PayPal Announces Investments to Advance Economic Empowerment for Women
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PayPal Holdings, Inc. announced that it has invested in Sweef Capital‘s Southeast Asia Women’s Economic Empowerment Fund (SWEEF) and Quona Opportunity Fund to support their shared mission to advance women’s inclusion in the global economic and financial system.
The investments are part of PayPal’s 2021 $108 million commitment under the UN Generation Equality Forum to advance financial inclusion and economic empowerment for women and girls. They are the first of the company’s forthcoming $100 million in capital investments into funds and other initiatives that are led by women or focused on serving women.
“When women are economically empowered, they not only elevate themselves – they also enrich their families and communities, and propel the global economy forward,” said Gabrielle Rabinovitch, PayPal’s Acting Chief Financial Officer. “Through our strategic investments in Sweef Capital and Quona Opportunity Fund, which are committed to catalyzing enduring change across vital global markets, we will forge new pathways of opportunity and help advance women in the global economy.”
Singapore-based Sweef Capital is dedicated to enhancing lives and highlighting women’s potential across Southeast Asia. Sweef Capital is a woman-led fund which focuses on opportunities that respond to underserved markets and challenges in Southeast Asia. The fund’s industry leading approach is aimed at leveraging investments that create a multiplier effect, improving sustainable livelihoods, promoting quality education, creating decent work, fostering good health, and increasing economic growth. They seek opportunities in women-led enterprises, those primarily staffed by women, and organizations exemplifying gender equality and diversity.
“PayPal has long been an innovation leader and trailblazer at the intersection of technology and finance,” said Jennifer Buckley, Sweef Capital’s Managing Director. “It paved the way for many other entrepreneurial businesses. Like us, PayPal recognizes gender-smart investment as the next wave of opportunity, and a way to deliver robust financial returns and societal dividends. We look forward to working together to take this opportunity mainstream.”
Quona Opportunity Fund is part of Quona Capital, a venture firm that backs leading founders building transformative fintech companies across emerging markets. Quona invests in companies that are breaking down barriers to high-quality financial services for underserved consumers and small enterprises across India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Since its inception in 2015, Quona has been steadfast in its commitment to drive financial inclusion and create meaningful impact through its investments.
“We are thrilled to welcome PayPal, the world’s original payment innovator, as an investor in our Opportunity Fund,” said Monica Brand Engel, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Quona Capital. “As a venture firm with a global footprint and deep local expertise, we have witnessed first-hand the transformative power of digitizing payments in enhancing financial security, resilience, and utility in emerging economies. PayPal’s investment serves as a powerful endorsement of the work our portfolio companies are carrying out to empower women and girls in emerging markets worldwide.”
In addition to these investments, PayPal continues to advance several pillars of its $108 million commitment through key partnerships. PayPal employees have long supported women entrepreneurs around the globe through the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women‘s “Mentoring Women in Business” program. The company will continue that support by joining the Foundation in its latest commitment to support one million women entrepreneurs by 2030.
PayPal is also providing a grant to Opportunity International, a U.S. based nonprofit organization with a 52-year history of empowering women living in poverty to transform their lives and their communities through innovative programs. By providing access to capital, markets, and specialized training, Opportunity addresses systemic poverty, helping their clients sustain their own small and micro businesses (SMBs) and grow their incomes. PayPal’s partnership and funding will directly support the organization in its expansion of the Women THRIVE Program, which will empower women in India, Guatemala, Ghana and The Philippines to be agents of change.
“Opportunity knows first-hand that investing in women is both good public policy and good business, and economic empowerment for women is an integral part of our mission to end extreme poverty,” said Atul Tandon, CEO of Opportunity International. “Our partnership with PayPal will provide over 600,000 women around the world with access to financial services like loans, savings, and financial advice that will empower them to build new businesses and establish economic security on their own terms – enabling them to take control of their finances and stimulate inclusive economic growth.”