Jennifer Hudson is partnering with Mastercard on a project designed to help businesses owned and run by Black women.
The Strivers Initiative platform being created by Mastercard will spotlight Black women-owned businesses through media spots and other initiatives.
In a statement, the company said Hudson and multiple Black women businesses owners will be featured in a national advertisement campaign.
“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. 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,” Hudson said.
The platform will also include a grant program run in partnership with the Fearless Fund, a venture capital firm centered around women of color.
“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, executive vice president of 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,” Guerin added.
The company plans to do a multi-city “roadshow,” where they spotlight Black women-owned businesses across the country. In their statement, they said they hoped the events would not just bring more money to these companies but also more interest online.
Hudson’s ad campaign features her singing a version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” produced by will.i.am.
As Blavity reported last year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that 41 percent of Black businesses closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some studies have shown even higher figures.
The problems were exacerbated when Black business owners were shut out of the loans doled out by the government to keep companies afloat during the pandemic.
Mastercard said in its statement it’s committing $20 million to community development financial institutions that have sought to bring funding to Black businesses across the country.
“We are thrilled to partner with Mastercard in highlighting women and minority-owned businesses across the country,” said Arian Simone, general partner and co-founder of Fearless Fund.
“The gap in the number of minority women opening new businesses every day and the number of minority women receiving funding is astounding, and we look forward to not only reducing this disparity but also utilizing Mastercard’s digital tools to help these business owners build their online presence,” Simone added.
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