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Mastercard commits $500 million over five years to reduce racial wealth and opportunity gaps



ImpactAlpha, Sept. 21 – Mastercard has committed $500 million over five years to reduce racial wealth and opportunity gaps.

“The economic costs of structural racism are too high to ignore,” says Mastercard’s Marla Blow. The company-wide endeavor “will tackle racism with the full force of our assets, be it our expertise, capital, digital products or extensive network of partners,” she says.

Mastercard is doubling an earlier pledge, and now aims to bring a billion people and 50 million small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.

  • Growth opportunity. Full economic participation for Black communities is a $1.5 trillion opportunity over the next decade, McKinsey estimates. MasterCard aims to boost capital availability for Black-owned businesses to $750 million over five years through community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, including Accion Opportunity Fund and the Community Reinvestment Fund. 
  • City assets. Mastercard will focus on New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New Orleans, St. Louis, Dayton, Ohio, and Birmingham, Alabama. “Each one possesses great potential for change,” says Blow. Mastercard already is helping disburse aid digitally to vulnerable communities in three cities. 
  • Banking on-ramp. A third initiative will increase access to affordable financial products for underbanked Black families, who are often forced into costly alternatives. One partner: Black-owned digital bank MoCaFi.

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