Mastercard Recognizes Women’s Small Business Month Expanding Partnership with Impact Investment Platform CNote

October 23, 2020/Mastercard

Company reinforces its commitment to supporting the prosperity of 25 million women entrepreneurs and 50 million small businesses in the digital economy

This National Women’s Small Business Month, Mastercard is recognizing those that serve as the foundation of our communities and our economy with the expansion of its partnership with female-founded impact investment platform CNote. Mastercard and the Mastercard Impact Fund are collectively deploying $20 million into the CNote Promise Account – an insured, 100% impact cash management solution – to provide funding for underserved communities and help women- and minority-owned businesses across the U.S. recover and grow. Mastercard will also host its second annual Small Business Summit in partnership with Create & Cultivate on October 24th, open for all to attend online at no cost.

Supporting a More Inclusive Funding Ecosystem 

In its continued efforts to ensure that entrepreneurs have access to the funding they need to start and grow their businesses affordably, safely, quickly and efficiently, Mastercard has further expanded its partnership with CNote, which began with CNote’s earlier participation in Mastercard’s start-up engagement program.

Through a $20 million commitment to the CNote Promise Account, funds will be deposited into Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) banks and Low-Income Designated credit unions that focus on supporting communities of color and low-income communities across the U.S. This is part of Mastercard’s broader commitment to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap, starting in seven cities across the country.

“The inequalities that exist are deeply ingrained in historic systems and processes, which means we have to make an ongoing, active effort to redesign them,” said Catherine Berman, CEO of CNote. “Financial freedom and economic opportunity should be accessible to all – and not denied because of the color of someone’s skin or where they were born. This is what we are fighting for at CNote.”

“Sklyar Security is not just the bodyguard in me, but the community advocate and all my passions wrapped into one,” said Jamine Moton founder and CEO of Skylar Security. “I’m not a former business owner and I don’t come from a family of entrepreneurs, so I didn’t have anyone helping me navigate the path to building my own business. It’s also very difficult for minorities to obtain fair capital so we need organizations like CNote and Mastercard that can give owners like me a fair shot to pursue our passion. We represent minority female owners to show others there is a path to prosperity.”

A Pathway to Financial Security 

Mastercard’s commitment to addressing inequalities in our financial systems, builds on a decade of leadership in financial inclusion. Recognizing the vital role CDFIs can play in providing access to funding and pathways to financial security for underserved communities, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth has partnered with leading CDFI organizations including: Community Reinvestment Fund USA (CRF), Accion Opportunity Fund, Center for Economic Opportunity and Grameen America to help them integrate digital technologies so they can connect a greater number of micro and small businesses to the capital they need to grow.

As an example, Mastercard’s support enabled Grameen America to digitize its operations and accelerate its growth to reach over 132,000 women with $1.6B in small business loans. During the COVID-19 crisis, the organization’s technological upgrades enabled Grameen America to continue operating virtually and quickly disburse loan funds digitally to women entrepreneurs they serve across the country and keep their businesses open.

Resources for Unprecedented Times and Unforeseen Challenges

As women small business owners continue to face an unprecedented environment and unforeseen operational challenges, Mastercard is stepping up its efforts to ensure these owners have the tools, resources, guidance, inspiration and connection they need to survive and thrive. In partnership with Create & Cultivate, the company has pivoted with the community to deploy meaningful digital mentorship resources including their second annual Small Business Summit, Priceless Conversations Video Series and WorkParty podcast. These programs as well as additional always-on resources are available at no cost to small business owners on the Mastercard Small Biz Hub.

“Given the state of the world, we are proud to have a partner like Mastercard who continues to pivot along with us and the small business community,” said Jaclyn Johnson, founder and CEO of Create & Cultivate. “We are excited to be hosting the second annual Small Business Summit together with multi-hyphenate businesswomen such as Kate Hudson, Tika Sumpter, Arian Simone, and more, to celebrate National Women’s Small Business month and provide insightful conversations and tools needed to survive and thrive.”

Our local main streets have been amongst the hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts build on Mastercard’s commitment to close the wealth and opportunity gap for minority and underserved communities while bringing 50 million small businesses and 25 million women entrepreneurs in to the digital economy by 2025. 

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