Black women are launching businesses faster than any other group, yet receive the least amount of venture capital support. Mastercard recognizes this and wants to change it.
Upon the 1-year-anniversary of Strivers Initiative, Mastercard is expanding partnership with Black-owned venture capital fund Fearless Fund in its joint mission to fund and support Black women-owned businesses.
In an effort to offer ongoing support, they are also launching Priceless mentorship program, an updated suite of tools aimed at digitally fortifying their operations and a new digital marketplace where consumers can shop, share and support their businesses across the U.S.
“As Black women business owners look towards the recovery of the pandemic, Mastercard’s commitment to empowering this community of Strivers for long-term growth remains stronger than ever,” said Rustom Dastoor, EVP of North America Marketing and Communications at Mastercard in a news release. “Together with our partners, with tools and resources, data, mentorship, partnerships and brand power, the impact we’re able to make on individuals and in turn society at large, is truly Priceless.”
According to the company, Fearless Fund will be offering Black women small business owners $10,000 grants, digital tools and mentorship for the Fearless Strivers Grant Contest. One national winner will be announced every month through 2022. Additionally, city-specific grant opportunities for Black women small business owners will be launching shortly in Mastercard’s In Solidarity cities.
“We are thrilled to continue Fearless Fund’s partnership with Mastercard and host the Fearless Strivers Grant Contest for a second year,” said Arian Simone, Co-Founder and General Partner of Fearless Fund. “Women of color-led businesses continue to be one of the fastest-growing economic forces, and Mastercard’s commitment to help us create a more equitable playing field for these women is exactly the kind of support needed to ensure their success.”