Mastercard and International Trade Centre partner for small business e-commerce

26 January 2023
ITC News

Supporting micro and small entrepreneurs worldwide for better online sales through training and community support

Many small businesses lack the knowledge and skills to effectively use online sales channels. Mastercard and ITC have partnered to bring the benefits of digitalization to more micro-businesses across the world through an online training course.

Designed by TechnoServe, the course content follows a structured learning path with an emphasis on driving behaviour change and adopting new practices in e-commerce. The collaboration is part of Strive Community, a global philanthropic initiative developed by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Caribou Digital. Strive Community aims to support the resilience and growth of five million small businesses around the world.

To spread the word and offer easy access, this course is now freely available on ecomconnect.org, the online community of the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Developed by ITC’s ecomConnect Programme for e-commerce professionals, the ecomConnect community, which is active in 163 countries, provides resources and support for businesses, sharing the goal with Strive Community of equipping millions of small businesses with innovative digital solutions that build resilience and growth.

Training based on the experiences of entrepreneurs

The training content targets small business gaps and learning preferences that were identified by global experts as well as entrepreneurs from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The curriculum comprises ten modules covering four important knowledge areas that entrepreneurs usually lack in the online sales process: understanding and attracting clients, closing sales, and fostering customer relationships. Concrete examples and case studies are used in making the content relatable.

Increased sales and brand awareness through actionable tips

The self-driven course shares examples and suggests actionable “quick wins”, guiding the user through a variety of tools and exercises.

In addition, entrepreneurs can benefit from the feedback and support of e-commerce experts next to sharing their experiences with fellow entrepreneurs who are part of ITC’s ecomconnect.org community. Relevant events organized virtually on the ecomConnect community also provide entrepreneurs with knowledge and networking opportunities.

Maximizing the potential of communities

The partnership with Strive Community is helping ITC strengthen the skills of entrepreneurs, empowering otherwise excluded merchants, and creating e-commerce opportunities for all. The training will be available in Spanish by the end of 2023.

“This partnership marks an exciting moment in ITC's plans to grow the ecomconnect.org online community,” says James Howe, Head of Digital Markets and Connectivity at ITC. “Linking to the network of Strive Community is key for our mission to strengthen the digital capabilities of small businesses.”

Other organizations wishing to upskill small businesses in their communities may contact ITC and Strive Community to offer the virtual course at ecomconnect [at] intracen.org (ecomconnect[at]intracen[dot]org).