President Bill Clinton and Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to host “Small Businesses, Big Opportunities,” the first in a new Clinton Foundation series to address disparities amid COVID-19

October 20, President Bill Clinton will kick off “Building an Inclusive Recovery,” a Clinton Foundation series to address racial, ethnic, tribal, economic, and health disparities in wake of COVID-19. This first meeting, “Small Businesses, Big Opportunities,” will include announcements of new commitments designed to support small businesses, invest in digital technology, spur economic development, and improve financial systems in underserved communities.


This pre-recorded event will be streamed via

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In addition to a conversation with Ajay Banga, chief executive officer of Mastercard, President Clinton will also moderate a panel with Mayor Randall Woodfin, Birmingham; Wole C. Coaxum, founder and chief executive officer, MoCaFi (Mobility Capital Finance); and Andrea Jung, president and chief executive officer, Grameen America.


As President Clinton stated, “Investments in underserved communities, including the capital to spur small business growth, often have an outsized impact on people’s lives and the economy as a whole.  COVID-19 has exposed the inequalities that these communities face in accessing tools like small business loans and affordable banking.  But the model we have developed over the years at the Clinton Foundation is a good one – working together, we can create regional and national partnerships to achieve systemic change and give all Americans the opportunity to succeed.”
“A world that works for only some will eventually not work for anyone. We need to work together to shape the kind of recovery that works for everyone,” said Ajay Banga, Chief Executive Officer at Mastercard. “Our partnership with the Clinton Foundation on the ‘Building an Inclusive Recovery’ virtual series is a way for us to shine a spotlight on the innovative solutions, partnerships, and strategies already being deployed. It is my hope that, as people see the path already being paved, they will join us in rebuilding a more inclusive economy that works for everyone, everywhere.”
The United States is facing unprecedented economic disruption due to COVID-19:


      Black, Latino, and Native American cases and deaths from COVID-19 are significantly higher than their share of the national population;

      Approximately 40% of the 1 million Black-owned businesses in America are estimated to have closed, with more struggling to access needed credit;

      The five business sectors most affected by the pandemic represent almost 50 percent of revenues for Latino-owned businesses;

      In September, nearly eight times the number of women dropped out of the workforce as men – with Black and Latina women reporting much higher rates of unemployment than white women.


Under the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action model, these meetings will provide a platform for the cultivation of new, specific, and measurable projects promoting an inclusive economic recovery. Each virtual event in this series will highlight approaches ready to be scaled or replicated. Following these events, Clinton Foundation staff will continue to bring people together and host additional conversations among partners to help facilitate action and drive additional impact.


This virtual conference session, produced in partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, will include:          


Small Businesses, Big Opportunities – a panel discussion with President Bill Clinton, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, and others.


The economic fallout from COVID-19 is pushing America’s small businesses to their limits. More than 1 in 4 small businesses are considering closing, over 40 percent of Black-owned businesses are estimated to have permanently closed, and the top five sectors of the economy that have slowed represent 50 percent of the revenue for Latino-owned businesses. While these closures represent a severe blow to the American economy, there is an opportunity here to rebuild these small businesses to be more resilient than ever by doubling down on proven and innovative solutions.


Join President Bill ClintonAjay Banga, chief executive officer, Mastercard; Mayor Randall Woodfin, Birmingham; Wole C. Coaxum, founder and chief executive officer, Mobility Capital Finance; and Andrea Jung, president and chief executive officer, Grameen America. In their discussion, they will address realizing the promise of the digital technology, unlocking access to capital, and better integrating small businesses into global supply chains, not only to rebuild the backbone of the American economy but also to do so in a way that is more inclusive for all Americans.


The Clinton Foundation and President Clinton launched this series of events to advance inclusive economic recovery and help to tell the stories of the important work being done as well as the significant challenges that we still need to collectively address. This series will feature conversations designed to create actionable results and spotlight the people, ideas, and businesses that are pioneering solutions to create more equitable wealth opportunities in the United States.

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