Greenwood Closes $3 million Seed Round To Build Online Banking Solution for Blacks and Latinx
Venture founded by Ambassador Andrew Young, Michael ‘Killer Mike’ Render and Ryan Glover
NEWS PROVIDED BYGreenwood Financial
Michael Render, better known as “Killer Mike,” rapper turned activist, and Ambassador Andrew J. Young, civil rights legend and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Former Mayor of Atlanta, and Ryan Glover, Greenwood Chairman and founder of Bounce TV network are all founders of Greenwood, the first digital banking platform for Black and Latinx people and business owners. They have secured $3 million in seed money from investors
Greenwood’s initial products are savings and spending accounts that come with a stunningly designed black metal debit card for customers who sign up by the end of the year. Advanced features like Apple, Samsung, and Android pay, virtual debit cards, peer-to-peer transfers, mobile check deposits, and free ATM usage in over 30,000 locations are offered with no hidden fees. Customers who invite their friends to open accounts receive cash awards as a thank you from Greenwood. All deposits are FDIC insured by a partner bank.
Additionally, Greenwood plans to work with brick and mortar minority-owned banks to provide deposits to help strengthen historically black banks
“The work that we did in the civil rights movement wasn’t just about being able to sit at the counter. It was also about being able to own the restaurant,” said Ambassador Andrew Young. “We have the skills, talent and energy to compete anywhere in the world, but to grow the economy, it has to be based on the spirit of the universe and not the greed of the universe. Killer Mike, Ryan and I are launching Greenwood to continue this work of empowering black and brown people to have economic opportunity.”
A mere five days after the October 8 announcement of the company, Greenwood has received more than 100,000 sign-ups to the waiting list for Greenwood’s digital banking platform at www.bankgreenwood.com. This pace illustrates the demand for a modern solution for minority banking and makes Greenwood one of the most successful launches in the history of the financial services industry.
Bexar County Couple Offers Counseling & Mentorship Program
Community-based counseling is happening at Ken-Lyn Consultants and Associates, a vision Dr. Kenneth Brown and Dr. Lynda Brown had years ago. The couple is now considered a family counselor and life coach duo.
Ken-Lyn has been serving Bexar County since 2017 and has grown almost immediately from serving 3-5 clients weekly to serving 50-70 globally. One of their greatest accomplishments is their continuous “5-Star” ratings. Amazingly, of the thousands of clients that have chosen to write a review, they all have shared the same sentiment.
Dr. Lynda Brown is a product of the East Side, where her father, Dr. Walter Duncan, served as one of the leading dentists to Black clients. Her mom, Dr. Joan Duncan, spent 40 years as an educator and professor. Dr. Kenneth Brown’s mom was an office manager, church leader, and pianist in Southern Maryland.
The Brown’s services have taken them to faraway places such as Australia, Dubai, Italy, Hawaii, and Alaska. They travel to perform workshops and officiate weddings all over the country. The Brown’s business partner, Tiana Hill, is an Air Force veteran like Dr. Kenneth Brown. A University of Texas at San Antonio graduate, Hill develops all website and software programming, mentors the youth, and is also a parent in the program. Ken-Lyn’s associates and partners are specialists in their fields, such as nurse practitioners, military human resources, special education professionals, attorneys, doctors, pharmacists, information technology specialists, movers, mechanics, realtors, credit recovery, insurance brokers, and many more.
Ken-Lyn’s vast array of services is “everything family.” Their youngest client is four years old, and their oldest is 86. They have assisted over 110 students to get into four-year universities, helping them earn over $5.2 million in scholarships. Their clientele is diverse, from local families simply trying to keep their child in school to West Coast entertainers, East Coast politicians, doctors, lawyers, police officers, active military and veterans. They also serve as educational advocates during 504/IEP meetings from the school conference room to the Texas Education Agency and the Office of Civil Rights as needed.
Ken-Lyn Consultants and Associates has been where undergraduate psychology students come to “cut their teeth” and learn how to run a practice and market their services. As of spring 2023, 80% of their undergraduate interns have come from UTSA. Interns serve in the tradition of “camp counselors” as they aid students within the Ken-Lyn mentorship program.
They say, “We monitor grades. We aid them with everything from hygiene, makeup application, grooming, and college prep to cleaning and organizing backpacks. We help our mentees to discover themselves, despite the possible odds and misunderstandings they may face daily.”
