Mastercard Expands Inclusive Growth Efforts in the U.S.

New research grants support small businesses and sustainable economic development.

Mastercard (No. 7 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth has announced the findings of a multi-city inclusive growth initiative and three new grants supporting research and programs to help ensure more Americans can benefit from a growing economy.

The report and research grants result from a recently concluded series of roundtable discussions and panels entitled, On the Front Lines of Inclusive Growth,” through which Mastercard executives met with more than 100 civic leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers and independent citizens to gain a better understanding of social and economic growth barriers and to identify opportunities to leverage Mastercard assets in making a positive social impact. The initiative included stops in Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, New York, Oakland, St. Louis and Washington D.C.

Mastercard North America president, Craig Vosburg, spoke on the importance of inclusion at the CFSI Emerge Financial Health Forum on June 16 stating, “Together, we need to focus on creating a sustainable way to help bridge the divide that exists today in the U.S. Over the last few months, we heard critical inclusion issues first hand from people working with vulnerable Americans. From these insights, we identified key areas where we along with our business partners can make real impacts to improve financial inclusion and growth in the U.S.”

Initial actions resulting from the initiative include three grants focused on small businesses and research on sustainable economic development:

  • Action – Support innovations to build the resiliency of small businesses to financial shocks and enable them to achieve sustainable business growth. The grant will fund a program to test the impact of consumer and financial data on business’ financial health.
  • PolicyLink – Conduct new research on the economic characteristics of over 100 million people in the U.S. living at 200 percent of the poverty line or below. The work will result in a detailed profile of the broader workforce trends shaping opportunities and barriers to economic mobility for one-third of the U.S. population.
  • Urban Institute – Develop data driven metrics and methodologies to better answer key questions related to inclusive economic growth in U.S. metropolitan areas. The project will combine Mastercard insights with public data to create new indicators and identify new evidence to support and monitor local inclusive growth efforts.

“When you know better, you do better,” said Shamina Singh, president, The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “As we learned from our meetings with public and private sector leaders at all levels, sustainable economic growth requires evidence-based programs and partnerships. Our collaboration with Accion, PolicyLink and the Urban Institute, supports critical research, analysis and insights that will unlock the economic potential of some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations.”

Identifying Opportunities to Advance Economic Mobility in U.S. Cities” summarizes the results of the roundtable discussions and highlights five areas of opportunity for action. The report is available for download by clicking here.


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