Mastercard enhances support for Ukraine with its Start Path initiative

Mastercard has strengthened its support for Ukraine and the country’s fintech sector, through the launch of a new Start Path initiative.

It’s an initiative that has been specifically designed for Ukrainian fintechs and entrepreneurs to support the country’s startups to accelerate growth – specifically as it looks to rebuild its infrastructure. 

The company utilised the Money 20/20 Europe Conference in Amsterdam to announce the growth of the initiative, which will launch this autumn, with the application process opening later this summer.

Inga Andreieva, General Manager, Mastercard Ukraine and Moldova, commented: “Since the start of the invasion, Mastercard has been playing its part in supporting the Ukrainian people and economy. It’s our responsibility to extend these efforts and collectively do more as an industry and as a global organisation in support of Ukraine’s recovery. As one of the world’s leading hotbeds of innovation, it is critical that we protect Ukraine’s startups for the health of the tech sector and economic rebuilding.”

“In response to this monumental challenge, we are proud to announce this initiative. This is another step towards stability and prosperity for Ukraine’s startup sector. It is a path that will require collaboration, and we call on our industry peers to join us today in building a brighter tomorrow for Ukraine.”

Initially it will support five Ukrainian startups over a six-month period during which participants will receive mentorship, access to the resources and networking opportunities required to scale, accelerate their business and impact the next phase of Ukraine’s recovery.

“We’re convinced that digital finance is important for Ukraine,” said National Bank of Ukraine’s Deputy Governor Oleksii Shaban. “This is one of our priorities and strategic areas in line with the NBU Strategy until 2025. The development of the fintech ecosystem, in particular the startup environment, is also an integral part of our Strategy of Ukrainian Financial Sector Development until 2025. 

“Even as Russia’s war on Ukraine continues, we must already think about where to direct the financial system to meet the needs of postwar recovery and economic development. And, of course, the innovative financial sector will help us build new-level-of-quality relationships in this area. The initiatives aimed at the development of Ukrainian fintech companies and startups are therefore extremely relevant and necessary for our country.

“We also understand that the basis for the development of fintech and further digitalisation is the availability of a favorable environment and infrastructure,” Shaban continued. “First of all, we are thus working towards modernizing the regulation of the financial market. In particular, we have made possible the implementation of the European PSD2 Directive and the open banking concept in Ukraine in the coming years, as required by the new law on payment services.”

Oleksandr Bornyakov, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine added: “The tech sector has proven to be important for the economy, and within the government we are eager to support the industry’s further development. 

“We have a long-term strategy to make Ukraine the largest European IT hub. It’s all here — talented developers, a favorable startup ecosystem, and the best tax conditions. The digital economy will play a vital role in rebuilding and for the recovery of Ukraine. Therefore, investing in Ukraine is investing in the future of the democratic world.“