Atlanta fintech unicorn Kabbage has joined a string of companies, including Georgia-born Delta Airlines, in taking a stand in favor of more stringent gun regulations following the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Kabbage CEO and co-founder Rob Frohwein announced the small business lending company will no longer fund businesses that sell assault-style weapons or that sell guns to anyone under the age of 21, effective immediately. In a Bloomberg article, it was reported that this is less than one percent of Kabbage’s customer base.
“It will take all of us rolling up our sleeves and trying new tactics, and while many will fail, innovative solutions will help us achieve the results we desire,” shares Frohwein. “It will take revision, focus and persistence.”
Frohwein, along with all of Kabbage’s top executives, has called upon other tech leaders to take a stance as well by instituting a movement they call #FinTechForChange. “We call on the broader Fintech, technology and business community to join us in protecting our children from unnecessary harm and championing their voice for change,” says Frohwein. “We are up to the task — we hope you are as well.”
Frohwein shares more about his decision, their ask to the business community, and how this fits within Kabbage’s culture as a whole.
How did you decide as a company to take a public stand on this issue?
As a technology leader and financial services company, we believe we have a unique responsibility and opportunity to help prevent future tragedies from occurring. Doing nothing is still a choice. We choose to do something to drive positive change and be an example to others.
How do you hope to see the fintech community, especially in Atlanta, move towards addressing this issue?
Financial services companies are uniquely positioned to establish policies that restrict the movement of funds, leading to the ownership of assault-style weapons or the purchasing of guns for anyone under the age of 21. This will take more than Kabbage. We are only one company in a much larger ecosystem, but we must do our part and implore others to consider how they, too, may create change.
How has Kabbage, as an industry leader, emerged as a leader in other ways, such as values or culture?
One of our core principles is ‘Caring Deeply.’ This extends into all aspects of the business, from how we hire, innovate, serve customers and support the community.
Kabbage Kares is the company’s community outreach program where employees from all offices — NYC, ATL, SF and Bangalore — dedicate time throughout the year to volunteer for local non-profits, from local community food banks to animal shelters, medical organizations providing supplies in developing countries, or educating American youth about the importance of entrepreneurship and financial literacy. We care deeply, and the new policy is another example of it in action.