R&B singer Jennifer Hudson has her focus on empowering female Black entrepreneurs and has partnered with Mastercard for the creation of a platform called the Strivers Initiative, designed to provide resources and support for African American business owners.
The new program is a consumer-centered platform created to amplify the voices of Black women founders throughout the U.S. and spread awareness about their businesses. It was also launched to address the racial and gender disparities surrounding access to capital.
As part of the initiative, Mastercard also partnered with the Fearless Fund, a venture capital firm founded by Arian Simone and Keshia Knight Pulliam, to provide grants for women of color entrepreneurs.
“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 in a statement provided by Mastercard.
Mastercard has also pledged $500 million to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black communities and businesses across America. Cheryl Guerin, EVP of marketing and communications in North America for Mastercard, also weighed in on the new initiative in the statement.
“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. 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.
Hudson is also helping kick off the Strivers Initiative by starring in a new Mastercard advertisement singing her rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” produced by will.i.am. The commercial spots are currently running on prime-time TV and across digital channels. Check out the commercial on the following page.