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Visa partners with Trace Academia to empower youth in Africa with practical business skills

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Visa’s partnership with Trace Academia, a mobile-based learning application that aims to enable 26 million youth, across Africa, is the latest development in their Practical Business Skills’ (PBS) initiative, which offers potential partners integration and co-branded opportunities to contribute to business transformation and empowerment.

The partnership offers a free online learning platform that is equipped with extensive educational courses. The application which is available on Android and iOS is accessible and inclusive, boasting multilingual learning across a myriad of industries.

Enabling small and micro business to thrive

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The newly formed partnership is an extension of Visa’s purpose to enable entrepreneurs with the resources they need to thrive and will fuse entertainment and education to deliver an engaging learning experience. Visa’s Practical Business Skills has been reimagined into an interactive course on the Trace Academia platform covering different skills including business planning, marketing, and securing funding.

“Our partnership with Trace Academia allows us to extend our impact in making business skills more accessible to youth who are one of the key drivers of entrepreneurship on the continent,” said Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President & Head of Visa in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Practical Business Skills plays a key role in supporting the job and economic development efforts of Visa’s clients and partners, such as Trace Academia. With small micro businesses accounting for more than 90% of global businesses and as the source of 50% to 60% of global employment, PBS offers digital educational resources and tools to help small and micro businesses thrive through complex challenges.   “Utilizing Visa’s extensive expertise in financial education, we provide knowledge on what it takes to start a business, financing and cashflows, business management, marketing and ultimately, how to drive businesses into a profitable enterprise. We believe every stage of a business is important, from the development stage to maturity, and therefore, equip entrepreneurs with resources that help them confidently make informed business decision, throughout the business lifecycle,” says Diarra.

Empowering communities to develop

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Building co-branded Practical Business Skills sites with clients and partners is a way for Visa to further expand awareness and access to the business skills education resources available for SMBs.  It has become a key enabler for stakeholders such as governments and fintechs within the landscape of payment solutions, to accelerate and expand their social impact and business strategies with SMBs.

“Beyond business development, Visa’s PBS drives inclusive, and sustainable growth for everyone. We believe that through our platform, we can also improve livelihoods and positively impact communities,” says Diarra.

This commitment falls under Visa’s global dedication to digitally-enable 50 million SMBs worldwide, to help local communities get back to business, and drive SMBs to greater resiliency and growth.

“Practical Business Skills builds on the success of our flagship financial education initiative, Practical Money Skills, used by more than 40 million people worldwide. It provides content suitable for a wide variety of SMBs in any location and can be accessed through a series of 50 videos, on a variety of key topics, such as managing, organizing, digitizing, protecting, and growing a business.

Reaching success through an ecosystem of partnerships

In addition to Trace Academia, Visa has worked with other key partners to adapt Practical Business Skills to stakeholder needs and implement co-branding strategies.  An African mobile network operator delivering financial education to SMBs using mobile money; a leading Singapore Fintech integrating PBS into its SMB-facing blog and YouTube channel; and a cross border trade association helping corporations connect with SMBs, are amongst some of its diverse partners.

Visa Inc. and Visa Foundation have also played a key role in assisting SMBs rebuild after COVID related challenges. Sharing the same values as the Practical Business Skills , their Small Business Hub also provides turnkey solutions for businesses to grow.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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