Twitter CEO and Square Co-Founder Jack Dorsey has started an initiative to help entrepreneurs who are refugees use mobile and card payments, to aid in growing their businesses, according to a report by Reuters.
Square, designed to help give financial ability to people rejected by banks, has teamed up with The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN) to provide card readers and also waive transaction fees for users.
Dorsey spoke at a London Tech Week event and said nothing Square does “is more important than serving folks like refugees, who are just getting started, in an entirely new culture, entirely new community and an entirely new language in many cases, and just need a little bit of help.”
One of the refugee entrepreneurs who joined Dorsey at the event is named Muzaffar Sadykov, who came to Britain from Kyrgyzstan and said Square helped his street-food business Oshpaz serve more customers, faster.
“Nowadays people want to pay contactless,” Sadykov said.
He said the fact that payments through Square were in his account within a day made him decide that he wanted to get involved, because he was using his savings to fund his business.
Dorsey said that everyone, regardless of background, should be able to work and participate in the economy.
“I think that’s critical to a healthy society,” he said.
Dorsey also said it was important that Square customers have control of their own data.
“That starts with the customers of our sellers, then it continues to our sellers,” he said. “This is their data and they need to use it in a way that is insightful so they can grow their business — but their customers should also be able to turn it off.”
Dorsey said if this partnership continues to flourish, he would be open to looking elsewhere for similar ones.
“Right now we are experimenting and we love what we are seeing,” he said. “What unifies (the entrepreneurs) is the sense of ambition, the sense of hustle and doing whatever it takes to make it work.”