PHOTO: Judges pannel and Pitcher at 2022 Manito Ahbee Festival co-presented by Mastercard

Mastercard doubles down on support for Indigenous entrepreneurs with Pow Wow Pitch partnership extension!

Mastercard has announced the extension of its partnership with Pow Wow Pitch through 2024. The continued partnership will allow Pow Wow Pitch to expand its support for Indigenous entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on mentorship, new business establishment and digital adoption.

Last year Mastercard partnered with Pow Wow Pitch as a co-presenting sponsor for the first time, and the impact of their support was significant. 

More than a dozen members of the Mastercard team served as virtual mentors and judges, offering valuable insights to Indigenous entrepreneurs. Jennifer Sloan, Vice President of Policy at Mastercard, and Mansur Mirani, Vice President of the Mastercard Vancouver Tech Hub, also joined the Pow Wow Pitch Advisory Council and offered their expertise as judges. 

Mastercard’s support for Pow Wow Pitch went beyond mentorship and sponsorship. Via Mastercard Changeworks™  they provided crucial support for digital adoption through CanadaHelps and cybersecurity training as part of the Indigenous Entrepreneur Bootcamp. Additionally, Mastercard doubled the size of the Alumni Fund and presented two awards for the Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards. These actions were instrumental in helping Indigenous entrepreneurs overcome the challenges of starting and scaling a business.

“At Mastercard, we are proud to invest in establishing and growing Pow Wow Pitch as a sustainable and scalable solution to foster Indigenous entrepreneurship and empowerment,” said Sasha Krstic, president of Mastercard in Canada. “Seeing the impact Pow Wow Pitch has had on Indigenous entrepreneurs is truly inspiring. We are excited to extend our partnership and continue the important work of empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs.”

Through its investment in Pow Wow Pitch, Mastercard is helping to build the infrastructure and capacity necessary to support Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to continue our partnership with Mastercard! The company has been an incredible asset to Pow Wow Pitch and our Indigenous entrepreneurs,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “This support has enabled us to expand our impact and help even more Indigenous entrepreneurs realize their dreams of owning and operating successful businesses. We’re over the moon about the work we’ve accomplished together and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future. Here’s to continuing this epic journey with Mastercard by our side!”

By supporting Pow Wow Pitch and investing in its long-term success, Mastercard 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 towards economic reconciliation in Canada. 

About 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. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

Emilija Businskas, Vice President, Communications