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Mastercard to Partner with Spelman and Other Leading HBCUs to Further Black Economic Inclusion Efforts

Mastercard to Partner with Spelman and Other Leading HBCUs to Further Black Economic Inclusion Efforts
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on September 17, 2021

Mastercard recently announced a $5 million grant to support the forthcoming Center for Black Entrepreneurship.

Established in partnership with the Black Economic Alliance Foundation, and located on the campuses of Spelman and Morehouse, the CBE will serve as an incubator for high-potential, Black-owned start-ups, and a new generation of Black entrepreneurial talent.

The grant will fund new adjunct faculty, the creation of an online entrepreneurship program, and support the development of experiential courses that will enable students to put their classroom instruction into practice.

“We are excited by the possibility of building an entrepreneurship curriculum within our outstanding department of economics,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman.



“Through the support of Mastercard, the College will be able to build curricular and co-curricular strength that encourages and supports AUC students intent on the creation and sustainability of new businesses that will ultimately create wealth within our communities.”

The philanthropic funding, delivered by the Mastercard Impact Fund, is part of Mastercard’s $500 million, five-year commitment to advance racial equity and economic opportunity through city programs to support Black communities, affordable financial tools and services, and expanding access to capital and resources for Black-owned businesses.

“For over a century, HBCUs have played a critical role in nurturing professional talent and creating economic mobility in Black communities,” said Salah Goss, senior vice president for social impact at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “By investing in HBCUs, Mastercard is intentionally choosing key institutions who we believe can be catalytic in furthering our commitment to ensuring that the digital economy works for the Black community, and for everyone, everywhere.”

The investment from Mastercard was designed to have a catalytic impact on economic growth for Black communities and builds on Mastercard’s commitment to bolstering employee recruitment and HBCU programming through new and expanded partnerships with HBCUs and in collaboration with the Congressional HBCU Caucus.

While HBCUs make up three percent of American colleges and universities, they produce 25% of Black STEM graduates. The power of their alumni networks and scholarship combined with the cultural and historical significance they possess uniquely position them to drive inclusive growth within the Black community.

With increased funding, HBCUs will be able to scale the already critical role they play in helping to train and develop the next generation of Black entrepreneurs and innovators. The research supported by these grants will also generate actionable insights for policymakers, private sector leaders, and civil society seeking to leverage data science to advance racial equity and inclusive growth.
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