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23 Nov

America’s Richest Black Man Robert F. Smith, Stackwell, and

The common college student spends about $2,270 per 30 days on living expenses. Unfortunately, between the demand of coursework, extracurriculars and social activity, there’s little time left for a lot of young adults to carve out working time.

Student Freedom Initiative (SFI), Stackwell, and Prudential Financial have partnered to fill that income gap.

In a news release, the launch of the Student Investment Program (SIP), a multi-year strategic partnership granting $500,000 in funding for HBCU students, was announced. This system will give $1,000 grants to every participating student’s investment account on the Stackwell platform and offer access to investing educational resources.

“This program uniquely provides the tools, capital, education and community support crucial to equip the following generation to take control of their financial futures,” said Robert F. Smith, Founder and Board Chairman of Student Freedom Initiative, and Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners within the news release. “This partnership with Stackwell and Prudential shows what the ability of intentionality and collaboration can do to create long-term solutions to combat the racial wealth gap. Together, we are able to eliminate barriers to entry and drive greater representation of the Black community within the financial markets.”

That is just the most recent initiative Smith has deployed in furthering Black wealth equity through his deep ties with HBCUs. In 2020, he made headlines when he told the 2020 graduating class at Morehouse he would pay their outstanding tuition costs, which was an estimated $34M. The billionaire also launched an income-based financing program for Black students that yr as well, allowing rising juniors and seniors to borrow as much as $20,000 per yr after they’ve exhausted federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans, grants and other scholarships offered by their colleges, Edsurge reported.

The investment is yet one more sweeping tactic geared toward closing the racial wealth gap and helping shoulder a few of the financial burdens Black students face.

“At Stackwell, we’re proud to partner with Student Freedom Initiative and Prudential Financial to take a position in the longer term and advancement of current HBCU and MSI students,” said Trevor Rozier-Byrd, Founder and CEO of Stackwell in a news release. “Increasing Black participation and representation within the financial markets is critical to addressing the historic economic and social inequities which have disproportionately impacted HBCU students for many years. Together we are going to support and empower these future leaders of the Black community by providing them with access to capital, investment education and tools to construct long-term sustainable wealth for themselves and their families for generations to return.”

This system is geared toward also equipping graduating students with the tools they should jumpstart their post-grad lives immediately, and deal with wealth-building versus playing catch up.

“We’re excited to launch this pilot investment program with Student Freedom Initiative and Stackwell,” said Sarah Keh, Vice President of Inclusive Solutions at Prudential. “Prudential’s vision is to expand access to investing, insurance and retirement security and this system creates wealth constructing pathways for HBCU and MSI students. This catalytic program is not going to only address generational and racial barriers to wealth constructing that Gen Z minority students face today but will even construct a solid foundation of monetary wellness and a transparent future for tomorrow’s leaders.”

Applications could be submitted by visiting https://studentfreedominitiative.org/student-investment-program/.

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