Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth Announces $950K Grant to RICE During Spring 2023 Stakeholder Information Session 

A $950,000 investment from the Mastercard Impact Fund over a three-year period will support RICE’s Big IDEAS curriculum, with Mastercard providing RICE stakeholder companies with pro bono education, technical and financial assistance. The announcement was made during RICE’s Spring 2023 stakeholder information session by Marc Jackson, Vice-President, In Solidarity. The announcement was met with thunderous applause by hopeful stakeholders, current stakeholders, and RICE Staff. The grant is made in furtherance of Mastercard’s In Solidarity initiative, a $500 million pledge to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black communities and businesses across America. 

“The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs is taking a truly innovative and targeted approach to supporting Black business owners in Atlanta, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to help advance their mission,” said Salah Goss, Senior Vice President of Social Impact for North America at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “This collaboration epitomizes the kind of model we believe can make a difference for people, their communities, and our society, and we look forward to making an impact in Atlanta together.”


<Marc Jackson, VP in Solidarity, Mastercard delivers speech and announcement of $950K partnership at RICE 2023 Spring Stakeholder Session on Feb 21, 2023 to a round of thunderous applause.> 


Forging pathways to equitable opportunities that help create and accelerate Black-owned businesses is at the forefront of RICE’s mission to amplify, advocate and activate Black economic empowerment through entrepreneurship. “We are proud to partner with Mastercard In Solidarity to develop Black entrepreneurs’ business acumen,” President, and CEO of RICE. “It is our mission to create meaningful partnerships with companies like Mastercard and Live Oak Bank to create a collaborative community of support for the companies we serve and help overcome the unique barriers they face.”

The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs is the place to be for access, opportunity, and exposure for Black business owners at any stage. Investments from our partners like Mastercard, LiveOak, Disney, and UPS allow us to provide cutting edge resources, services, and information to our stakeholders. Learn more about what RICE has to offer by visiting