Mastercard Partners with Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ to Spotlight Black Women Small Business Owners

Originally published at Mastercard ranked No. 2 on The Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.


Mastercard announced its collaboration with Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” in theaters November 11, to spotlight Black excellence and the irrepressible strength of Black women — both on and off the screen. With Priceless experiences, digital engagements and shoppable content that supports and celebrates the superpowers of Black business leaders, Mastercard is honoring the film’s inspiring message that the spirit of Wakanda is all around us.  

“Through representation and access to tools and resources, Mastercard is proud to honor the Black women-owned businesses that strive for success despite the systemic inequalities they face every day,” said Rustom Dastoor, EVP of Marketing and Communications, Mastercard North America. “When we see role models that look like us, which the film so impactfully demonstrates, it expands our sense of what’s possible, including a more diverse, inclusive economic future.”

In a Wakanda-inspired commercial spot and supporting campaign, Egypt Otis, the owner of Comma Bookstore & Social Hub — a Flint, Michigan small business that specializes in Black and Brown literature, art and music — stars as a real-life superhero by being a role model to a young shopper. The girl realizes through her imagination and interaction with Egypt that superheroes are all around us, igniting excitement for the film, her ambition for the future, and the belief that she herself has that same potential.

“To serve as the face of possibility for aspiring Black women and young girls makes me feel like a superhero of sorts — just for living my truth,” said Otis. “Mastercard’s Strivers Initiative has provided me the resources and platform to help my business thrive and further empower our community, which to me is truly priceless.”

Mastercard’s support of the film is an extension of the company’s $500 million commitment to helping close the racial wealth and economic gap in the U.S. by supporting Black women-owned businesses through its Strivers Initiative, and partnerships with HBCUs and youth groups around the country, as well as Mastercard’s sustained efforts to build a more inclusive digital economy by providing the digital tools to help small businesses get online and thrive

In celebration of the film, select small business owners and youth groups will enjoy exclusive screenings in New York City and Atlanta ahead of the film’s release. Designed to create a multisensory experience, the screenings will feature film-inspired décor, photo opportunities, celebratory food and drink options, a Hall of Heroes video installation honoring attendees and other entrepreneurs, free branded swag and more.

Separately, Mastercard is launching various Priceless engagements and shoppable activations, including:

  • Mastercard Small Biz Marketplace (Instagram): Consumers can discover a reimagined shoppable social experience of exclusively Black women-owned small businesses and products from across the country with opportunities to shop, share & support them directly on Instagram.
  • Social Content Community Series: Unlocking even more consumer power, Mastercard will feature Talia R. Boone, founder of Los Angeles-based immersive floral wellness service Postal PetalsJean Brownhill, founder of online contractor network for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises Sweeten Enterprise, and Mandy Bowman, founder of the Black-owned business marketplace Official Black Wall Street — in a content series across social platforms, that illustrates their journey to success and impact they make through their business.
  • The Mastercard Small Business Metaverse: in November 2022, Mastercard will launch an immersive virtual reality experience in Meta Horizon Worlds to connect consumers to a world where they can discover a variety of Black-owned small businesses and participate in activities designed to bring to life their unique stories and entrepreneurial journeys. This will be both a space for consumers to engage and learn about new products, and for Mastercard to host custom content bringing together leading entrepreneurs with the next generation.