TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2012) - Today, MasterCard Canada and the Canadian Women's Foundation announced a new partnership aimed at delivering essential economic development programs to women living in low-income conditions across Canada, which represents 9.3 percent of the national population.1
"Most Canadians are fortunate to be part of an advanced economic system and labour force, but more than three million Canadians - many who are women - continue to live in perpetuating conditions of poverty across the country," said Betty DeVita, President and CEO of MasterCard Canada. "Through our partnership, we want to empower and enable these individuals to become financially independent and pursue entrepreneurial interests so they can confidently be part of an advancing social and economic ecosystem."
While Canada ranks among the world's most developed countries, income gaps and poverty continue to affect demographics across Canada, placing the country 20th out of 31 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.2
The partnership with Canadian Women's Foundation is a three-year, $300,000 commitment to help low-income Canadian women receive employment skills training, self-employment programs and educational resources to break out of the cycle of poverty and become financially independent. In many instances, these resources may help women pursue and qualify for other grants and assistance programs to further pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations.
"The face of poverty in Canada is a woman's face - particularly if she is a single mother, an aboriginal woman or a new immigrant. Economic development programs with a strong foundation in entrepreneurism and small business development are crucial for many women to confidently emerge from challenging circumstances and begin their journey out of poverty," said Beverley Wybrow, President and CEO of Canadian Women's Foundation. "We're thrilled to be part of this generous and important partnership to help empower and change the course of women's lives in Canada."
The funding will also help the Canadian Women's Foundation share economic development resources with community organizations across the country working with low-income women.
MasterCard philanthropic efforts in Canada and around the world are focused on furthering financial inclusion through entrepreneurship. MasterCard believes that by supporting entrepreneurship it can help individuals achieve positive economic outcomes for themselves, their families and their communities.
MasterCard (NYSE:MA), www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.
For more information, visit MasterCard Canada's Facebook page or follow @MasterCardCA on Twitter.
About Canadian Women's Foundation
The Canadian Women's Foundation is Canada's public foundation who empowers women and girls to move out of violence and poverty and into confidence. Since 1991, they have raised money and invested in over 1,200 community programs across Canada, and are now one of the ten largest women's foundations in the world. The foundation takes a positive approach to address root causes of the most critical issues facing women and girls and shares the best ways to create long-term change and bring community organizations together for training and to learn from one another. They carefully select and fund the programs with the strongest outcomes and regularly evaluate their work, all while having a special focus on building a community of women helping other women. They invest in the power of women and the dreams of girls, and help women create safer families, communities and a more prosperous society for us all. For more information please visit www.canadianwomen.org.
(1) Statistics Canada. Persons in low income families, annual (CANSIM Table 202-0802). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.
(2) OECD. (2010). Quality of Life: Income Inequality and Poverty - Poverty Rates and Poverty Gaps. OECD Factbook 2010: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics. Retrieved from SourceOECD database.