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Mastercard Unveils Small Business AI to Offer Unbiased Advice to ‘Diverse Entrepreneurial Needs’

As much as 88 per cent of small business owners acknowledge the value of having a mentor, but many don’t have the expertise or employees to turn to. Mastercard is launching a new AI-powered tool to help solve these problems.

Mastercard Small Business AI is a tool that harnesses the ability of artificial intelligence to deliver customised assistance for small business owners across the globe.

Created in partnership with Create Labs, a social venture offering technology access to underserved communities, the tool aims to limit biases and cater to diverse entrepreneurial needs. This tool incorporates generative AI features to offer a conversational experience, drawing on emerging techniques and inclusive design standards to promote a relevant user journey.

Mastercard explained that modern businesses must adapt, enhance their skills and keep pace with rapidly changing consumer demand. Because eight out of 10 small businesses operate without employees, entrepreneurs seek solutions despite having access to very few resources.

Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard, Mastercard small business AI
Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard

Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard, said: “Operating a small business is a point of immense passion and pride for entrepreneurs, but it’s certainly not easy. We are working closely with small business owners at all stages of development and seeing the myriad of challenges they face and the critical importance of mentorship to their success.

“Mastercard Small Business AI aims to create mentorship at scale, offering always-on advice from an inclusive set of sources. This is a testament to our commitment to the small business community and to innovations that lift people up.”

The tool is scheduled to be piloted in the US later this year, with the goal for international markets to follow.

‘Uniting for a common goal of inclusivity holds incredible power’

Not only will the AI tool deliver data from Mastercard’s existing repository of content – from the Small Business Community, Digital Doors, Mastercard Trust Center, and Strive USA – a newly formed global media coalition will contribute to that by licensing their business content – such as articles, podcasts and interviews. The following are slated to be the inaugural participants:

Blavity Media Group, a digital media company economically and creatively supporting black millennials; Group Black, a black-owned media company dedicated to connecting brands with diverse audiences; Newsweek, a global digital news organisation; and TelevisaUnivision, the Spanish-language media company, reaching over 53million US consumers across linear and digital platforms.

Bonin Bough, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Group Black, explained the importance of the initiative: “Uniting for a common goal of inclusivity holds incredible power.

“Through collaboration, we are looking to combine diverse resources to enhance a tool designed for all small and medium-sized business owners. We hope that these collective efforts shape a more equitable world for future generations, reducing the exclusion felt by numerous minorities and empowering them with the resources needed to succeed.”

Understanding that time is one of the most valuable assets for any small business owner, Mastercard also has a strong history of developing dozens of business solutions and services that centre around operational efficiency and ease of use.

Mastercard Small Business AI will join the company’s suite of small business solutions designed to empower entrepreneurs to help grow and protect their businesses in today’s digital economy.

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