PayPal says black lives matter and commits to a $530m pot to support black businesses and to fight economic inequality

PayPal has announced that it has had enough of racial inequality in the US and has made a $530m commitment to support black and minority-owned businesses and communities across the nation. 

“For far too long, black people in America have faced deep-seated injustice and systemic economic inequality,” said Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal. “Black lives matter and we need to drive transformative change. We must take decisive action to close the racial wealth gap that sustains this profound inequity. PayPal is uniquely positioned to help in this area and we are committed to doing our part to address the unacceptable racial divide by advancing a more just economy and society.

“We’ve listened to leaders in the black community about the challenges facing black business owners and the support and investments needed to sustain black-owned businesses and create long-term economic opportunity. The holistic set of initiatives we are implementing are designed to help address the immediate crisis and set the foundation for sustained engagement and progress towards economic equality and social justice.”

The commitment will be divided into four parts. The first is a $10m fund for empowerment grants to black-owned businesses impacted by Covid-19 or civil unrest. The money will be put to reopening and stabilising the companies. The fund will be managed in partnership with Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), a national nonprofit expanding economic opportunity for black entrepreneurs through its Tapestry Project.

“AEO advocates for economic inclusion and works to create transformational change in the marketplace for small businesses,” said Connie Evans, president and CEO of AEO. “Now, more than ever, it’s critical to invest in black-owned businesses, create a more equitable system and break through the barriers that have historically challenged black business ownership and wealth creation.”

The second part is $5m fund for programme grants and employee matching gifts for PayPal’s nonprofit community partners that are working to strengthen black business owners by providing them with microloans, technical assistance, information, mentoring and access to digital solutions to speed their recovery from the impact of the pandemic. It will work with local partners best suited to understand the needs of their communities.

The third and biggest chunk is a $500m commitment to create an economic opportunity fund to support and strengthen black and underrepresented minority businesses and communities over the long term, and designed to help drive financial health, access and generational wealth creation. This includes bolstering the company’s relationships with community banks and credit unions serving underrepresented minority communities, as well as investing directly into Black and minority-led startups and minority-focused investment funds. Startups and investment funds are invited to express interest to the PayPal Ventures team here.

The least $15m will go to strengthening PayPal’s internal diversity and inclusion programmes to foster greater awareness, build equity, and support recruiting, hiring and career advancement of black and minority employees.

Copyright © 2020 FinTech Global

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