In Square’s S-1 filing for its Initial Public Offering, chief executive Jack Dorsey revealed that he has committed a considerable percentage of his equity to helping further the company’s potential to “drive positive impact” over the course of his lifetime.
Over the past two years, he has given 15 million shares, or 20 percent of his equity, back to Square, and he has committed to giving an additional 40 million more shares, which equates to about 10 percent of the entire company (combining Class A and B common stocks together) towards his cause in the future.
As the majority shareholder in Square, Dorsey has a bit of equity to give. He has over 71 million shares, or 24.4 percent of all shares. So taking that 40 million from his current share results in the Square CEO essentially giving up more than half of his control towards underserved businesses and merchants.
The equity is being routed to Start Small Foundation, a new organization created by Dorsey that will invest in artists, musicians, and local businesses in underserved communities around the world. All his donated shares are for sale through his organization, which gives Square customers the ability to buy into Start Small’s program and support Dorsey’s efforts.
In a tweet, Dorsey said that the first investment made by the Start Small Foundation will be in his home state of Missouri, helping those in Ferguson, which has certainly seen its share of problems over the years.
The hope is that by investing in people and giving them a chance to succeed, they’ll be able to “pay it forward” to others. “I’d rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small,” said Dorsey.
Much of Square’s marketing appears to be around supporting small business and giving the underserved a chance to compete with the rest of the world. And with this charitable organization, Dorsey is taking steps to further that goal.
Update: This post has been updated to correct that Dorsey will commit 10 percent of the entire company, not just his equity as previously stated. In addition, our calculations were off and I regret the error.