Strive USA Innovation Fund

Creative & scalable digital small business solutions

The application period is now closed

The Strive USA Innovation Fund provides grants to community financial institutions and business support organizations who are testing scalable capital and service products so underrepresented entrepreneurs can get capital, go digital and grow networks and know-how.



Project eligibility

Proposed projects must:

  • 501c3, social enterprises or nonprofit/private sector partnership (e.g., CDFI/Fintech)
  • Be designed by/for or benefit CFIs and BSOs
  • Include natively digital and data analytics tools and insights
  • Have potential for scale and solve critical and systemic challenges facing underserved entrepreneurs 
  • Be implemented in the U.S.

Organizational eligibility

Applicants must be one of the following:

  • 501c3 CFIs such as Community Development Financial Institution, Minority Depository Institution, Credit Union, Community Development Fund, Community-Focused Venture Capital Loan Fund, or corresponding industry groups and associations
  • 501c3 Business Support Organization
  • Non-profit/private sector partnership (e.g., CDFI/Fintech)
  • Technology Platform, Digital Service Provider, and others with products and/or services relevant to the small business ecosystem and/or CFI industry

Applicants should also consider

  • An organization’s geographic coverage in the U.S. does not impact eligibility; however, there will be preference for organizations operating locally, regionally, and at a state level
  • Organization must have a track record of working with intermediaries and/or small businesses with preference given to solutions focused on employers with 2-50 employees
  • Two+ organizations can submit one application as a partnership/consortium
  • Limit of one application per organization

This fund is not designed to scale already implemented solutions into new geographies and contexts, nor is it designed for entities without relevant experience working with or for financial intermediaries or small businesses.

This program seeks to contribute to the development of equitable and inclusive solutions. The program will give preference to solutions and organizations that creatively address entrepreneurial challenges facing historically underserved entrepreneurs across the focus areas described.

Due Diligence Process

All Mastercard Strive USA Innovation Fund finalists will be asked to take part in a due diligence process that will provide assurance that your organization is legally registered and conducting business in compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, as well as in accordance with the highest standards of business ethics.