BRAVO Leadership Conversation with Mike Froman

The Mastercard executive and former U.S. trade representative discussed how the private sector can do well by doing better.


  • Mike Froman, Vice Chairman and President, Strategic Growth, Mastercard
  • Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas (interviewer)

What brings value to a company? Social responsibility, according to Mastercard executive Mike Froman. “Whether you believe in stakeholder capitalism or not, what’s absolutely true is that a company looking for its long-term business prospects and shareholder value has to be thinking about issues like the environment and its people and the communities in which it operates,” he said in a BRAVO Leadership Conversation with Susan Segal. “Our license to operate in any country isn’t something that’s handed down from heaven; it’s something you have to earn every day. And you earn it in part by being committed, not just to achieving superior financial results, which is obviously important, but also in doing what’s necessary to create that kind of long-term value,” said the former U.S. trade representative.

More and more companies are reaching this consensus, said Froman, which means the question now is: how best to accomplish this? One way is through inclusion. Fully 70 percent of women-owned businesses face a financing gap and can’t get access to capital that they need to expand, said Froman. To address this in Latin America, where women-founded businesses receive just 1 percent of venture capital funds, Froman detailed how Mastercard has partnered with U.S.A.I.D. on an incubator program, called Start Path Empodera, for women-owned businesses in Colombia. “If we’re ultimately going to be able to address the economic and social challenges we face, we’ve got to mobilize the private sector at scale,” said Froman. “And that means it’s gotta be commercially sustainable.”