Boost Capital: Boosting the digitalization of Filipino small businesses

Our programs

Why this program?

  • While the Philippines is one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia, and the Filipino financial services sector is experiencing steady growth, the sector still faces challenges serving the large unbanked small business population, especially in rural areas.  
  • Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) make up about 99 percent of businesses operating in the Philippines and contribute to around 65 percent of the country’s total employment. Despite their significant role, small businesses in the region continue to face challenges in accessing financial services due to high transaction costs, insufficient credit information and high barrier to entry digital options.
  • Approximately 66% of MSEs in the Philippines are women-owned. Women-owned MSEs still face challenges in accessing finance compared to their male counterparts. 

Program overview

This project is designed to support micro and small enterprises in the Philippines—with a focus on women-led enterprises—by providing them with access to digital financial services, digital sales and transaction channels, and financial literacy training to improve their financial health and accelerate the growth of their businesses. 

Boost Capital’s award-winning, white-labeled tech platform onboards small businesses leveraging familiar channels such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and WhatsApp, which Filipino entrepreneurs are already using. Integrated with AI, the company’s chat-based technology allows service providers to onboard more small business customers digitally. Once onboarded, small businesses can access financial services 24/7 from their smartphones. The entire process is automated, from product selection, through AI-driven verification, to contracting and transaction.

The project will build on Mastercard Strive’s previous partnership with Boost Capital in Cambodia, where they used financial education data to de-risk and expand small business credit. Leveraging lessons and insights from the Cambodian experience, Boost Capital will collaborate with three to five new financial service providers (FSPs) in the Philippines. Each FSP will leverage Boost’s chat and AI-enabled digital onboarding technology to unlock access to digital financial services and merchant onboarding opportunities for small businesses. In addition to broadening access to financial services, the program will build the capacity of small business owners to support their long-term financial health through chat-based financial education interwoven throughout their financial service lifecycle. 

This program has a particular focus on women-led enterprises. Studies have shown that empowering women entrepreneurs can have a profound multiplier effect, leading to increased household incomes, improved child welfare, and broader economic development. Financial inclusion initiatives, with products designed for women's needs, can unlock resources for these women-led businesses. This allows them to invest in inventory, expand operations, increase sales, and ultimately contribute more significantly to the Philippine economy. Boost Capital’s technology was built with this strong focus on women-led businesses.

Further, this program is an opportunity to further support the country's commitment to digitizing and growing small businesses in the region. In addition to challenges in accessing finance, Filipino MSEs also struggle to access the digital ecosystem in general, e.g. listing on digital ordering platforms, accepting and managing digital payments, and using digital channels for customer service. Exclusion from the digital ecosystem restricts MSEs to growing only within the cash-based economy. By including merchant onboarding, the project will unlock access to the digital ecosystem and its accompanying benefits for MSE growth.

About Boost Capital

Boost is an award-winning, white-labeled tech platform that allows Financial Service Providers (FSPs) to serve customers via popular chat platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, & Whatsapp, without an app download. Boost offers the best possible funnel for new customers to apply for loans, credit cards, savings, insurance, and financial literacy through our Bank Partners, and we can enable applications on 100% of the smartphones in each market. Boost has partners in Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, and India, and has enabled over 2 million applicants and merchants through its innovative chat-based technology.

We are excited to be working with Mastercard Strive to unlock and expand credit for Filipino small businesses. This new grant will extend our technology to a wider set of partners and de-risk its adoption by smaller financial service providers, who might otherwise be hesitant to go digital. Encouraging them to explore new client onboarding channels will unlock access to a wealth of digital financial services to support small business growth.

Lucinda Revell

Co-Founder of Boost Capital

Implementation partners

Share this article

Articles related to this program


Mastercard and Boost Capital announce partnership to support over 10,000 small businesses in the Philippines

A new partnership will support with a focus on women-led enterprises. The initiative aims to enhance access to digital financial services and literacy using chat-based technology on platforms like Facebook Messenger and integrates AI for assistance.

Read the article

How to achieve personalization at scale when delivering digital financial services

The following is a guest post written by Lucinda Revell from Boost Capital, a platform that enables small businesses to access financial services and learning through smartphones.
Read the article

It’s all relative: Delivering financial education when it’s strategically relevant

The following is a guest post written by Lucinda Revell from Boost Capital, a platform that enables small businesses to access financial services and learning through smartphones.
Read the article