A $530 million commitment has been announced by the PayPal Holdings in support of African American- and minority-owned businesses. As part of a longer-term commitment to address economic inequality in the United States, the company will create a $500 million economic opportunity fund aimed at supporting and strengthening African-American and underrepresented minority businesses.
Through the initiative, the company will work closely with community banks and credit unions serving underrepresented minority communities, and will invest directly in Black and minority-led startups and minority-focused investment funds.
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PayPal president and CEO, Dan Schulman said, “For far too long, Black people in America have faced deep-seated injustice and systemic economic inequality. 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.”
The investments also include $10 million for the PayPal Empowerment Grants for Black Businesses Program, a joint initiative with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) through which grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to Black-owned businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus and/or civil unrest.
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And a separate $5 million grant and employee matching gift fund will support PayPal community partners working to strengthen Black businesses by providing them with microloans, technical assistance, mentoring, and access to digital solutions that can help accelerate their recovery.
Initial recipients of grants from the fund include AEO, Baltimore Business Lending, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group, Expanding Black Business Credit Initiative, Kiva, MORTAR, Nebraska Enterprise Fund, Opportunity Fund, Rising Tide Capital, Start Small Think Big, Walker’s Legacy Foundation, and Women’s Opportunity Resource Center.
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In addition, the company will spend $15 million to strengthen its internal diversity and inclusion programs, foster greater awareness among employees of systemic injustice, and support the recruitment, hiring, and career advancement of African-American and minority employees.