Diversity & Inclusion in the Startup Space: How Gas Pos is Doing Its Part
Gas Pos is a 3-year-old fintech startup operating in an infamously complicated, and monopolized space. As startup founders, we oftentimes want to change the world, “How do you make the world better” is not an uncommon theme in our world. While banking and the petroleum industry may not seem to be an obvious place to find an answer to this question we believe that our commitment to our customers, our team members, and our community is the answer.
We built this company because we have seen over the last 10 years how changes in payment regulations, by the major banks, and card brands have devastated small business owners. Over the next 3 years, 4.2 billion dollars will be spent by the owners of your local corner store to accept chip cards at the pumps. Some of the stores will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, and others will be forced out of business. It is a hell of a problem to solve.
The changes in payment system security echoed a change in the demographics of gas station owners and operators. When pay at the pump was first invented the vast majority of stores were owned by the oil companies. Today that level is down to less than 1%, with 70% of stores owned and operated by a single owner. Small business people often times of diverse backgrounds from all over the world working to live the American dream. Helping these store owners with better technology, better users experiences, and the tools to have a more profitable business is the first way that we promote diversity in the startup space. Every one of these business owners is entrepreneurs, and founders, and members of the global startup ecosystem. Anyone that risk their capital to grow a business, and provide a better life for themselves, and their family, and make their community a better place is a founder to me and our customers are the first way we make the startup world more diverse.
Second as the CEO and founder of Gas Pos I have built my company with the goal of promoting diversity, inclusion and acceptance. I spent many years in my academic pursuits studying and applying critical theory, as it relates to the promotion of social justice; growing up in Birmingham, Alabama I have seen injustice at play, and it deeply shaped my moral compass. It is why we strive to build a diverse team at Gas Pos. The majority of my teammates are underprivileged participants. One of my co-founders is a female CTO and President, a huge rarity in our space, and we strive every day to promote and execute our mission of expanding diversity in our own company.
Lastly, we promote diversity via where we are located; the deep south is not seen as a startup hub. The mantra of going to the bay or go home is still alive and well, but we went to the bay, got the funding, and the south is our real home. Good paying High Tech jobs have a huge multiplier effect. For every 1 High Tech job created 4.3 other jobs are created. These jobs then lead to higher tax revenues, higher land and housing prices, and an overall return for the local economy as a whole. By promoting tech ecosystems in historically marginalized areas we are doing our part to make the world a better place.
We feel beyond blessed for the opportunity to participate, in this market, and make an impact in the lives of our customers, our community, and my teammates. At Gas Pos, we will continue to sing the praises of diversity and inclusion, and we welcome anyone that shares our values to reach out to us and let us know how we can work together.