- A majority Black and Latin-American owned and operated digital bank already has “tens of thousands” of people on its waiting list ahead of its January opening, CNN Business reported.
- The new bank, founded by Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover, rapper “Killer Mike,” and former Atlanta Mayor and US Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young, aims to support Black and Latin-American communities, Black-owned businesses, and Black entrepreneurs.
- Over the past few months, companies including Square and Netflix have announced support initiatives for Black-owned financial institutions to address racial inequality.
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A majority Black and Latin-American owned and operated online bank set to open in January already has “tens of thousands” on the waiting list seeking an account, CNN Business reported.
Greenwood is a digital bank that was founded by Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover, rapper “Killer Mike,” and former Atlanta Mayor and US Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young that was “inspired by the early 1900’s Greenwood District, where recirculation of Black wealth occurred all day, every day, and where Black businesses thrived,” according to its website.
Its mission statement describes how the platform is aiming to supplement “the current financial system, [which] has failed Black and Latinx communities.”
Glover told CNN Business that although Greenwood has been in the works since early last year, the killing of George Floyd that sparked nationwide movements against systemic racism also increased interest in the company.
Some of the biggest companies in the US have announced support programs for Black-owned financial institutions in recent months.
In September, Square, founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, invested $100 million to address racial inequality in the financial industry. Square donated millions to funding for Black and minority-owned financial institutions and banks. In July, Netflix moved $100 million of cash reserves to minority-led financial institutions focusing on Black communities.
Investing in Black-owned financial institutions could play a key step in addressing racial inequalities in the corporate world. Business Insider’s Dominick Reuter previously reported that “if more depositors start keeping money with Black-owned banks, those lenders can use their assets to make more loans in the communities they serve.”
Black billionaire investor Robert F. Smith said in his keynote address at the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy that “the deprivation of capital is one of the areas that creates a major problem to the enablement of the African American community.”
He added that “the first thing to do is put capital into those branch banks to lend to these small businesses to actually create an opportunity set . . . drive it into these small businesses, which employs 60%-plus of African Americans.”
“In order to build wealth, you need bank capital,” Glover told CNN Business. “We will identify qualified entrepreneurs, business owners, and creatives to equip them with the capital needed to make their dreams a reality.”