Clarifi's financial boot camp now includes racial wealth gap training for entrepreneurs - Generocity Philly

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Sep. 10, 2018 10:12 am

Clarifi’s financial boot camp now includes racial wealth gap training for entrepreneurs

Thanks to a partnership with PIDC, biz owners can learn how to fine-tune their operating budgets and improve their credit to access more lending options.

Racial Wealth Gap Boot Camp's November 2017 launch.

(Photo via facebook.com/WeClarifi)

Yikes: The median white household has 13 to 16 times the net worth of Black and Latinx households in the United States.

Last year, financial services nonprofit Clarifi’s coaching program, Clarifi Boot Camp, began discussing the racial wealth gap in its programming; here’s what Soneyet Muhammad, Clarifi’s director of community engagement, wrote about it for Generocity:

“Our nationally recognized Boot Camp program traditionally consists of financial education, counseling and coaching for clients who seek to learn money management strategies to improve financial wellness. This November, an added layer to our work will explicitly discuss historic racial barriers — from redlining to school segregation — and match our services around the present-day financial challenges that communities of color face.”

“The results were quite wonderful,” Muhammad said last week: Boot Camp participants doubled to about 30, and those who started the program were more likely to see it all the way through, compared to previous years.

Participants saved a collective $47,300 and paid down a per-person average of $1,831 in debt over six months, according to Muhammad. The coaches were also the most diverse Clarifi had hosted in the Boot Camp’s five total years.

For the 2018 cohort, Clarifi has partnered with economic development agency PIDC to tackle another path to potential wealth with its own challenges for people of color: entrepreneurship.

That means teaching established business owners how to fine-tune their operating budgets and improve their credit so they can access more lending options from PIDC and elsewhere.

“From a nationwide perspective,” Muhammah said, “the probability of a loan denial is almost 37 percent higher” for Black-owned firms compared to white male-owned firms, citing a 2012 study published in the American Economic Association. Clarifi seeks to curb that rate.

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The program launches Oct. 1 and includes three group workshops over three weeks. As with past Boot Camp cohorts, each participating business owner is also matched with a financial coach for six months.

Learn more about Clarifi’s Boot Camp for small business owners addressing the racial wealth gap here.

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