Twitter chief Jack Dorsey lends a hand to UK refugee entrepreneurs


Square, the payments company co-founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is supporting refugee entrepreneurs in Britain by giving them the ability to accept card and mobile payments to help them get their businesses off the ground.

Dorsey, who launch the collaboration in London on Tuesday (June 11), said Square provided financial services to people neglected by banks and other institutions.

“A lot of what we’ve focused on is how do we increase access to as many people as possible, how do we change the financial industry so that it trusts people coming in, and that we continue to verify as they continue to grow,” he told Reuters in an interview.

“None of this is more important than serving folks like refugees, who are just getting started, entirely new culture, entirely new community, an entirely new language in many cases, and just need a little bit of help to get started.”

Square is partnering The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN) in the program, which provides cards readers and fee-free transactions, as well as education and training, to the entrepreneurs.

Dorsey said Square could seek similar partnerships with other organisations working with refugee entrepreneurs beyond Britain.

“Right now we are experimenting and learning 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.”

Much of the debate about refugees has played out on social media, including on Twitter, an online networking company he founded in 2006.

“I think it’s necessary to have these conversations and to address the issues and to acknowledge it and work to fix it.”

Responding to a question about U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies on immigration, Dorsey said businesses would benefit from the diversity refugees bring to communities.

“We need to make sure that we are welcome folks of very background, particularly folks who are suffering hardship so they could participate in the economy and build new communities and I think that’s critical to a healthy society,” he said.