This spring, Ken-Lyn has a busy community schedule while serving clients daily:
- Their office has recently expanded, and on March 23 at 6:30 pm, they will host a brief “Business Blessing Ceremony.” Dr. Otis Mitchell, pastor of Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, will officiate.
- On Thursday, March 30, the six-week “12 Steps Toward Communicating Better” workshop will conclude at the Windmill Ice House at 2769 Nacogdoches Rd, featuring artist Elizabeth Holmes and the Ken-Lyn Communicators Band.
- Their mentorship program will host female and minority pilots at the Boerne Stage Field, 100 Boerne Stage Airfield, on Sunday, March 26 at 5 pm.
- Other mentorship guest speakers this semester will include professionals in tech fields, professors, and adults who have turned their lives around for themselves and their families.
- Every semester, students in their program will tour at least two colleges. This semester, they will visit Our Lady of the Lake University and Texas A&M University at College Station.
To learn more about Ken-Lyn’s services, visit (KenLynConsultants.com) or call 210-761-4345.
Black Life Texas
The Black Fund Awards Show in Austin
Austin Community Foundation, in partnership with leaders of The Black Fund, recently announced tickets are on sale for The Black Fund Awards Show, presented by Netspend, on Feb. 27 from 6 pm to 9 pm at The Paramount Theatre at 713 Congress Ave. in Austin. Members of the community are invited to celebrate 21 Black-led and Black-serving nonprofits selected to receive $355,000 from The Black Fund, a signature partnership of Austin Community Foundation and Black Central Texans.
The Black Fund Awards Show will feature appearances by Roland Martin, Taméca Jones, Alesia Lani, Ballet Afrique, Cha’ keeta Banita, and Tje Austin. General admission and VIP tickets are now on sale from $25 to $100 at austincf.org/BlackFundAwards.
The Black Fund is a collective giving network launched in 2022 that aims to unleash the power of Black-led organizations and uplift solutions to benefit the Black community in Central Texas. Driven by data and community voice, The Black Fund strives for an equitable, just society that nurtures the growth, economic security, and wellness of Black people. The Black Fund is a key strategy in the Foundation’s effort to close the opportunity gap in Central Texas. Notable contributors and artists will walk the red carpet from 6-7 p.m.
The unrestricted, general operating grants will be distributed to the following nonprofits:
- African American Leadership Institute (AALI)
- Allure Alliance
- Austin Black Physicians Association
- Austin Urban Technology Movement
- Black Makers Market
- Black Mamas ATX
- Black Mamas Village Austin
- Black Trans Leadership of Austin
- Capitol View Arts
- Changing Expectations
- Excellence and Advancement Foundation
- Family Preservation Leadership Council
- Grassroots Leadership
- Maternal Health Equity Collaborative
- Roslyn’s Novel
- The Man in Me
- Plus, five grassroots organizations to be announced on Feb. 27.
Increasing Financial Literacy is Critical in Black Wealth
The nation’s 44 million African-Americans account for 13% of the U.S. population and significantly impact the economy, with $1.2 trillion in purchases annually. But the financial well-being of African-Americans lags behind the U.S. population and whites in particular.
The reason for these gaps is increased financial literacy. According to the TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index, there is a strong link between financial literacy and financial wellness among African-Americans. The report examines the current state of financial literacy and financial wellness among African-American adults.
The P-Fin Index measures eight key areas of personal finance knowledge: earning, consuming, saving, investing, borrowing and managing debt, insuring, comprehending risk and uncertainty, and go-to information sources.
Personal finance knowledge among African-American adults lags behind that of whites. On average, African-Americans answered 38% of the index questions correctly, with only 28% answering over one-half of the index questions correctly. The comparable figures among whites were 55% and 62%, respectively.
Financial literacy varies across demographic groups within the Black population. The observed patterns are consistent with variations identified in the U.S. population—financial literacy is greater among men, older individuals, more formal education, and higher incomes.
Insurance is the area where personal finance knowledge is lowest among African-Americans. Other areas where knowledge lags are in comprehending risk, investing, and identifying go-to information sources.
Borrowing and debt management is the area of highest personal finance knowledge among Black Americans.
There is a strong link between financial literacy and financial wellness among African-Americans. Those who are more financially literate are more likely to plan and save for retirement, have non-retirement savings, and to manage their debt better; they are also less likely to be financially fragile.
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