Skip to content


Unlocking Opportunities for Crowdfunding Platforms: MasterCard Strive EU Innovation Fund

by EUROCROWD on 24.01.2024

Facilitating Growth and Innovation in Crowdfunding requires capacity and finances. EUROCROWD members and their clients are at the forefront of creating new, innovative, socially inclusive financing solutions that will create a better financial offering for retail investors and innovators, small businesses, and change makers. We are therefore happy to be able to introduce the Strive EU Innovation Fund by MasterCard focused on supporting innovation and resilience for small businesses in the EU. Crowdfunding platforms could find a compelling opportunity to align with and contribute to this transformative initiative. EUROCROWD is happy to support the European Microfinance Network (EMN), a member-based not-for-profit organization based in Brussels, which promotes microfinance as a tool to fight social and financial exclusion in Europe through self-employment and the creation of microenterprises.

Here's why the program holds particular relevance for crowdfunding entities or their clients:

1. Capital Infusion for Innovation:

This is an innovation fund with EUR 4.5M earmarked for up to 15 winners from the EU. Crowdfunding platforms, especially those embracing financial instruments, can leverage this fund to support innovative projects. This presents an avenue for diversifying the types of projects available on crowdfunding platforms.

2. Technological Adoption and Cybersecurity:

Strive EU's emphasis on safe digital transformation aligns with the core of crowdfunding platforms. These platforms, dealing with financial instruments, can showcase their commitment to cybersecurity, instilling confidence among investors and project creators.

3. Environmental Sustainability and Financial Inclusion:

Addressing regulatory expectations on environmental sustainability resonates with crowdfunding platforms committed to responsible investing. This creates an alignment with platforms embracing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) principles.

4. AI Integration for Efficiency:

Crowdfunding platforms can explore AI applications to streamline processes, enhance user experience, and provide data-driven insights. This aligns with Strive EU's call to harness AI to save time and make money.

5. Building Collaborative Networks:

Strive EU's efforts to convene stakeholders, including policymakers, civil society, and the private sector, present an opportunity for crowdfunding platforms to engage in collaborative discussions. This can enhance the visibility of crowdfunding's role in economic development.

6. Financial Inclusivity and SME Support:

Crowdfunding platforms, especially those focusing on financial instruments, can actively participate in the Strive EU Small Business Council. This involvement positions them as key contributors to discussions on financial inclusivity and SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) support.

7. Learning and Insights Sharing:

Crowdfunding platforms can benefit from the insights shared in the annual learning report, gaining valuable knowledge on best practices and perspectives. This can inform their strategies and approaches, contributing to continuous improvement.

The programme's focus on technology, sustainability, and collaboration resonates with the ethos of crowdfunding, making it a mutually beneficial partnership for driving economic growth and innovation.

Find out more about Strive EU and apply

Mastercard Strive has just launched its Strive EU Innovation Fund which offers grants of up to €500,000 for digital solutions that support European small businesses to: 

  • Unlock working capital and credit through embedded finance, which will be explored in this blog. 
  • Go digital safely by bolstering cybersecurity
  • Navigate evolving consumer preferences and regulatory expectations around environmental sustainability
  • Harness Artificial Intelligence (AI) to save time and make money. 

Applications are open to EU-based startups, established companies, social enterprises, and nonprofits, until March 11, 2024, please follow the link to apply

Strive EU is the latest addition to Mastercard Strive, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth philanthropic program supporting small businesses globally.