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Home » Mastercard Challenge on Financial Inclusion for the SDGs Launched

Mastercard Challenge on Financial Inclusion for the SDGs Launched

by Madaline Dunn

Mastercard, in partnership with the Ministry of Sustainable Development of Bahrain, has launched the Mastercard Challenge on Financial Inclusion for the SDGs under the theme ‘Solving for the Future’.

Run in collaboration with The BENEFIT Company, The Labour Fund (Tamkeen) and StartUp Bahrain, the competition is open to undergraduate and postgraduate university students in Bahrain to propose ideas and data-driven solutions to accelerate progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through financial inclusion as a key enabler. 

The SDGs were adopted by all United Nations members in 2015, comprising 17 goals and 169 targets covering everything from poverty and hunger to education and clean energy.

However, according to the Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) recent Sustainable Development Report, the world is off-track from achieving the goals and SDSN shared that it is clear they will now not be achieved in the original timeframe. 

Participants will reportedly explore real-life challenges facing the SDGs from a multi-disciplinary perspective in sectors that include education, healthcare, climate, the environment, tourism, and business, gaining insight into the role of financial inclusion and data from the financial services industry.

HE Noor bint Ali Alkhulaif, Minister of Sustainable Development and Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “Given the role of financial inclusion as an enabler of several SDGs, the Mastercard Challenge seeks to encourage Bahrain’s youth to develop new solutions which can unlock its full potential by creating more economic opportunities, enabling economic diversification, and boosting sustainable growth.”

The organisers shared the challenge winners will receive complimentary enrollment in Mastercard Academy for one year, a visit to the Mastercard EEMEA HQ, and a paid internship at BENEFIT to develop and scale their solutions.

Winners will also gain access to technical expertise, mentorship, and training from Mastercard and BENEFIT, including:

  • An AI masterclass,
  • Ten mentoring sessions, and
  • Three online sessions with Mastercard’s experts.

Her Excellency Maha Abdulhameed Mofeez at Tamkeen added: “We believe in the capabilities of Bahraini youth and their potential to drive impactful change in the Kingdom. We are excited to collaborate with the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Mastercard, and BENEFIT to offer this unique opportunity to Bahraini students to tackle a pressing topic through innovation and gain access to expert knowledge and a valuable platform to showcase their solutions.

“Supporting the Mastercard Challenge is aligned with our commitment to enabling Bahraini talent to pursue an entrepreneurial path through training, mentorship, and access to funding.”

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