Small business: Access to capital and resources for Black-owned businesses
According to Next Street, Black residents of Los Angeles County make up 8% of the population and only own 2% of all employer small businesses. As in other cities, there is no central coordinator or service provider to help small businesses navigate offerings from business support organizations, capital providers, anchor institutions, philanthropy and other stakeholders.
mastercard solutions & initiatives
In Los Angeles, Thinkwatts Foundation partnered with Mastercard to offer education, tools and resources to help sustain small businesses in our evolving economy through its Business Builder Program. This year marks the start of Business Builder’s third cohort of small businesses and includes training covering access to capital, cybersecurity practices, digital readiness, social media marketing, accounting, bookkeeping and tax prep, among others.
In addition to Business Builder itself, Mastercard partnered with Uber for Business to address the transportation needs for Thinkwatts’ Business Builder and the Food Distribution programs. Due to unreliable transportation, small business owners were missing classes resulting in some being unable to complete training. The Mastercard-Uber for Business partnership filled that gap by providing free rides to the business owners.
Government engagement: Expanding city programs to support Black communities
In the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Los Angeles sought to disburse relief funds to its most vulnerable residents but lacked the infrastructure to do so.
Mastercard Solutions & Initiatives
Partnering with Oracle and the Mayor’s Fund of Los Angeles, Mastercard supported the creation of the Angeleno Campaign to provide direct cash assistance to Los Angeles residents. Qualifying recipients received prepaid debit cards, Angeleno Cards, ready for use to cover the cost of basic needs like medical aid and assistance, food, clothing, and rent payments. Nearly 40,000 cards were distributed to those in need at a critical time for Los Angeles residents.