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Sustainability Financial inclusion

Financial inclusion

Our commitment

Helping individuals and businesses gain access to useful financial products and services to meet their needs—from savings, credit, and insurance to education and advice—and delivering these resources in a responsible and sustainable way.

Our goal

  • Over the next five years, we'll double the number of diverse small to midsized businesses we support through product access, capital access programs, community development, and financial education by 2025.

Our work supports the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth Goal 10: Reduced inequalities Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals
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Man in warehouse

Product access

We’re committing to making insurance and savings products more accessible to diverse business owners. Out of our total number of SMB customers in the U.S. in 2022, 10.4% were owned by diverse business owners, namely women and people of color. We’re encouraged to see an increase in diverse businesses, which have historically been underrepresented and continue to lack access to financial products and services.

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Capital access programs

Our research shows that women report that they have less access to financial products, resources, services, and safeguards than men. This disparity extends to women-led businesses seeking capital to start or grow their enterprises. Supporting women entrepreneurs can help boost the global economy.

In December 2022, we announced our support for First Women’s Bank (FWB) as a Mission Partner to help close this gap and get more resources in the hands of female entrepreneurs. FWB is the only women-founded, women-owned and women-led commercial bank in the U.S. with a strategic focus on the women’s economy. As a Mission Partner, Principal is supporting FWB by providing capital through mission deposits and lending programs to fuel growth for women-owned businesses.

People in office

Community development

One of our primary events in 2022 was managed in collaboration with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Business Forward, a nonprofit supporting small businesses on policy related issues, and focused entirely on diverse business leaders in the Detroit area. We hosted a panel discussion on the importance of understanding financial security holistically and the connection between a sustainable business model, centered in personalization, and the implementation of digital tools when developing business continuity. Our speakers also addressed what we know is a burden and barrier for businesses owned by people of color: access to capital. This event enabled us to have a stronger understanding of the needs and preferences of diverse SMB owners. We’re exploring the possibility of replicating similar events in select cities in the U.S. in the future.

People in office

Financial education

In 2022, we offered our expertise via educational opportunities like webinars on financial education. Additionally, Principal® Foundation provided funding to non-profit organizations that offer SMBs access to capital, coaching in business finance, and financial education. As an illustration of this support is our fund of 1863 Ventures 3R’s (Recovery, Rebuild, Resiliency) business development program. This national nonprofit is dedicated to the business development of New Majority Entrepreneurs – individuals who have historically been marginalized. The 3R’s program offers financial education, business coaching, technical assistance, and access to capital.

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Principal Foundation

Principal Foundation is a duly recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, created and fully funded by Principal—to fulfill its philanthropic mission of fostering a world where financial security is accessible to all. Principal Foundation spends a portion of its endowment each year to fund programs that address gaps in basic living needs, remove barriers, and provide resources to help people, small businesses and communities take the next steps in their financial journeys.

In 2022, Principal Foundation and Principal invested through grants, employee match giving, sponsorships, and in-kind donations to more than 145 organizations across the United States and in five different countries, totaling more than $17 million. Our work benefits communities worldwide by improving individuals’ lives and creating opportunities for people to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Meals from the Heartland Volunteers

Our work with EVERFI

In 2022, we expanded our decade+ long relationship with EVERFI to launch a first-of-its kind national education initiative, DataSetGo, empowering high school students to explore higher education and careers in a high-paying, future-ready field. DataSetGo will set students up to build enduring careers and lifelong financial capability.

Learn how your school or community organization’s students can participate at no cost.   Register for DataSetGo

We know everyone faces important financial decisions every day. Through our collaboration with EVERFI, we’ve also curated a set of financial education playlists to equip learners of all ages with critical knowledge and skills needed to make the financial decisions that are best for them.   Explore the playlists

2022 Sustainability report

Read more about our commitment to sustainability.

Download full report (PDF)

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