Visa and Airbnb announce women-led MSBs programme

China: Visa and Airbnb announced their cooperation on a programme supporting women-led micro and small businesses (MSBs).

The Beijing 2022 and Women Programme, initiated by Visa, hopes to improve the country’s internal capabilities in the run up to the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Airbnb has created the Airbnb Rural Empowerment Toolkits for the programme, in cooperation with Beijing International Studies University and the China Tourism Homestay Association. Areas of focus will be in the tourism, culture and sport sectors in the Greater Beijing Area, offering digital tools, grants and international platforms to women-led MSBs.

Tao Peng, Airbnb China president, said: “As the newest TOP (The Olympic Partners Programme) Partner, we are very delighted to collaborate with Visa to empower women hosts in China, boost the local economy and benefit the host cities. Building on this programme, we will continue to design exciting programmes to set a new standard for hosting, and provide travel options that are economically empowering, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.”

Airbnb also ran a series of virtual experiences to support the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Athletes like Naomi Osaka, Jonny Brownlee and Kerri Walsh Jennings led workshops and activities for registered attendees.

Chinese state data claims that small and medium enterprises contribute over 50 per cent of tax revenue and make up over 80 per cent of urban employment in the country. Furthermore, the country hosts over 60 million home-sharing providers, of which 53 per cent are women.

Shirley Yu, group general manager, Visa Greater China, said: “Empowering women is essential for communities to thrive. Women power economies around the world and increasingly are a driving force in the creation of new business.”

Visa announced the initial phase of the programme in 2019, supported by China Women’s Development Foundation and Beijing Sport University. It hopes to cover 5,000 women-led small businesses by 2022 and contribute to the inclusive and sustainable growth of host cities.