Published: 10/8/2020 at 3:10 PM
Updated: 10/12/2020 at 10:54 AM
Rapper and entrepreneur Michael "Killer Mike" Render has partnered with former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young and Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover to launch a digital bank called Greenwood. Greenwood aims to become the first digital bank for Black and Latinx individuals and businesses. Thus far, the trio has secured $3 million in seed funding.
The bank is hoping to break barriers in the world of finances. Of the 5,066 banks recognized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, only 20 are majority Black-owned. Furthermore, the FDIC reports that nearly 20% of Black households don't have a bank account compared to 3% of white households.
"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," Glover said.
Render, Young and Glover are also being intentional in how the bank is being presented. The name of the bank comes from the historic neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was once home to some of the nation's highest performing Black businesses. Greenwood's debit card is also made of eye-catching black metal. Render hopes that the bank's imaging and purpose will draw in Black customers and keep the Black dollar within the community.
"Today, a dollar circulates for 20 days in the white community but only six hours in the Black community," Render said
"Moreover, a Black person is twice as likely as a white person to be denied a mortgage. This lack of fairness in the financial system is why we created Greenwood."
Interested participants can join in by applying through the bank's mobile app. In just a matter of days, Render, Young and Glover have pulled in more than 10,000 applications.
"I will say we're in the tens of thousands," Glover said less than a week after opening up applications.
"That number is increasing by the day."
Photo: Getty Images