Project Kirana launched by Mastercard and USAID

On November 19, 2020, Mastercard and United States Agency for International Development launched “Project Kirana”. The programme will enable women entrepreneurs to grow, launch and thrive.

What is the plan?

Under Project Kirana, a two-year programme is to be rolled out in selected cities such as Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh. The project will work to increase revenue, digital payments and expand financial inclusion.

Why was Uttar Pradesh chosen?

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous states of India. A large number of people are engaged in informal sector. Also, more than 10.3% of women population in the state are employed in MSME. Also, the state has the largest number of MSME in India. Around 14% of MSME of the country is located in the country.

What are the key features of the Project Kirana?

The project aims to build digital literacy and financial literacy of the women in the state. It will improve business management skills of women.

Why is the Project Kirana important?

It is estimated that the GDP of the country will grow between 12% and 25% in the next five years by bringing in more women. The women owned business in India have tremendous untapped potential that is capable of transforming the economies.

India is one of the countries with highest gender gap in the world. As Project Kirana is designed to support women and increase their financial access in the country, it will help solve gender parity issues.


In July 2020, Mastercard announced that it will commit Rs 250 crores to reboot SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). In line to the commitment, Master card had launched a host of initiatives. One such is Project Kirana.


USAID is United States Agency for International Development. It is an independent agency that is responsible to administer foreign aid and development assistance.


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