ATLANTA — Morehouse College and Spelman College announced plans on how it will use Mastercard's $5 million grant.
According to 11Alive's partner, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the colleges will invest in a Center for Black Entrepreneurship that will be located on both campuses.
The grant will be used to help pay for more faculty, online entrepreneurship and pitch competitions for students, the Atlanta Business Chronicle said.
Mastercard said in a statement Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) have "served as pathways to mentorship and economic mobility for Black students in pursuit of higher education."
“For over a century, HBCUs have played a critical role in nurturing professional talent and creating economic mobility in Black communities,” Salah Goss, senior vice president for social impact at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth said. “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.”
Last year, Mastercard pledged $500 million to help close the gaps in racial wealth and opportunities for Black communities.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle said Spelman plans to house the center in its Center for Innovation and the Arts.
As many as 8,000 students will be able to access the center including students enrolled at Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse School of Medicine, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
According to the Black Economic Alliance, the Center for Black Entrepreneurship will also support experiential learning courses.
"This is a time for action. We have an obligation as a corporate citizen to ensure the digital economy is enabled for all, an obligation to be part of the positive change Black communities so rightly need now," Ajay Banga, Chief Executive Officer at Mastercard said. "We are starting in cities across the country with on-the-ground efforts meant to drive out inequities and create the opportunities, connections and resources that will spark economic growth for the long term."
In Atlanta, Mastercard is working with the Office of Equirty, Diversity and Inclusion as part of the Stand-up Atlanta initiative.