field but also contribute to elevating women in business for the first time.
This initiative aligns with Visa’s multi-year commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs by providing them access to essential financial resources and fostering inclusion in the global economy.
Recognizing the importance of women in sports for future business success, a survey conducted by Wakefield Research for Visa revealed that participating in sports positively impacts a person’s success in business, helping develop essential skills such as strategic thinking, teamwork, communication, and leadership.
Visa’s Head of Marketing for Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific, Natalie Lockwood, emphasized that access to capital remains a challenge for business owners in these regions.
The extension of the Visa Player of the Match athlete award presents a fresh opportunity for Visa and football fans to celebrate and support women both on and off the pitch, shining a spotlight on outstanding athletes and women-led businesses that power the economy.
Visa has been a long-standing advocate for women in football, being the first FIFA women’s football partner through the Women’s World Cup, the first standalone sponsor of UEFA Women’s Football, and a sponsor of national teams, including the US Soccer Federation and Mexican Football Federation.
The partnership showcases Visa’s commitment to empowering women across its organization and through its brand support.
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