BLK Capital Management, Corp.
We are a nonprofit that teaches financial literacy to African-American college students from around the nation.
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275 Concord Ave
MA: Cambridge (02138)
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Date You Started Your Project Started
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)
1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
We are looking to close the massive wealth disparity in the United States for African-Americans by providing financial literacy skills to young African-Americans at the collegiate level. We make up 13% of the total population in America but yet only hold 3% of the total wealth. This problem exists because African-Americans have historically been excluded from the financial services industry and never received generational financial knowledge.
2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
We solve this problem through education and mentorship. On the education side, we have created a virtual education program that our students go through that teaches them how to invest. Then we practice real investing strategies in the stock market through our $100,000 investment fund. On the mentorship side, we partner with some of the largest organizations on Wall Street such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, etc., to provide mentors to students in our organization who help them navigate careers and internships in the financial services industry.
3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?
When I was a freshman at Harvard, I was excited to learn about finance and so I joined some of the organizations on campus. These groups had amazing educational resources but I was dismayed to be one of the only people of color in the entire room. When I asked some of my African-American friends why they didn't come, they told me that they were uncomfortable being one of the only students of color in the room who didn't have previous finance experience. Thus, we created BLK Capital Management, in order to provide a space where African-American college students can learn financial literacy without any previous experience in an environment with other people who looked just like them.
4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”
5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
When a student joins our organization, they start on our education program which lasts for about 6 months and consists of readings and assignments due on a weekly basis that teach basic investing skills. Then, once the student is finished with the education program, we have a nationwide stock-pitch competition where we invite all of the students in our organization to New York City and they get to pitch a real stock in front of representatives from some of the largest firms on Wall Street such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, etc. On a weekly basis, students in our organization do research on stocks and prepare pitches for our Sunday virtual meetings where they present in front of the entire organization.
6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
The biggest difference about our organization is that we are completely focused on catering towards African-American college students, teaching financial literacy, and providing mentorship through our extensive network of Wall Street partners. There are several broad organizations that focus on pre-professionalism for minorities but none of them are as focused as our organization on financial literacy.
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
We have about 175 students who are apart of our organization from over 70+ schools around the nation. We have made an immense impact on our students lives by providing them with real jobs and internships in the financial services industry.
8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
We are primarily looking to expand our program to engage recent college graduates who are currently in the workforce, increase the amount of current college students in our organization, and secure more partnerships with corporations on Wall Street. Additionally, we would like to hire at least one person to work for the organization full time so that we can properly scale to the heights that we are envisioning.
9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?
10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
Communities of color
How did you hear about this challenge?
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?