Progress on Our Commitment to Racial Equity and Social Justice

On the one-year anniversary of the company’s $535 million commitment to racial equity, PayPal president and CEO, Dan Schulman, shared the following note with all PayPal employees to provide an update on progress and reaffirm our dedication to the values that drive this work. 


Dan Schulman, President and CEO

Today marks the first anniversary of the date we made our $535 million commitment to advance racial equity, sustain and strengthen underrepresented businesses and communities, and help address the economic underpinnings of racial injustice. This is a meaningful milestone and an opportunity to assess our progress on our commitments and to reaffirm our dedication to the values that drive our actions as a PayPal community.

While much has changed in the world since last June, we are sadly still witnessing acts of violence and discrimination, and the painful impacts of systemic racism on communities of color. Through our shared commitment and the focus we are bringing to racial equity, we are having impact – but it is clear that our work is far from done. There is so much more that we – and the broader corporate community – can contribute to closing the racial wealth gap and supporting racial equity and social justice. We will continue to uphold our commitment to defend those who face discrimination, to take action to stand up for our values, and to build upon the progress we have made so far.

I want to thank you for all the work we have done together this year to fulfill our commitments and live our values. Over the past year, we have invested and committed $510 million of the $535 million we pledged toward advancing racial economic equity. These funds have been put into action to support underserved communities and businesses, including short-term actions to save small Black-owned businesses, medium-term initiatives to sustain underrepresented entrepreneurs and businesses, and long-term investments to support wealth creation and community investment in Black and underserved communities. These efforts include:

  • $15 million in timely PayPal Empowerment Grants to close to 1,400 Black-owned small businesses that faced unprecedented challenges from the pandemic. 62% of our awardees were women and 53% were sole proprietors, which demonstrates the intersectional impact we were able to drive through these emergency cash grants. By our most recent assessment, 90% of our empowerment grant recipients were still operational.
  • $5 million in grants to 20 leading nonprofits engaged in racial equity work and on-the-ground support for small businesses. In addition to granting funding to these organizations, our employee community contributed more than 600 employee volunteer hours – and through our support, we served nearly 7,000 Black-owned businesses, 84% of which are still operational.
  • $485 million in investments from our Economic Opportunity Fund focused on increasing access to capital. Most recently, we deposited $135 million into mission-driven financial institutions and management funds that help underserved communities of color fight barriers to economic equity. And last month, we invested $50 million in 11 Black- and Latinx-led early-stage venture capital funds, bringing our total venture investing in Black and Latinx venture funds to $100 million.
  • $5 million invested thus far in PayPal’s Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging (DIE&B) programming, thought leadership and external engagement. This work includes additional investments into our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which provide community-building opportunities and help foster our culture of inclusion and belonging. We forged multi-year partnerships with CodeHouse, INROADS and National Association of Black Accountants to increase recruitment and career advancement of diverse talent at PayPal. And we established new partnerships with two historically Black colleges and universities, Dillard University and Wiley College, on research opportunities to advance public policy related to racial equity and entrepreneurship. We have also initiated new engagement with the Black, Hispanic and Asian American Chambers of Commerce to advance their support of diverse small business owners.

We have found that our bold positions and our sincere willingness to be transparent and to partner across the ecosystem has opened the way for us to deepen our racial equity work and partnerships in new and compelling ways – and it has inspired others to take action and make a difference as well. We are already seeing powerful results and I encourage you to learn more about the impact of our efforts through our dedicated site here.

The PayPal community has truly come together to support this critical work – your commitment and engagement exemplifies our values in action. So many of you raised your hands to get involved and devote significant time and expertise to help us mobilize quickly and build rigorous initiatives with immediate and sustained impact. Around the globe, you stepped up to volunteer with nonprofits, take part in giving campaigns and participate in ERG programs. Together, we also created safe spaces to openly share our thoughts and feelings on difficult topics, and we worked week-over-week to build community during a year that divided so many. Thank you for approaching these discussions and each other with respect and an open heart. It has helped to make us a stronger community.

We have come a long way in the past year – but what inspires me the most is that I know we have the opportunity to create even greater impact going forward. In many ways, we are only just getting started. We will continue to live our values and work together to fulfill our mission – and this has never been more important. Over the past year we have seen a tragic increase in violence against the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, as well as a rise in anti-Semitism and intolerance toward many of Muslim faith. An attack against anyone in our community is an attack against all of us. To sustain and strengthen our culture of inclusion, we need to continue to support each other during difficult times and to work to understand each other’s viewpoints and feelings of vulnerability.  

As we look ahead, we will continue to seek out new ways to overcome barriers to economic equity and financial health for underserved communities throughout the world. Closing the racial wealth gap and achieving racial equity requires a long-term commitment to reimagine and upgrade our systems on a global level. We have built a strong foundation over the past year. As a community, we must continue to work together to expand our impact and make meaningful progress towards systemic change.

Thank you for everything you do for PayPal and our communities. Your commitment to our values and to creating a more inclusive and equitable future is extraordinary. I am so proud to be on this journey with you.



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