The Mastercard Academy has launched an educational platform dubbed the Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to bring together world class academic and business resources to scale SMEs.

The Entrepreneur’s Odyssey is a mobile friendly, self-paced curriculum that includes online lessons across 21 modules with a total of 28 videos of approximately 20-30 minutes each. Following a 5 pathway approach, the resources are open to all aspiring and established entrepreneurs with no limits on number of viewers and free to watch. The platform will also be offered to government partners.

In 2020, Mastercard announced a Ksh. 28 billion ($250 million) commitment over five years to support SMEs with digital tools and training during the pandemic. With the launch of the Entrepreneur’s Odyssey, Mastercard will further empower small businesses with data insights and knowledge to more efficiently and securely run their enterprises.

Additionally, the Entrepreneur’s Odyssey platform has direct links to recorded videos with interactions between participants and professors from Harvard, INSEAD, Wharton and the Christiansen Institute of Innovation and an expert Mastercard faculty.

“Small businesses are the backbone of local communities and an engine for the global economy. Because of this, it’s never been more important to ensure that entrepreneurs and small business owners have access to educational resources, insights, tools and solutions to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and truly thrive,” said Michael Froman, Vice Chairman and President, Strategic Growth for Mastercard.

The 5 pathway approach includes the following steps.

1. Design: This pathway and the next are aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs for whom the building blocks of every great business starts with an idea and a job to be done.
2. Launch: This pathway addresses what it takes to turn one’s business plan into a business venture. Professor David Bell from Wharton Business School discusses pricing and value creation as well as how to win in a digital economy, while a Mastercard expert gives his top tips and tricks from a digital Sherpa.
3. Manage: The Manage and Grow pathways are for established entrepreneurs to discover the technology, skills and techniques to help them run their business like a professional.
4. Grow: Professor Isenberg continues to share why a growth mindset is always critical to success no matter what stage of the entrepreneurial journey one is in.
5. Community: The final pathway in the curriculum shares tools, case studies, resources and access to fellow entrepreneurs.