Mastercard is marking National Women’s Small Business Month by furthering its support of the female-founded impact investment platform CNote with an infusion of $20 million, the company announced Friday (Oct. 23).
The financial commitment from Mastercard and the Mastercard Impact Fund deposits the money into Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) banks and Low-Income Designated credit unions, which assists women- and minority-owned businesses in underserved communities across the U.S.
This investment is part of Mastercard’s push to “help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap.”
“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 CNote CEO Catherine Berman.
She added that no one should be barred from economic opportunities because of their race, ethnicity or ZIP code. “This is what we are fighting for at CNote.”
To further celebrate women-owned small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Mastercard’s second annual Small Business Summit is being held at no charge on Saturday (Oct. 24) in collaboration with the career platform for women Create & Cultivate.
Jaclyn Johnson, founder and CEO of Create & Cultivate, said this year’s business summit to celebrate National Women’s Small Business month includes participation from businesswomen like Kate Hudson, Tika Sumpter, Arian Simone and others, who will “provide insightful conversations and tools needed to survive and thrive.”
“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 into the digital economy by 2025,” according to the statement.
In a recent PYMNTS executive series, FinTech and Mastercard executives pointed to Mastercard Accelerate and the partnership model as being critical to addressing problems across demographics. A partnership model also invites cross-pollination between FinTechs and the Mastercard matrix.
Mastercard first celebrated National Women’s Small Business Month last year by gathering its Women’s Business Advisory Council for a retreat in New York City.