Rapper Killer Mike — also known as Michael Render — has a plan to fill the gaping hole in the finance market in Atlanta for Black and Latinx citizens, and he’s enlisted the help of some of the city’s most revered businessmen and politicians to do it.
According to TechCrunch, Killer Mike, former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, and Bounce TV founder, Ryan Glover have all partnered together to launch Greenwood, a new digital bank backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation with aims to help Black and Latinx entrepreneurs and small businesses.
As stated by its website, Greenwood is “a platform inspired by the early 1900’s Greenwood District, where recirculation of Black wealth occurred all day, every day, and where Black businesses thrived.”
Greenwood pays homage to the famous Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma and prioritizes several digital features designed to help promote social causes as well as organizations for the Black and Latinx community, TechCrunch reports.
For Render — a serial entrepreneur, the decision to launch this digital bank with some of Atlanta’s finest was fueled by his desire to connect the city’s well-established, vintage Black business community with the same technology that is innovating wealth for the next generation and providing them with the financial tools needed to empower themselves.
“What I have learned about capitalism is that you’re either going to be a participant in it or a victim of it,” said Render to TechCrunch. “The ultimate protest is focusing your dollar like a weapon.”
It’s known that traditional global banks do not offer the resources needed to cater to Black and Latinx communities, and so Greenwood now exists to offer more suitable solutions to these communities.
“It’s no secret that traditional banks have failed the Black and Latinx community,” said Glover, in a statement. “We needed to create a new financial platform that understands our history and our needs going forward, a banking platform built by us and for us, a platform that helps us build a stronger future for our communities. This is our time to take back control of our lives and our financial future. That is why we launched Greenwood, modern banking for the culture.”
According to TechCrunch, for every sign-up, Greenwood will donate the equivalent of five meals to organizations helping to solve food insecurity. Additionally, each time a customer uses a Greenwood debit card, the bank will donate to either the United Negro College Fund, Goodr — an organization that addresses food insecurity — or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Moreover, each month the digital bank will offer a $10,000 grant to a Black or Latinx small business owner to go toward the company’s financial services.
According to a news release, the digital bank also just closed a $3 million seed round to expand upon their banking solution.
Greenwood is offering Black and Latinx residents in the U.S. a chance to invest their dollars into a financial institution that keeps them in mind at all times. The hope for this new digital bank is to inspire more to be founded across the country and improve the wealth gap in our communities.
“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,” said Ambassador Young in a statement. “Killer Mike, Ryan and I are launching Greenwood to continue this work of empowering Black and brown people to have economic opportunity.”
For more information about Greenwood, visit its website.