Stretch and Highnote Partner to Accelerate Financial Access and Small Business Entrepreneurship

Partnership creates financial building blocks for those facing barriers to banking services and business ownership

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stretch, an education and financial platform for aspiring small business owners, announces its partnership with Highnote, a fully cloud-native card issuance and program management platform. Through the partnership’s first financial product, people can sign up for a modern personal debit card, which was designed to include citizens returning home from incarceration. Users can also sign up for online classes and learn how to start a specific business.

Millions of Americans face the same challenges to building a small business, including fear, the lack of know-how and funding, limited support networks, and unfamiliarity with financial tools. This holds true for people impacted by incarceration, who are 45% more likely to start small businesses compared to other citizens. Similar challenges exist among many other communities of underserved aspiring entrepreneurs, demonstrating the need for targeted education and financial products that help potential business owners develop a solid foundation to start and successfully run viable small businesses.

“In the US, there is a massive, highly entrepreneurial population of people who are overlooked,” said Yasaman Hadjibashi, CEO and Co-Founder of Stretch. “We want to create pathways for more people to launch viable small businesses, but to do so responsibly – with the right knowledge and financial resources. Highnote’s unprecedented platform capabilities, business compliance experience, and customizability for both personal and business products mean we can develop tailored financial experiences that meet the holistic needs of one-person businesses. Launching our first financial product on their platform has made us even more excited to continue co-delivering on our ambitious product roadmap with speed and excellence.”

Stretch partnered with Highnote to create a specialized Customer Identification Program (“CIP”) that gives aspiring entrepreneurs access to tailored banking and card services. This product launch is the first in a series of financial products Highnote and Stretch plan to launch together, which are designed to help individuals expand from a personal banking relationship with Stretch into full-scale small business entrepreneurship.

“We call ourselves the most modern card issuer processor,” said John Macllwaine, Co-Founder and CEO of Highnote. “What does that ultimately mean? It means that businesses like Stretch can deploy flexible, fast, and responsive card technology to appropriately serve the unique needs of their target customers in a way that legacy technology platforms cannot. Being the most modern means we help our partners build solutions that are truly inclusive, helping drive access to financial services and economic opportunity for people who aspire to become business owners and achieve economic independence. Being the most modern also means best-in-breed technology that builds scalable, reliable infrastructure to open up a whole host of previously unachievable use cases.”

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To learn more about Highnote, visit

About Stretch
Stretch is an education and financial technology platform for aspiring small business owners. They make entrepreneurship approachable by providing online training and financial products to responsibly start and grow businesses in select industries.

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About Highnote
Highnote is the world’s most modern card issuer-processor and program manager, purpose-built to realize customer loyalty and engagement through embedded card experiences. Its fully integrated tech stack provides every service needed for innovative companies to launch new ways to use card payments. Utilizing the developer-friendly Highnote platform, product and engineering teams at digital enterprises of all sizes can easily and efficiently embed virtual and physical payment cards (commercial and consumer prepaid, debit, credit, and charge), ledger, and wallet capabilities into their existing products, creating compelling value for users while growing revenue and building a unique and differentiated brand. The company has raised more than $100 million from leading investors and strategic partners and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For additional information, please visit

Media Contact: Jillian Smith,

Stretch Mastercard Debit Card is issued by Sutton Bank, member FDIC, pursuant to a license by Mastercard. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.