SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) today announced the recipients of the second annual Maggie Lena Walker Award. Named in honor of the first Black woman to charter a bank in the U.S. and serve as its president, the award seeks to celebrate the achievements of women from underrepresented groups in the U.S. who are economically empowering those in their community and creating a more inclusive world.
This year's awardees are focused on support for underserved entrepreneurs – whether that is through access to capital and resources or exposure to new customers. Black small businesses, which had been hardest hit during the pandemic, saw a significant rebound in 2021, with growth rates higher than pre-pandemic levels. The work of each of this year's recipients is helping to build an ecosystem of support to sustain and empower these businesses over the long term.
"Business ownership and wealth building are key to closing the racial wealth gap," said Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal. "This year's PayPal Maggie Lena Walker Award awardees are providing guidance, capital, and resources to underserved entrepreneurs, continuing Walker's legacy of uplifting her community through economic opportunity. It is a privilege to recognize and celebrate these incredible women for their commitment and impact."
The award recipients were chosen by a Selection Committee whose members included senior leaders within the PayPal community, including Dan Schulman, PayPal president and CEO, and Liza Mickens, Walker's great-great-granddaughter and co-founder of Vote Equality.
Awardees will receive a cash award of up to $50,000 and access to resources and mentorship from the PayPal community to further their impact and vision. Awardees will also receive a unique piece of artwork commissioned by PayPal for the award by Washington, DC-based artist Jamilla Okubo.
Connie Evans, president and CEO, Association for Enterprise Opportunity. Like Maggie Lena Walker, Connie Evans has had many firsts. In 1986, she was the founding president of the award-winning Women's Self-Employment Project, the first and largest urban microbusiness development organization in the U.S., and she was the first Black woman elected to serve on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Under her leadership, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) has expanded to represent more than 2,600 microbusiness development practitioners and advocates working to create economic opportunity for underserved entrepreneurs.
"Maggie Lena Walker saw the economic independence of her peers as an ethical imperative," said Connie Evans, president and CEO, AEO. "Similarly, I believe that economic freedom through business ownership is key to driving wealth and sustaining economic vibrancy for underserved communities. I am incredibly honored to receive this award, which recognizes the relevance of our work at AEO to advance financial inclusion and will continuously strive to live up to Maggie Lena Walker's legacy."
You can learn more about each of the winners and their work on the PayPal Newsroom.
This is the second year of the award, which was established in 2021 as part of PayPal's commitment to advance its mission of creating a more inclusive economy. In 2020, PayPal pledged $535 million to address economic inequality among Black and underserved businesses and communities in the U.S. Last year, PayPal committed $100 million to advance financial inclusion and economic empowerment of women and girls.
The Selection Committee has also named 12 award finalists to recognize their extraordinary work:
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering 429 million active consumer and merchant accounts in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit paypal.com.
Meet the Recipients of PayPal’s Second Annual Maggie Lena Walker Award
Celebrating Black History Month 2022
Sign up to receive the latest news to your email.