FUNDING UNDERSERVED BUSINESS LEADERS
Mastercard Supports Women of Color With Multimillion-Dollar Investment
Mastercard announced on April 20 its commitment to help further access to funding for Black women with a multimillion-dollar investment in Fearless Fund, created by women of color for women of color.
Black women are building and growing businesses faster than any other segment but receive less than 1 percent of venture-capital funding, according to Mastercard. And, according to the National Venture Capital Association, only 3 percent of people leading investments at VC firms are Black.
“The significant investment gaps in women-founded companies, which is especially acute for women of color, holds everyone back,” said Michael Froman, president of strategic growth for Mastercard. “The need to narrow this gender and racial disparity is critical in driving forward innovation and fueling inclusive, sustained economic recovery across our country. We are investing in Fearless Fund and partnering to bring innovative programs to market to help Black-women founders get access to the capital and resources they need to achieve their full potential.”
Mastercard’s investment will allow Fearless Fund to further expand its portfolio of women-of-color founded and co-founded companies. Additionally, the social impact of the investment will have a significant role in job creation and wealth distribution in underserved communities.
“This multimillion-dollar investment from Mastercard is further proof of their commitment to providing resources in an effort to better serve the hardworking but severely underfunded women–of-color entrepreneurs who so deserve equal capital distribution,” said Arian Simone, co-founder and general partner of Fearless Fund.
Last year, Mastercard announced a half-billion-dollar commitment to support Black communities across the United States over the next five years to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap in seven cities.