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MasterCard and UN Women’s Project Inspire Seek Women’s Empowerment Projects for 2013 Edition


Initiative has seen winning projects from 2011 & 2012 rolled out and positively impacting women in rural Philippines and India

The social media driven initiative has gained favor swiftly, with over 30K supporters and advocates since its inception

Singapore – Following two highly successful campaigns, Singapore Committee for UN Women (UN Women Singapore), MasterCard and academic partner, INSEAD, have come together once again to roll out the 2013 edition of Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World.

Launched in 2011, the multi-award winning[1] initiative is dedicated to inspiring young people to build sustainable, long-term projects that benefit disadvantaged women and girls through social education, entrepreneurship and financial literacy in Asia/Pacific, the Middle East or Africa. This campaign presents 18-35 year olds with a 5-minute platform to pitch their idea and win a US$25,000 grant.

Trina Liang-Lin President, Singapore Committee for UN Women, “Project Inspire showcases youth around the region taking the lead and being the agents of change in achieving gender equality and women empowerment. We believe that engaging the next generation will greatly contribute to our mission. More importantly, youth will inspire their peers to take action and support the betterment of women and girls. We are proud to partner with MasterCard for the third year in championing this cause.”

“The sheer enthusiasm that bubbles over in these projects, coupled with the high degree of inventiveness and ingenuity, makes chairing the judging panel a huge pleasure for me, and I am delighted to be part of Project Inspire again this year,” added Patrick Turner, Affiliate Professor of Entrepreneurship, INSEAD.

Georgette Tan, group head, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard Worldwide said, “Empowering women and helping them get out of the cycle of poverty is not only a social cause, it also has tremendous economic implications. This program was developed to inspire young people around the world to come forward with their ideas to create a better world for women and girls in this region. Since it started, the program has seen entries of high quality and we look forward to seeing more creativity in the submissions this year.”

With a large pool of supporters online, the program engages youths across multiple social media channels, where they participate, interact and share ideas for change. This community has grown exponentially over the past two years, with more than 30,000 supporters on Facebook, 2 million impressions on Twitter as well as 23,000 views on YouTube to date. It has also received more than 800 proposals from youth teams representing 50 countries, from all over Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and even the Pacific Islands.

More importantly, the initiative has provided several youths the opportunity to turn their social enterprise ideas into reality, which have gone on to provide sustainable livelihoods for women and girls in disadvantaged communities across the region. An example is Women’s Private Personal Marketplace, Grand Prize winner of Project Inspire 2012. Leveraging the high penetration of mobile phones in India, the project aims to empower women in rural Rajasthan to become entrepreneurs by selling feminine hygiene products to other rural women via a mobile phone application. The application also acts as a platform to provide essential health and sanitary education to these largely illiterate women, as well as offer them a private interface to access feminine hygiene products.

Feeling Inspired?

Call for submissions opens on 6 March 2013 in advance of International Women’s Day. where you can submit your entry for a chance to win the USD 25,000 Women’s Empowerment Grant.

Note to the Editor:

If you are planning any stories around International Women’s Day and would like to speak to the team behind Project Inspire, we would be happy to arrange for interviews with Trina Liang-Lin, President, UN Women Singapore and Georgette Tan, group head, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard Worldwide.

In conjunction with the launch of Project Inspire, MasterCard is releasing its annual MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement (MIWA) today. If you are keen on leveraging results from the Index, we would be happy to share these with you. Contact the team at

• Project Inspire presents 18-35 year olds with a 5-minute platform to pitch their inspired idea to the world and win a US$25,000 grant
• The grant will be used to support an existing women’s empowerment program aimed at helping women and girls in Asia/Pacific, the Middle East or Africa attain sustained livelihood through business and livelihood skills
• Inspired youth are invited to submit their life changing ideas as a 5-minute pitch video and/or one page written proposal via the Project Inspire website.

• Website:
• YouTube:
• Facebook:
• Twitter:

• Any inspired youth (18-35 year olds) worldwide are invited to submit their life-changing ideas to help women and girls in Asia/Pacific, Middle East or Africa attain a sustainable livelihood through business and livelihood skills.

• The official call for entries will open on 6 March 2013

For media enquiries, please contact

[1] Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World has clinched four awards to-date including, Marketing Excellence Awards 2012 – Silver (Corporate Social Responsibility category), SABRE Awards 2012 – Gold (Financial and Professional Services), PRISM Awards 2012 – Merit (Best CSR Program), AREA 2012 – Social Empowerment Award
Print Page | Tags: CSR, Financial inclusion, mastercard, Project Inspire, Women empowerment, Youth


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