“This is a time for action. We have an obligation as a corporate citizen to ensure the digital economy is enabled for all, an obligation to be part of the positive change Black communities so rightly need now,” said Ajay Banga, Chief Executive Officer at Mastercard. “We are starting in cities across the country with on-the-ground efforts meant to drive out inequities and create the opportunities, connections and resources that will spark economic growth for the long term.”
With half of all Black Americans excluded from the financial mainstream and Black-owned small businesses excluded from funding opportunities, the commitment is designed to foster inclusion by delivering immediate economic benefits, while driving a lasting impact on economic growth for Black communities. Mastercard will focus on three crucial areas: expanding city programs to support Black communities, affordable financial tools and services and capital and resources for Black-owned businesses.
“Black entrepreneurs have battled decades of historical disinvestment that have limited access to necessary resources and funding that enable economic empowerment. And, research has shown that Black small business owners have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marc Morial, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Urban League. “We are proud to expand our long-standing partnership with Mastercard to launch a new leadership institute that will equip community leaders with necessary skills to combat these economic injustices in Black communities.”
The commitment builds on the company’s efforts to drive financial inclusion across the globe, leveraging our partnerships across banks, telecommunications providers and fintechs and bringing best practices and learnings across regions.
Over the last five years, Mastercard has brought 500 million unbanked individuals into the global financial system, helping them benefit from the digital economy. Following this success, Mastercard has increased its goal to connect one billion people, 50 million small and medium-sized businesses worldwide to the digital economy by 2025, with support for 25 million women entrepreneurs. This will be achieved through targeted regional programs that identify the specific needs of financially underserved populations, – mobilize assets from across the company and draw on the expertise of the City Possible network and Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.