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Black women-owned businesses are vital to our economy and are amongst the hardest hit by the impacts of the pandemic.

Mastercard is announcing the Strivers Initiative, a consumer-facing platform, elevating the visibility of Black female business owners overcoming obstacles to maintain and grow their business, as role models for the community and future generations. The initiative will kick-off with a national ad spot featuring Black women business owners from across the U.S. and GRAMMY Award winning singer/songwriter Jennifer Hudson.

The initiative will include a grant program in partnership with Fearless Fund, a VC fund built by women of color for women of color. This will be complemented by a multi-city educational road show driving awareness of the state of women and minority-owned business in cities across the U.S. and providing insights into progressive actions cities can take to foster an equitable business climate.

Mastercard – Shop, Share & Support Black Women-Owned Businesses

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This builds on the company’s previously announced half-billion-dollar commitment to support Black communities over the next five years. This commitment includes products, services, technology and financial support, as well as concentrated investments that will focus on providing Black-owned businesses and Black people access to affordable financial tools and capital.

“For years, Black women have built businesses at a pace far greater than any other minority group, with a focus on building businesses that give back to their communities,” said Cheryl Guerin, EVP Marketing and Communications in North America for Mastercard. “The pandemic has delivered financial headwinds that threaten the economic progress of Black female business owners and because of this, Mastercard is taking action, while also calling on consumers and corporates alike to shop, share and support these women.”

A Primetime Spotlight for Strivers Paving Their Path To Priceless GRAMMY Award-winner and Mastercard ambassador Jennifer Hudson will help kick-off the Strivers Initiative in a new Mastercard spot where Hudson’s rendition of ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, produced by will.i.am, serves as an anthem for Black women business owners across the country who are paving their Path to Priceless and whose businesses serve as pillars for their communities.

“I am fortunate to have been influenced and inspired by so many incredible Black female role models as I’ve pursued my dreams, but that’s not always the case for all Black girls and women,” Jennifer Hudson shared. “Entrepreneurship has always been a part of the American Dream and the work that Mastercard is doing to elevate these visible, strong Black Women business owners and highlight the support they’re providing our communities is hugely important to me and to the impact of future generations.”

The commercial, produced by women-owned Little Minx, with direction for the ad by Child, who leverages her work to communicate the depths of the Black experience, serves as the sound track to a visual journey that puts Black women business owners in the spotlight. The spot premieres on February 17th in Primetime TV and across digital channels.

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