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Visa Foundation commits $210M to empower small and micro-businesses

Visa Foundation has announced a commitment of $210 million to support small and micro-businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first program is a $10 million commitment to provide immediate emergency relief for front-line charities around the world, according to a press release.

"As COVID-19 continues to unfold, communities are feeling the effects and need our immediate support," Al Kelly, chairman and CEO of Visa, said in the release. "As a global company that operates a very local business, we recognize this need."

Kelly said the company was committed to long-term recovery and would continue to explore ways to accelerate economic activity. 

The second program involves a five-year, $200 million commitment to support small and micro businesses, with a focus on empowering women's economic development. About $60 million will go towards NGO's dealing with small and medium sized businesses, while $140 million will allocate funds from investment partners for these firms.

"Now more than ever, we must accelerate our support for small businesses on the frontlines driving economic growth," Kelly said in the release. "As many small and micro business owners are women, there will be a ripple effect supporting women's advancement, which we believe is one of the most important ways to achieve gender equality, reduce poverty and foster inclusive economic development."

Cover image: Visa