UNDP and Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV announce partnership

September 12, 2022

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is partnering with Mastercard on Lighthouse MASSIV: a free of charge startup partnership program dedicated to helping one billion people live more prosperous and secure lives by 2025. The purpose of the partnership is to support impact tech companies on their impact measurement and management and connect them to the broader United Nations network and initiatives.

Since its launch in 2019, Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV has featured scale-ready companies focused on solving some of the most complex global challenges, including climate change, poverty, and social and economic exclusion. As we enter the fall of 2022, a year with unprecedented geopolitical conflicts, continued global economic challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as climate change impacts, the time is right for an urgent acceleration of the private sector’s contribution to Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in time will not only require an all-aboard approach to sustainability from the private sector, but there is an equal need for innovative solutions from startups that play a pivotal role in solving pressing global issues.

“With just less than eight years to achieve the Goals put forward in the 2030 Agenda, we need all hands-on deck now. This urgency highlights the importance of programs such as Lighthouse MASSIV, through which impact start-ups receive targeted support to work strategically towards the SDGs as well as learning how to incorporate impact measurement to reduce their carbon footprint, enable fair economic growth, and secure inclusive development and management. We appreciate this important partnership with Mastercard where we offer impact measurement and management services to startups.” Marcos Neto, Director Sustainable Finance Hub at UNDP

Now kicking off the fall program

The participating startups can look forward to a program with high quality impact measurement and management advisory support due to the new partnership with UNDP. In previous programs, impact measurement and management has been a part of the ‘Expert Workshop’ – a program element where companies get support on various expertise areas such as geographical expansion, UX design, marketing, and commercialization. The feedback from participating companies was positive which inspired the program to include UNDP representative Stine Kirstein Junge, Private Sector Advisor at UNDP Nordic Office, in the official Lighthouse MASSIV Advisory Board to increase the impact measurement throughout the program.

"We’re seeing an increasing amount of impact scaleups that acknowledge the importance of understanding and working with impact measurement and management. From a business perspective, they see that this is necessary as it enhances their opportunities for investment, and it helps them attract and retain talented employees. But more importantly, there is a shift happening where more and more companies begin to take full responsibility for the impact they’re having on the planet. It is essential that we support and celebrate these companies so they can inspire others to join the green and just movement as well.” Stine Kirstein Junge, Private Sector Advisor at UNDP Nordic Office

Among the Advisory Board members supporting the startups are representatives from Swedbank, Danske Bank, VNTRS, and Nordic Impact Funds. The Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV program focuses on the Nordic and Baltic region, and to date it has helped 27 impact tech companies from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia to scale through partnerships.

Partnerships necessary to achieve 2030 targets
With this initiative, Mastercard focuses solely on sustainability, financial inclusion, and social impact focused companies and uses its global network to support founders. As the lead UN development agency, UNDP is uniquely positioned to help implement the SDGs, through its work in more than 170 countries and territories. With a track record of working across multiple goals concurrently, UNDP supports the private sector’s engagement in sustainable development. Collaborations such as the one between Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV and UNDP contributes to amplifying the private sector’s role in creating significant positive impact on people and ensuring we leave a better planet for future generations. The Lighthouse MASSIV program is here to support impact startups in taking this responsibility and scaling.

“As we work with companies that are scaling fast, it becomes more important to report on impact and be 100% certain about impact statements that they make about their company towards investors, customers, and the broader society. UNDP will introduce companies to the definitions and baselines of the SDGs and provide guidance via a ready-to-use toolbox for impact measurement and management.”Eleonore Hinlopen, Program Manager Lighthouse MASSIV at Mastercard Nordics & Baltics 

Over the years, Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV has featured companies like Investure, a co-investing platform for developing markets; DDFinance, a certified b-corporation that offers an insurance marketplace to savings groups in Africa; Eliq, a smart energy company for responsible energy consumption; and Farmforce, a platform that traces food supply chains to improve farmer quality of life and protect the environment. Read more about the partnerships and growth of Lighthouse MASSIV alumni companies in the recently published Mastercard Lighthouse report.

 “As a technology company built around a strong network of partners, Mastercard understands how important partnerships are for growth. Supporting founders from impact tech companies to find partnerships and scale is one thing, but more importantly, one should be able to measure the actual impact that is claimed to be created.” Mats Taraldsson, Head of Fintech and Impact Tech Engagement at Mastercard Nordics & Baltics

About the partners
About Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV
MASSIV stands for Make and Scale Social Impact Vision. With this initiative Mastercard Lighthouse aims to foster partnerships that will enrich the lives of one billion people by 2025. The program is free and focused primarily on helping impact tech companies scale globally. To date, more than 80 partnerships have been signed through the program by 27 participating startups and organizations. Get involved for next program editions here: https://mclighthouse.com/massiv/

About UNDP
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at undp.org or follow at @UNDP. 

Press contact:

James Thorpe, Communications, Mastercard

Pernille Jægerfelt Mouritsen, Private Sector Consultant, UNDP