Mastercard extends partnership with Pow Wow Pitch to reinforce commitment to empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs

April 15, 2024 | Toronto, ON

Pow Wow Pitch, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs, is proud to announce the extension of its partnership with Mastercard Canada through 2024. This continued collaboration aims to amplify Pow Wow Pitch's impact by supporting entrepreneurs, focused on mentorship and promoting digital adoption among Indigenous communities.

"Empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs and fostering economic development within Indigenous communities aligns with our mission at Mastercard of building an inclusive digital economy that benefits everyone,” said Sasha Krstic, President of Mastercard Canada. “We are proud to continue our journey with Pow Wow Pitch by extending our partnership and supporting Indigenous entrepreneurship.”

In 2022, Mastercard Canada joined Pow Wow Pitch as a co-presenting sponsor for the first time, marking a significant milestone in their partnership. The support provided by Mastercard Canada has been instrumental in empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs, enabling them to overcome the challenges of starting and scaling their businesses.

As part of this partnership, Mastercard Canada engages with Pow Wow Pitch in various capacities. More than a dozen members of the Mastercard team serve as virtual mentors and judges, offering valuable insights and expertise to Indigenous entrepreneurs. Jennifer M. Sloan, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Stakeholder Engagement at Mastercard Canada also serves on the Pow Wow Pitch Advisory Council, further strengthening the collaboration.

“I cannot overstate the significance of our partnership with Mastercard,” said Naomi Sarazin, Executive Director of Pow Wow Pitch. “It is more than just a collaboration; it's an enabler of our mission, a strategic alliance that propels us forward and a support for capacity building within Indigenous communities. Together, we are aligned in our vision, values and commitment to empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs. This partnership exemplifies what true leadership looks like: working hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, toward a common goal of fostering economic empowerment and prosperity."

Mastercard Canada's commitment to supporting Pow Wow Pitch extends beyond mentorship and financial support. Through initiatives like Mastercard Changeworks™, they provide crucial support for digital adoption, cybersecurity training and technology donations. Additionally, Mastercard supports Pow Wow Pitch’s Alumni network, Alumni Program, and annually presents two awards at the Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards, further enhancing the ecosystem for Indigenous entrepreneurship.

By supporting Pow Wow Pitch and investing in its long-term success, Mastercard Canada is contributing to the creation of a more equitable and prosperous future for Indigenous communities. This partnership serves as a model for how corporate entities can support Indigenous entrepreneurship and work toward economic reconciliation in Canada.

Media Contacts

Helena Wade, Mastercard

Pow Wow Pitch

Pow Wow Pitch is an entrepreneurship program for emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, which provides a safe, supportive, collaborative, empowering and culturally supportive environment that addresses the unique challenges of Indigenous entrepreneurs and aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs. Pow Wow Pitch enhances, develops and accelerates the growth for current and aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs in a sustainable way through programs and resources. Community leadership through volunteerism is promoted as a reflection of respect and reciprocity as the foundation of the Pow Wow Pitch.

For more information, visit

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.